IN one night Ludlow Rugby Club managed to replace two thirds of the money stolen by its former treasurer thanks to the generosity of local people.

Samantha Rosenberg, 42, formerly from Ludlow and now of Llangattock, Crickhowell, Powys, was jailed in April this year after admitting stealing more than £20,000 from its funds.

In response more than 90 lots were promised to the club by local businesses and individuals which raised more than £13,000 as they went under auctioneer Anthony Wood's hammer.

The lots ranged from days of deer stalking, fishing and shooting to Georgian antique furniture and meals at local restaurants.

Club president, Gerry Acton, a wildlife artist of some repute produced nine pictures for the occasion, which sold well.

Rugby Club life member, Godfrey Bray, was the determined bidder who scooped three of Gerry's paintings.

Gerry said he was overwhelmed and delighted at the generosity of local people.

"This has helped us wipe out a black episode in the club's history," he said. "We are now once again in a sound financial position and able to look forward to a new season."