By |

After postponing May’s Grand Slam Celebration Dinner to November, we have made the difficult decision to postpone the event once again.

We are determined to make sure the players from both Grand Slam-winning teams, and all of you, have the chance to come together to recognise two of Scottish Rugby’s proudest moments.

The players from Scotland’s Grand Slam-winning team of 1984 and 1990 and Hearts + Balls are pleased to announce the new date for the Grand Slam Celebration Dinner:

Saturday 29 May 2021 at the EICC 

All tickets from our postponed event will be honoured.

If you have any questions about the event, your ticket or would like to purchase a table,  please contact

We will all deserve this chance to celebrate once all this is over and look forward to welcoming you to the EICC in 2021, provided it’s safe to do so.

30 Scottish Rugby players teamed-up to run more than 800 miles – here’s why.

By |

By Dylan Russell, HBMB club manager.

We were all geared up for a big 7s season. The official charity merger between Hearts and Balls and The Mighty Bovs. 

 30 players signed up to play in amazing new kit (courtesy of Rival Kit) in 13 tournaments across the UK. With the success of previous seasons, we knew we were on to a winner this year. After our very successful charity cycle last year for the charity,  we knew we needed something bigger this year as well. So we planned a Three Peaks Challenge.

Then, Covid-19 struck. National lockdown. No sports. Absolute standstill. Plans for the season canceled.

With tournament after tournament postponed and then inevitably cancelled, we were desperate to try and make sure the Three Peaks Challenge could still go ahead so we help a charity we all truly believe in.  When even this was postponed we started running through ideas for what we could do instead. It needed to be smaller and more manageable due to lockdown restrictions but still interesting and impressive enough that people would get involved and donate during what is a financially uncertain time.

We decided upon the Longest Day Challenge as a lot of the boys had started taking advantage of the daily exercise to get outdoors and run. We also decided that facing off the Forwards against the Backs would fulfill the competitive void left from the cancelled 7s season. What better rivalry than the age-old Forwards vs Backs. We signed up all the players for the season and made the rules simple. It had to be done on the 21st as this was the Longest Day. The exercise had to be completed in one continuous effort run/walk/jog and it had to cover a minimum distance of 10km. If each player managed this then we would cover 300km for the charity and hopefully raise about £1000.

With a lot of people doing various things for different charities we had to do something different to raise the profile of the event and ge attention. We had great support from various different players in the game including Scotland 7s players (Robbie Fergusson, Ross Mccann, Megan Gaffney and Abi Evans), England 7s players (Sydney Gregson, Deborah Fleming and Ellie Kidunne) and various other pros such as Edinburgh’s Jamie Hodgson and Murray Mccallum, Glasgow Warriors Kyle Steyn and George Turner and Saracens Callum Hunter-Hill.

The efforts from the players on the day was absolutely astounding. We had been drumming up some noise amongst each other over our Whatsapp group and it definitely worked. The 10km minimum went out the window as the average distance came in at 27.7km. There were many half-marathons, marathons and even a couple ultra-marathons. The forwards took the spoils 416km to 408km. That’s over 800km for the charity. It was a close battle throughout the full day but the man who ran the longest solo distance was Danny Bain with just over 56km. Special shout out to Stewart Hagart who manned the social media, doing an amazing job whilst I was out running an ultramarathon before going and doing his first half marathon himself. Every single effort was superb from each player especially given the typical Scottish weather of four seasons in one day!

The amount raised is ridiculous as well so huge thanks to everyone who has donated and to each and every player who helped drive the donations over the last 4 weeks. Currently (Including Gift Aid) we are sitting at £4941.18. A monumental amount raised and absolutely blowing our initial £1000 target out the water!

Some seriously tired legs today amongst the boys but as always an absolute pleasure to do what we can for the charity and we’ll just have to wait until next season to allow us to do our bit on the pitch once again.


By |

With no tournaments to play, our sevens team, Hearts + Balls MB took on an almighty challenge -the #HBMBLongestDay

Two teams of 15, one made up of forwards, the other of backs, went  head to head to see which team could clock up the longest distance on the longest day. 

And the results are in…


The forwards defeated the backs by just eight miles, running 416 miles compared to the backs’ still impressive effort of 408 miles.

What’s even more impressive is together they’ve helped raise more than £5k to help members of our rugby community who need our support. 

From everyone involved at Hearts + Balls, we offer a massive thank you.

You can add to their impressive total here.

And here’s what club manager Dylan Russell had to say about the #HBMB longest day.




By |

In the week when our charity’s biggest ever fundraising event, the Grand Slam Celebration Dinner, was supposed to take place, our chair Kenny Hamilton has called on more members of the rugby community to complete 26 burpees each – and challenge others to do the same.

The charity effort was inspired by organisers of the London Marathon who were forced to postpone this year’s event, so created the Two Point Six Challenge to raise money for these foundations so they can make it through COVID-19 and continue supporting their causes once the world gets back to normal.

Last year, GHK rugby club’s Gordon Hollerin raised more than £6,000 for the charity by completing the London Marathon.

This year, more than 50 members of GHK Rugby Club, including former Glasgow Warriors hooker Kevin Bruce and former Edinburgh Rugby full back Jack Cuthbert,  have completed 26 burpees to raise money for Hearts + Balls.

The more clubs involved, the more we can help rugby help its own.

All you need to do is:

  • Film yourself completing 26 burpees
  • Nominate 2, 6 or 26 others
  • Post your burpees and nominees on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn (tag @Heartsandballs)
  • Donate, £2, £6, £26 or any amount you can afford via Virgin Money Giving

Grand Slam celebration dinner postponed

By |

Following the Scottish Government’s advice on gatherings of more than 500 people and amid concerns over the escalating Coronavirus outbreak, the Hearts + Balls board has taken the decision to postpone the Grand Slam Celebration Dinner, which was scheduled for Friday 8 May at the EICC in Edinburgh. 

While this is hugely disappointing for the charity, our partners and members of both Grand Slam-winning teams, it was considered the only reasonable course of action to ensure the health and wellbeing of our guests. 

We are currently working with our event partners the EICC to reschedule the event for later this year.  All tickets will be honoured and ticketholders will be contacted directly in the coming days. 

Hearts + Balls MB to take part in Three Peaks Challenge to help rugby help its own

By |

Our 7s squad, Hearts + Balls MB, will go more than a few steps beyond in their efforts for the charity this year. 

They’ll take a break from their packed schedule of tournaments on June 27th, when they plan to conquer the highest summits in Scotland, England and Wales in just 24hours.

It’s all to raise funds and awareness for Hearts + Balls and to “help rugby help its own”.

If you want to make Hearts + Balls part of your club’s fundraising efforts this year, get in touch!

You can donate to their efforts here:

Hearts + Balls MB announces new squad and unveils new kit ahead of 2020 campaign

By |
Hearts + Balls MB has announced its squad for the 2020 sevens circuit.
And they’ll look the part in brand new kit, courtesy of Rival Kit.
The team’s ambassador Colin Gregor presented the players with their new kit at the campaign’s launch event at Bier Hoose last week.
The former Scotland sevens captain said: “Every single one of the 30 players selected for this year’s Hearts + Balls MB squad will make a huge impact, not only on the sevens circuit but on the lives of injured rugby players. By playing entertaining rugby across the country and beyond this spring, they’ll help spread awareness of and fundraise for an incredible charity doing great things to help members of the rugby community who need support.”

“The squad will develop both on and off the pitch, and will share incredibly memorable experiences. The players are all inspired by the people the charity supports and they, in turn, hope to provide opportunities for the beneficiaries to develop and benefit.”
Businesses across Scotland have backed the team ahead of the campaign, including Argyle Consulting, Bier Hoose, Cream Floats, Ryden, HIT, Lift Gyms and SportsHall medical supplies.
Club manager Dylan Russell said: “We would like to thank all our sponsors and partners who are working alongside us this year. The players are incredibly motivated to do the charity proud and they’ll do that by playing an incredibly exciting brand of rugby with great spirit throughout this season, and for many years to come. They have impressed in previous seasons and I feel this one is going to be even bigger so keep an eye out for our summer schedule launching and come along to support!”
Here’s the Hearts + Balls MB 2020 squad:
Euan Bowen (1)
Stewart Hagart (2)
Jamez Ferguson (3)
Andrew Wilson (4)
Graeme Mitchell (5)
Mark Sinclair (6)
Dylan Russell (7)
Kyle Adams (8)
James Ferguson (9)
Craig Davidson (10)
Andy Smith (11)
Calum Hart (12)
Nathan Ross (13)
Willie Malcolm (14)
Euan Morrison (15)
David Devlin (16)
Will Lockhart (17)
Charlie Simmonds (18)
Jamie Mcgurk (19)
Matt Sanderson (20)
Dale Gordon (21)
Gus Hillhouse (22)
James King (23)
FInlay Broomfield (24)
Scott Aldritt (25)
Freddie Roddick (26)
Rhys Gilroy (27)
Danny Bain (28)
Thomas Klein (29)
Geoff Angco (30)
Pictured with Colin Gregor: Euan Bowen (Founder), Dylan Russell (Club Manager).
Thanks to Libby Blakeman (@theogblakemanphotos) for all photos.


By |


 Scotland’s Grand Slam winning squads of 1984 and 1990 team up to raise money for Hearts + Balls 

Scotland’s Grand Slam winning teams of 1984 and 1990 will come together for the very first time at a unique dinner to raise money for rugby players who have suffered life changing injuries.

The Grand Slam Celebration dinner, which will take place on Friday 8 May at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre, will raise awareness and funds for Hearts + Balls. The event will mark the 30th Anniversary of the 1990 Grand Slam win.

Jim Calder, who scored the winning try in Scotland’s 21-12 victory over France at Murrayfield in 1984, which gave Scotland its first Grand Slam since 1925, was joined by his brother Finlay, the flanker who helped Scotland to glory in 1990, at the Dinner’s launch at BT Murrayfield today.

Jim, who never played in the same Scotland Test side as his twin brother, said: “It might have been 36 years ago, but sometimes it feels like yesterday. It was just tremendous to have been involved in such an iconic moment in Scottish Rugby. My only small regret is that I wasn’t able to play here with Fin in 1990!

“Both teams are looking forward to getting together to compare stories and have a bit of friendly debate about which team would have won had we ever played each other. Rugby provided some of the best moments of our lives, so it’s important we all come together to raise funds to support rugby players and their families during times of need.”

Full squads from both 1984 and 1990 will be in attendance at the event which will be hosted by Dougie Donnelly, who was an integral part of the TV coverage in both 1984 and 1990, and features music from 1984 Grand Slam winner John Beattie and his band.

Since Hearts + Balls was founded in 1999, it has provided more than £650,000 to rugby players who have suffered serious injuries. The support has ranged from property conversions to counselling.

The charity’s chairman Kenny Hamilton said: “This event and the generosity of Scotland’s rugby community will help  Hearts + Balls continue to make a real and lasting difference to those who need it most, and to help support initiatives to make the game we all love as safe as possible.”

Hearts + Balls is currently collaborating with Scottish Rugby on a major injury prevention strategy and is working to support the growth of wheelchair rugby.

Tickets are available from Hearts & Balls


By |

Hearts+Balls teams up with Mighty Bovs and former Scotland captain Colin Gregor

A pair of successful Scottish sevens rugby sides have joined forces to become a major player on the circuit.

Hearts+Balls and the Mighty Bovs are set to combine their support, player pool and resources   under one unified banner, Hearts+Balls MB.

The newly-established side will benefit from the coaching, guidance and experience of one of Scotland’s greatest ever players of the adapted format of the game, former captain Colin Gregor.

The country’s record points scorer, who represented Scotland at three World Cups and two Commonwealth Games, has joined the charity as an ambassador.

The charity established a sevens side in 2016 to raise awareness of its mission – helping members of the rugby community who need it most – to players and clubs across Scotland.

Under the watchful eye of former Melrose stalwart Bruce Ruthven, players from across the country have pulled on the pink jersey to help the fledgling side to impressive early showings, including victories at Orkney and Mull. The merger will allow Hearts+Balls access to a wider pool of players and to participate in at least ten tournaments every season.

Businesses across the country have shown their support for Hearts+Balls MB, with Argyle Consulting, CreamFloats, HIT, LIFT Gyms and Bierhoose, all sponsoring the side to boost its ability to spread the charity’s message far and wide.

Ewan McCorkindale, Director of Argyle Consulting said, “We have been involved with the Hearts+Balls seven since its inception. It is a fantastic initiative and we are very pleased to be the team’s main sponsor.”

Hearts+Balls chairman Kenny Hamilton has ambitious plans for the newly-formed side. He said: “The early trial of our sevens team has demonstrated a huge amount of potential. There’s a real appetite for the exciting brand of rugby they play and the message they promote on and off the pitch.

“Now, by teaming up with the Mighty Bovs, we can spread this message even further, entertain more people, raise more funds and ultimately, do more to help members of the rugby community who need our help. We want every single rugby player and supporter in this country to be aware of and engaged with our charity. I see no reason not to set our sights on, one day, performing in what I believe is the most iconic tournament in world rugby, Melrose Sevens.”

Euan Bowen, captain of the Mighty Bovs, said: “We all love playing rugby. Now we get to play rugby while helping people who need our support. What could be better than that?

“We’re a talented side and some very impressive players have turned out for both Hearts+Balls and The Mighty Bovs. Together, we’ll be a force to be reckoned with. We want to have fun and play great rugby. We’re very fortunate to be able to do that, and that’s why we want to help spread the message far and wide that every single person involved with rugby in Scotland has the power to make a real impact on the lives of players and past players who are struggling.”

To find out more about Hearts+Balls, visit


By |

Hearts+Balls, a charity which provides support for injured rugby players, will host a celebration at Balgray Playing Fields on 29 June to thank players, clubs, businesses and supporters for raising more than £50,000 already this year.

But the charity refuses to rest on its laurels. After an incredible six months of fundraising, Hearts + Balls has challenged the rugby community to surpass £100,000 of fundraising for the year.

Stuart Hogg kickstarted the campaign – literally – by gifting his time at his hometown club Hawick. The Scotland full-back donated an afternoon of kicking lessons at his old stomping ground, which provided a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for young rugby players to get pointers from one of the best in the business, in return for a donation.

Hogg himself had an ignominious end to his Glasgow Warriors career when a controversial tackle from Rob Kearney crocked him in last month’s PRO14 final. This is just one reason the new Exeter Chiefs star appreciates the need for financial help for those who have left the game but still bear the scars of participation.

Hogg is not the only one willing to throw his weight behind the campaign. In recent months clubs, businesses, players and fans have come together to raise more than £50k, all of which will be funnelled into helping Hearts+Balls fulfil its mission – to help members of the rugby community who need it most.

Former Scotland international and BBC broadcaster John Beattie, whose rugby career was cut short because of a knee injury, will provide the entertainment for the night as he turns up with his band.

Hearts + Balls ambassador Jim Taylor, who was paralysed after he suffered a broken neck when a scrummage collapsed in a game in 1978 against Old Aloysians, said: “The support the charity gives to injured players is absolutely lifechanging, I can speak from experience. On behalf of the charity, I would like to say a huge thanks to every single person who has donated, rowed, ran or done anything whatsoever to support. Their efforts will inspire us to surpass six figures this year – knowing our supporters, I wouldn’t bet against us!

“Last year’s event, which marked 40 years since my injury, was a tremendous success and I can’t wait to catch-up with everyone as we welcome back supporters to Balgray for the second time.”

Some astonishing fundraising tales have emerged from the first half of the year. Gordon Hollerin (62), a GHK committee member, raised more than £7,000 by running the London Marathon for the charity and donations from the Glasgow Warriors annual dinner raised more than £15,000.

Elsewhere, GHK rugby club, surpassed £20,000 of funds raised for the charity in recent years with a further £4,000 raised during its annual dinner, the Sportsman’s charity raised £13k from its dinner and a successful event at the Jam House in Edinburgh, hosted by former Scotland captain and current Hearts + Balls board member Al Kellock, raised nearly £5,000 for the charity.

The Mighty Bovs, an invitational sevens side further boosted the fundraising total with a 24 hour spin cycle which raised more than £4k, while Hearts+Balls’ own invitational sevens side celebrated incredible success both on and off the pitch by winning the Mull sevens in May and raising £7,000 themselves.

More donations came in from Helensburgh and Hyndland rugby club, while the business also contributed with Argyle Consulting donating £5,000.

Tickets for the Hearts+Balls festival at Kelvinside Academy’s Balgray Playing Fields are available through Eventbrite and are priced at £25 per head but are just £20 for the under-25s. All tickets include food and entertainment with all profit going towards the initiative to support former players who suffer the debilitating ill-effects of lasting injury.

The event has received support from architectural and design company HOKO, marketing agency BIG Partnership and Harper Macleod, an award winning & leading independent Scottish commercial & personal law firm with offices throughout Scotland.