SUPPING pints and tasting ales can help Dunfermline Rugby Club produce tomorrow’s Scottish stars. 

Cash from the town’s annual beer festival goes towards developing boys and girls who want to take up and play the sport. 

And it’s paid off for the likes of Murray McCallum, who has gone from the Dunfermline youths to wearing the dark blue of Scotland. 

His dad Scott is chair of Dunfermline Beer Festival this year and recalled: “He first picked up a ball in Primary 2 and took to it like a duck to water. 

“Murray absolutely loves the game and has aspirations to make a career for himself out of the sport and he’s doing very well, all from his start with Dunfermline Rugby minis section.”

He went on to play in the World Rugby Under-20 Championships and made his debut for Edinburgh Gunners, watched by a proud family. 

Murray is in the same Scotland under-20s squad as fellow prop Adam Nicol – the former Queen Anne High School pupil is another success story, having moved from McKane Park to play for BT Premiership side Stirling County. 

They are just two examples of how the funds raised each year from the annual charity beer festival are helping to sustain a large and successful youth section from Primary 1 to under-18 level. 

This year’s event is in the Glen Pavilion on October 7 and 8 with the proceeds split between the rugby club and Dunfermline Round Table, who hand out their half of the money to charities and good causes every March. Doors open at 5pm on the Friday and 7pm on the Saturday. 

Past president Colin Bright said: “Dunfermline Rugby relies on our homegrown talent coming through the ranks to continue the strong tradition of rugby in Dunfermline and West Fife. 

“A lot of work goes into supporting our children and the club has to fund and train sufficient coaches, first-aiders, referees, team managers and volunteers to very high standards.

"You can add in costs like PVG (Protecting Vulnerable Groups) certification, modern apprentices, transport, winter training facilities, matchday food, electricity, training equipment and specialised strength and fitness training, all the while running a clubhouse and maintaining our refurbished pitches with help from sportscotland and these vital funds raised at the beer festival.”

Others have moved from Dunfermline’s youth system and senior side to play at all the representative levels of Scottish rugby, including Fraser McKenzie at Edinburgh Rugby and Stevie McColl, who has signed for Yorkshire Carnegie. 

Numerous other ex-Dunfermline players are performing at Scottish Premier One teams and last year’s BT Premiership champions Heriots, who Murray McCallum now plays for, are coached by Phil Smith, former head coach at McKane Park. 

Gregor McNeish, who left in the summer of 2014 and has also gone on to represent Scotland, is now playing for Hong Kong Scottish Rugby after a successful spell playing in New Zealand. 

Dunfermline Rugby Club president Hazel Swankie said: “The continued support of the beer festival funds and of all our sponsors is much appreciated and we must also thank the helpers and volunteers who contribute so much of their time, including matchdays and staffing the festival on the Friday night. 

“Our club also needs volunteers to help with the day-to-day running of the club to help spread the workload and we’re always on the lookout for more help. 

“If you feel you could help in anyway at all, please get in touch with us.” 

And she gave a special mention to Ken’s Commandos, a hardy band of ex-players and retirees who have revamped the stand, pavilion changing rooms and grounds. 

She added: “We are so fortunate to have these guys putting in hours of work on a weekly basis to keep McKane Park a safe place and fit-for-purpose for the hundreds of young players to enjoy their rugby.”

The Dunfermline Beer Festival tickets cost £10 in advance (£12 on the night) and are available at Dunfermline RFC, Pink String & Sealing Wax on Bridge Street, The Pars Shop at East End Park and Grill 48 on East Port. Online tickets are available at or call 08444 771000.