Councillor Swift battles rugby fans!

September 14, 2007 12:00 AM

It was case of 'Frank versus the fans' at the Annual Liberal Democrat Garden Party in Spotland this week. Lib Dem Councillor Keith Swift, doing his now famous tribute to Frank Sinatra, was competing against 2000 Castleford rugby fans, and they were Castleford fans with plenty to cheer about as their side ran up a massive 106 points without reply in a demolition of Rochdale Hornets.

Paul Rowen MP, Euro MPs Chris Davies and Sajjad Karim, Council Leader Alan Taylor and nearly 100 Lib Dem members joined Councillor Swift at the garden party. The event was held at the home of Councillor Greg Couzens, whose house backs onto Spotland, home of local professional sports teams Rochdale Hornets and Rochdale football club.

The Hornets had their biggest crowd of the season, thanks to the appearance of the hoards of Castleford fans cheering their side to another victory in their bid for promotion into the Super League - and Councillor Swift's dulcet tones had to compete next door.

Milnrow & Newhey Councillor Swift said: "I've never had so much cheering in my life - unfortunately most of it came from the Castleford fans. Every couple of minutes there was a huge cheer - at one point it coincided exactly when I'd finished, 'Fly me to the Moon'. It added a bit of comedy to proceedings and made the event even better.

"Spotland Councillor Peter Clegg was at the match and said he could hear strains of Sinatra in the stands. It was good to entertain more than just our members and supporters."

Paul Rowen MP said: "This was a very special event and we are grateful that Chris Davies and Saj Karim could come.

"Keith was excellent as Frank and kept the party going all afternoon until the rain.

"It's great to get all our helpers together and put on a show.

"Keith was heard to mutter when the drizzle started that he enjoyed the singing - it's just the idea of electrocution that he didn't like!

"It was a great afternoon though and I'm grateful to Greg Couzens for hosting it and to Liz Thirsk for doing the food."

Commenting on Hornets' demolition in the rugby, the Rochdale MP said: "I reckon that's the last time they will let me sponsor the match ball!"