Edinburgh’s Crusaders rugby club charity to wear donated kit after old strips destroyed in Stockbridge laundrette fire

An Edinburgh-based rugby team which raises money and awareness to fight male cancer will finally get the chance to wear new strips donated to them after their old kit was destroyed by a fire in a Stockbridge laundrette two years ago.

Crusaders Rugby are set to play in the Edinburgh City 7s at Peffermill on Saturday and 50 new Canterbury tops, shorts and socks have been purchased with the £2,000 given to them by new sponsor Commsworld, the UK’s leading independent network provider.

The gesture was made by then chief executive Ricky Nicol, who himself has recovered following a battle with throat cancer - but the onset of Covid-19 led to the cancellation of the club’s rugby fixtures.

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Now, with the season set to resume this weekend at Peffermill, the players have finally got the chance to don the new kit with Commsworld’s logo emblazoned across the front.

Duncan Wilson and his son Campbell, who are modelling the new kit which they’ll play in for the first time this weekend. Picture on left also shows firefighters at the scene of the laundrette fire in Raeburn Place in June 2019.

Duncan Wilson, co-founder of Crusaders Rugby, and his rugby playing son Campbell, have been pictured modelling the new tops ahead of the tournament.

Duncan Wilson said: “I am delighted with the new kit, and can’t thank Commsworld enough. Crusaders prides itself in not only providing entertainment through rugby, but also helping raise cancer awareness. This new kit means we can continue to wear our colours with pride on the rugby field and take the fight to cancer off it.”

Mr Wilson co-founded Crusaders Rugby with Mark Dainter in 2011. Both men successfully battled cancer, Mr Wilson had a tumour in his brain and Mr Dainter had a tumour in his chest.

Their mission with Crusaders is, through rugby, to make more men aware of cancer, its symptoms and to encourage early diagnosis. They also work with schools to educate boys about the importance of checking for testicular cancer.

Campbell was just eight when his father was diagnosed. He himself played for Crusaders, as the club has rugby teams at all levels and ages. He has gone on to have a successful rugby career playing for Currie in Edinburgh – who his dad also played for – and Otorohanga in New Zealand, and now takes the field for Watsonians Super 6 team. He is also one of the Crusaders’ young ambassadors, and still turns out for the club to play in 7s events.

Mr Dainter, who formerly played for top English side Wasps, said: “It may be over two years ago that this fire happened, but we’re still so grateful to Commsworld for this kind gesture.

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“Thanks to them we were able to continue our work raising funds which pay for things like prostate cancer checking events. But then Covid-19 happened, and we were unable to play due to the lockdown. So Saturday will be a very sweet day for us, and a really great one for Commsworld too.”

Steve Langmead, chief executive of Commsworld, said: “Cancer is something that affects everyone. It’s also touched our Commsworld family, as the company’s founder Ricky Nicol has also battled throat cancer.

“So we were delighted to help Crusaders out with the sponsorship and proud to be playing a supportive role in the great work they do.”

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