Edinburgh’s Crusaders rugby club charity appeal after kit destroyed in Stockbridge fire

An Edinburgh-based rugby club which raises money and awareness to fight male cancer is appealing for sponsorship after their kits were destroyed in a Stockbridge laundrette blaze.

Friday, 7th June 2019, 7:52 pm

Charitable organisation Crusaders RFC are due to play in the Vets tournament at the Edinburgh City 7s on Saturday, June 8th.

But on Friday morning, one of the team went to the Raeburn Place premises to pick up the kits - and learned that everything had been destroyed in the Monday night fire.

Mark Dainter, who co-founded the Crusaders with Duncan Wilson in 2008, said there were least two kits - 50 individual sets of Canterbury tops, shorts and socks - which have been destroyed in the fire. The tops alone cost about £45.

The laundrette went up in flames on Monday, June 3rd.

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The 50-year-old, who survived a chest tumour diagnosed in 2000, said: “It’s devastating what has happened. We really desperately could do with someone to step in and support us because it’s crushed everything we do.

“We are a charitable organisation. Any funds we raise go directly to charity and fund projects, and any money we need we are now diverting some of it to order new kits.

“If the laundrette can not cover it through insurance, we can get a sponsor in to cover the costs.”

Money raised by the Crusaders pays for prostate cancer checking events, as well as funding the training of dogs which can sniff out cancer. Funds are also donated to a number of smaller cancer charities.

Mark Dainter (middle) started Crusaders Rugby along with Duncan Wilson in 2008. He is pictured her with ex Scotland internationals Simon Taylor (left) and Ben Di Rollo.

Initially, the Crusaders were set up for players who had suffered cancer at some point in their lives, or knew a family member who had.

But it’s now open to players who know anyone close to them - be it family or friends - who has suffered the illness.

There are several Crusaders teams now playing around the world, from England and Ireland to the USA and Bahrain.

On Saturday, the Crusaders Scotland team are playing in the 10-a-side Vets tournament at the Edinburgh City 7s at Inverleith Park to raise awareness about prostate cancer - and they’ll have to wear an old kit.

Several big names will be featuring in the Crusaders 15-man squad including ex Scotland player Gavin Kerr, former Samoan international Opeta Palepoi and ex New Zealand 7’s player Carl McWilliam.

The Crusaders play rugby at all levels and ages and do lots of work with schools to educate boys about the importance of checking for testicular cancer.

The goal is to raise awareness of the tell-tale s­ymptoms of cancer amongst men and boys, and they have done so at 7s tournaments from Melrose to Dubai.

Anyone who would like to get in touch with Mark to help out should contact him by e-mail on mark@crusadersrugby.org

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