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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


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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.


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Jim Taylor MBE is one of the most well known and well loved members of Glasgow’s rugby community.

In 1978, Jim broke his neck when a rugby scrummage collapsed. At the time, he was playing against Old Aloysians for his former pupils rugby team, Kelvinside Academicals.

Last year, Jim threw a party to thank the rugby community for standing by him and showing its support for all these years.

It was such a success that he’s doing it again this year!

The Hearts+Balls Festival returns to Kelvinside Academy’s Balgray Playing Fields on June 29, 2019.

Music will be provided by rugby legend John Beattie’s band.

Tickets are £25 (20 for under 25s) and tickets include food and entertainment. All profits will help rugby “help its own”.

There will be no other collections on the night.

Get your tickets for our annual event here


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Hearts + Balls well returned to the Jam House in spectacular style for its first fundraising event of the year.

The Retrophones and The Prov. Johnstone Band put on a great show for all to enjoy, and a surprise appearance by the entire Scotland team was the cherry on top of a fantastic night.

In total, £3915 was raised for the charity. Thanks to everyone who came along and supported – keep your eyes peeled and ears open for our return next year!

Gordon and Jim Won’t Take Marathon Challenge Sitting Down

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Old friends clock up the miles ahead of charity showdown in April to raise funds for Hearts + Balls

Despite being paralysed from the chest down, Jim Taylor is taking on a marathon challenge to spur on his friend ahead of his own 26.2-mile charity odyssey.

While Gordon Hollerin is preparing to run the London marathon, 63-year-old Jim is getting set to match him mile for mile on an arm exerciser.

On April 28th, from his home in Bearsden as he watches Gordon race on TV, Jim will vigorously cycle his arms for 26 miles to try to beat Gordon’s time on the road.

Both competitors will take on their respective challenges for Hearts + Balls, a charity which supports rugby players and their families in times of need.

It’s been five years since Gordon’s last marathon – but the extra push from his friend is providing all the encouragement he needs during a gruelling 17-week training process, and on race day itself.

The 61-year-old from Newton Mearns, who is GHK rugby club’s secretary, said: “Jim’s the most inspiring person I know, so my main focus will be to make sure I don’t let him down. I certainly faced my own fair share of injuries during my more than 30 years of playing rugby, but I’m incredibly lucky to be in a position that I’m able to run a marathon, even if I’m unlikely to break any records!

“Hearts+Balls is a wonderful charity which supports those who aren’t so lucky. While very few suffer life changing injuries, it’s testament to the rugby community that when someone does, everyone pulls together. The London marathon is definitely one for my bucket list and it will make it all the more unforgettable an experience that I will raise money for a charity very close to my heart as I run.”

Gordon, an insolvency lawyer for Scottish law firm Harper Macleod, is currently training five times a week, with his mileage already up at 16 miles, while Jim, a Hearts + Balls ambassador, is also putting in the hard yards on the road roller which he received from the charity to help him be more active.

At age 23 Jim’s rugby playing career was tragically cut short after an injury he suffered while playing for Kelvinside Academicals left him paralysed.

The Glasgow Warriors partnerships manager said: “The charity has supported my family and I in so many ways over the years, and the recent donation of a road roller has been life changing. I’m really enjoying the training and building my fitness back up – it certainly helps to have a goal in mind. Think my training is way behind Gordon’s though!!

“My wife thinks I’m daft but I’ll never back down from a challenge! Although he’s my rival for now, I’m incredibly grateful to Gordon, and all those who make the effort to fundraise for a charity which has given me so much. Any donations will make a huge difference to members of the rugby community during their times of need.”

To donate to Jim and Gordon’s charity competition, visit


Rugby charity tastes Knickerbocker Glory after supporting injured player

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Members of an American rugby club have made a trip of more than 3,000 miles to Edinburgh deliver a cheque for more than £3,000 to a Scottish charity.

In 2010, Mike Jones broke his neck while playing at the Fort Lauderdale Ruggerfest in Florida. The injury left him paralysed from the neck down.

Hearts and Balls, a Scottish rugby charity which helps the rugby community help its own, immediately stepped in with a donation of £1000 to support Mike and his family during an incredibly difficult time.

As a result, members of the Albany Knickerbockers and their supporters decided they wanted to give back to the charity which helped Mike during his time of need.

Now, after exceeding an initial fundraising target of $2,500 by more than $1,000, a delegation from Mike’s support team, affectionately known as “Jonesy’s Front Row”, embarked on a mission to Murrayfield to hand-deliver the cheque to Hearts + Balls.

On the eve of Scotland’s Six Nations match against Ireland, the group took in Scotland’s team run at one of the most famous stadiums in world rugby, BT Murrayfield.

On behalf of Jonesy’s Front Row, Dave Farison said: “The contribution from Hearts + Balls was vital during a critical time for Mike and it enabled him to transition from Florida to New Jersey to be with his family.

“The generous donation, which was given with nothing but love and support, was all the more incredible as it was from a charity based on the other side of the world. It shows the incredible reach and generosity of the rugby community.

“It’s a true honour to make this trip. I only wish Mike could have joined us. “

The donation will help rugby players and their families in times of need. The charity provides support in the form of property conversions, equipment, travel costs, respite care, legal costs and counselling.

Hearts + Balls board member, and former Scotland captain, Al Kellock, was on hand to accept the cheque on behalf of the charity.

He said: “While our charity was set-up with a mission to help Scottish rugby players who need our support, sometimes, there are cases which simply can’t be ignored.

“The fact that Mike’s friends have pulled together to do their bit and give back so we can help even more people is yet another example of the incredible community involved in the game that we all love.

“I was honoured to welcome them to BT Murrayfield and thank them for their incredible contribution. All our thoughts are with Mike. Hopefully, one day, we’ll have the opportunity to show him that Scottish hospitality is second to none!”

Hearts & Balls at the Jam House

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We are back! Hearts & Balls returns to the Jam House for an evening of live music and entertainment led by former Scotland Captain, Al Kellock, who’s now a Hearts and Balls director.  Every penny from online ticket sales and 50% of the booking fee goes to the charity, so don’t miss out – get your tickets now!

Inaugural Hearts + Balls Festival Raises More than £4K for Charity

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The Hearts and Balls Festival, A Thank You from Jim Taylor to the Rugby Community,  sponsored by Kelvinside Academy, Harper Macleod LLP and BIG Partnership, took place this summer at the Balgray Playing Fields. Thanks to everyone who came along to relive memories with the great and the good of the rugby community and enjoy live music entertainment from British Lion John Beattie’s band. See pictures from the incredible nights below and keep your eyes peeled for details about next year’s event.

View images from the event here.

Jim Taylor featured in the Sunday Post

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Thanks to Alan Shaw who recently covered our ambassador Jim Taylor’s story in his “Health Matters” column in the Sunday Post. You can read the article below:

JIM TAYLOR regards himself as a fortunate man. That’s despite the rugby injury 40 years ago that paralysed him from the chest down. Not even being diagnosed with breast cancer just short of his 60th birthday could convince Jim he’s not one of the lucky ones. “I’m blessed in many ways. I’ve got a great wife, we’ve been married 25 years, and if it wasn’t for Sandra I wouldn’t be half the man I am,” says Jim, 63, from Bearsden. “I’ve been very lucky, and I was very lucky again when Sandra noticed a wee lump next to my nipple and said, ‘I think we’ll go and get it checked out’.

“We got a biopsy done, were called back and I must admit I felt for Sandra because my consultant, who was fantastic, came in and said, ‘Just to let you know, Jim, you’ve got cancer and you’ve got the Rottweiler type.’ “That was December and we got the surgery early January. He gave me a booklet and said, ‘You might want to read that’ but I just said, ‘I don’t really read a lot, just tell me what I’ve to do and I’ll do it’ and he bought into the fact that was my mentality. “Once I healed up I had three lots of chemotherapy and then 16-odd doses of radiotherapy.

That was the one that worried me more but apart from losing my hair I didn’t really have many side-effects. “It was hard going and you can’t say it’s fun but it was easier for me than for some and I couldn’t have been better looked after.”

Rugby has been a lifelong passion for Jim – he combines business with pleasure by working on the commercial side for Glasgow Warriors – even though he suffered a catastrophic spinal injury in a pre-season friendly for Kelvinside Accies against Old Aloysians four decades ago. “I played prop but I was filling in at hooker so my mate could go to a wedding, and I was up against the Glasgow hooker at the time,” recalls Jim.

“It was a muddy, wet day, the third scrum went down and that was kind of it. I probably dropped my shoulder a bit, whether that caused I who knows but in reality I wouldn’t have survived if it hadn’t been for Roddy MacLeod and Paul Rodgers who played for Old Aloysians and were both doctors. “I’m absolutely indebted to them for saving my life, by not letting anyone move me.

“You look back and it was a bit of a hoot, the gate was all rusted shut and they had to burst it open to get the ambulance out onto the pitch for me! “I was in intensive care for just over a week with a kind of Heath-Robinson contraption drilled into my head to keep it steady. “Then I was moved over to the spinal unit in East Kilbride and I was there for 11 months, the first six of which I was pinned to the bed.

“You have a good rapport with the physios, they kept you going but some folk need pushed harder than others. “I was lucky in that there was something inside me that said, ‘You just fight on and that’s it’ whereas a couple of others in there turned their faces to the wall and you could kind of see them giving up. “There was one guy who the physios said they couldn’t get into the gym, and I said, ‘Can you not just take the breaks off and shove him in?’! “I wasn’t aware I was going to be in a wheelchair for the rest of my life from the word go but eventually I was given the news, ‘You’re not going to walk again, Jim’. “You have an idea, though, because you think, ‘There aren’t many tall people in here’ and you hear the squeak of the wheelchairs! “I set a goal of walking out and I did get myself up onto the bars with the callipers but I didn’t have the balance because I’m paralysed from my nipple line down.

“It was nobody’s fault. It was an accident, like the guy in the spinal unit who tripped over his dog lead and that was him. “At the end of the day it is what it is and I’ve no regrets. Each day’s a bonus and you take them as they come. “Are you always going to have a smile on your face? No, because you’re just like everyone else. “I had a year in the hospital when I was working on writing and trying to shave, all the mundane things, learning to try and use a knife and fork.

“I went back to the bank which was just down the road from my house, so every young lad that joined, it was his job to get me up and down the road – much to their joy when it was raining and they’d have to wrap me up in bin bags! “I worked with them till I was 50 and then I got the chance to work at Glasgow Warriors where I run the business club. “And the great thing is wheelchair access is getting better all the time. I can go to more places now than I could 40 years ago – I’m not classed as a fire hazard in restaurants!”

Jim was awarded an MBE for his services to charity. He is an ambassador for Hearts And Balls, providing support to other players who suffer life-changing injuries playing the game they love.

Sevens specialists get on their bikes to raise funds for Hearts + Balls

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The Mighty Bovs will prepare for the upcoming sevens season with a massive cycling challenge, with all funds raised going to Hearts + Balls.

The highlight of the team’s successful season last year was a trip to compete in the Valencia sevens in June.

Fittingly, the team have decided to cycle the distance of the Valencia away trip -which is more than 2000km –at Nuffield Corn Exchange gym in Edinburgh on February 17th next year.

Club manager Dylan Russell said: “Individually as players we have all picked up some form of injury over the course of our playing careers, whether it be concussion, torn ligaments or broken bones.

However, there are players out there who do not return to the playing field and whose injury can be life changing. After partnering with Hearts + Balls last season, we decided that we wanted to give back this year and organise this fundraising event.

We implore you to donate whatever money you can to this cause to help us reach our target and more. You can find out more and donate here.

Charity Cycle Poster