Rugby veterans to get kicks in charity match

FORMER international rugby players are pulling on their boots to raise money for charity.

A team of Scottish legends including Scott Hastings, Doddie Weir, Gary Armstrong, and Gregor Townsend will take on police officers in a game to raise money for Chest, Heart and Stroke Scotland in Edinburgh next Sunday.

The match, at Police Headquarters in Fettes Avenue, has been organised by colleagues in memory of former officer Steve Cully from Lauder, who died aged 41, from a heart defect.

Brought up in Belfast, Steve played club rugby at Murrayfield, Edinburgh Wanderers, Murrayfield Wanderers, Stewarts Melville FP, and Edinburgh Academicals. He represented Ireland U 21s, Irish Exiles and the British Police.

He was also a successful women’s rugby coach, taking a team from Heriot Watt University, The Wandies to league and cup success in the early 90s.

Steve, who had two children, joined Lothian and Borders Police in 1994 and worked in a number of roles before fulfilling his ambition to become a firearms officer.

He ended his rugby career in 2005 and took up long-distance running. In 2009 he was part of a team of Lothian and Borders officers undertaking the gruelling Marathon des Sables – several marathons run over a week in the Sahara Desert –raising thousands of pounds for charity.

A spokesman for the rugby match said: “Not only will spectators be given the unique opportunity to see legends from the game in action once again, but there will be a whole range of family-friendly events, including a balloon race, prize draw, army assault course, bouncy castle, and kids’ rugby coaching (involving many of the former pros) provided by Rugbytots. The Lothian and Borders Police Pipe Band will be there to provide the soundtrack.

“I would encourage any rugby fans and their families to come along and enjoy what is sure to be a great day, and help us raise money for a worthy cause.”

Steve’s wife Rosie (39) and two children Josh (four) and Hannah (seven) will attend the game.

Tickets (£5) must be purchased in advance from First XV, 6/8 Haymarket Terrace, Edinburgh, EH12 5JZ Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland, Head Office, Third Floor, Rosebery House, 9 Haymarket Terrace, Edinburgh EH12 5EZ oremail: stevecullymemorial@hotmail.co.uk. Free admission for under-16s. Kick- off is at 2pm.