THEY might not have had matches to look forward to but that hasn’t stopped Dunfermline Rugby Club scrummaging down in aid of charity.

Players from the McKane Park club came together in the run-up to Christmas to collect children’s toys and gifts for Home-Start Dunfermline, as well as donations for Dunfermline Foodbank.

Having been inspired by Manchester United and England footballer Marcus Rashford’s campaign for free school meals during the holidays south of the border, senior club members Neil Harris and Stuart Dern co-ordinated their own charity initiative.

As well as collecting three-quarters of a tonne of items for the foodbank, and bags of gifts for kids up to the age of five, one member of the club also managed to help source a grant of £5,000 for Home-Start.

The efforts of kind-hearted club members delighted Neil, who said: “I have to say I’m really surprised at the generosity of everyone at the club; they’ve bought into the spirit of it really well.

“It was fortunate that the clubhouse was actually closed so we could store stuff up there because otherwise we wouldn’t have had a facility to leave stuff!

“I know that the charity were delighted to receive what they got. It’s nice that the rugby club can do that and put something back into the community, especially at a time like this, when there’s nothing happening at the rugby club at all.

“It brought the club together a wee bit I think.”

Cameron Dunn, captain of the first XV, commented: “I’m totally proud. It’s a whole club thing – it’s not just one team, it was a whole club effort to get the food donations in and to get those Home Start gifts in. I’m really grateful to be part of a club that’s willing to do that for their own community.”

In a message to the rugby club, Emma McDowell, from Home-Start, said: “We have been giving out the presents at our parties and dropping them off at home to the most vulnerable parents as well.

“They really do appreciate the generosity of everyone involved at the club, and we will certainly have some presents spare for next year as well, which is so helpful.”

Sandra Beveridge, director of Dunfermline Foodbank, added: “We’ve had so many schoolchildren and clubs come along with donations, and we’re just amazed and very, very thankful.”