Rugby fans, and particularly those of a nostalgic disposition, are in for a treat next weekend as several true legends of the game will come out of retirement to test their aging limbs against Lothian and Borders ‘finest’ at Police Headquarters.
Former internationals, including Scott Hastings, Doddie Weir, Sean Lineen, Gary Armstrong, and Gregor Townsend, who, between them won nearly 300 international caps and toured with the British and Irish Lions, will take part in a charity match in remembrance of Constable Steve Cully, who died last year aged 41, due to a heart defect. All proceeds from the event will be donated to the charity, Chest, Heart and Stroke Scotland.
If that isn’t enough to get the blood flowing, then Ronnie Browne of The Corries singing ‘Flower of Scotland’ before the match surely will.
Steve, who was brought up in Belfast, was a keen rugby player who played club rugby at Murrayfield RFC, Edinburgh Wanderers RFC, Murrayfield Wanderers, Stewarts-Melville FP, Edinburgh Academicals and also represented Ireland U 21’s, Irish Exiles and the British Police.
He was also a successful women’s rugby coach, coaching a team from Heriot-Watt University (The Wandies) to league and cup success in the early 90s.
Steve joined Lothian and Borders Police in 1994 and worked in a number of roles before fulfilling his ambition to become a firearms officer.
He called time on his rugby career in 2005, but took up long-distance running, and in 2009 he was part of a team of Lothian and Borders officers who took part in the gruelling ‘Marathon des Sables’, a series of marathons taking place over a week in the Sahara Desert, raising thousands of pounds for charity.
His love for rugby and charitable nature inspired his colleagues to organise next Sunday’s match, which will be attended by his wife Rosie and two children Josh,4, and Hannah, 7.
A spokesman for the event 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 also be there to provide the soundtrack for the day.
“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.”
Tickets for the game must be purchased in advance and cost £5 with free admission for under-16s.
Tickets can be purchased 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 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Gates open 1pm for 2pm kick off
Photograph Steve with Hannah and Josh