THE biggest tournament so far in memory of a Dunfermline Water Polo Club stalwart is set to take place this weekend.

A total of 12 teams are ready to take to the pool at Carnegie Leisure Centre for the latest edition of the BMC Cup, commemorating the life of Brian Campbell, who passed away in December 2019.

Brian, who died aged just 61 after a brave battle with cancer, was a former Scotland international who held numerous roles with Dunfermline, including as a coach, helping them to a British Cup win at under-16 level.

In addition to club commitments, he also played a significant role in the development of rising stars of the game, and was involved with Scotland and Caledonia boys' teams, the latter of which was a composite side featuring players from Dunfermline and other Scottish clubs to compete in British Water Polo League competitions.

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Following Brian's passing, his sons Alasdair, Darren and Chris, water polo players in their own right, created an annual competition in his memory, the first of which took place in 2021.

Dunfermline Press: The tournament has been created in memory of Brian Campbell.The tournament has been created in memory of Brian Campbell. (Image: The Campbell family.)

Following last year's edition, a first all-female BMC Cup was held in September, which saw around 140 youngsters take part.

That was hailed by organisers as the largest competition yet, but that is set to be surpassed this weekend, with seven under-18 teams, and five under-15s, amongst those set to be involved.

"This is going to be the biggest one we've ever done, even bigger than the girls' tournament," Alasdair explained.

"We've got seven under-18 teams coming up. We've got three English teams, and one of them is a team called Worthing from the bottom of London, and they won the British age groups this year, so they're one of the best teams in the UK. It's pretty good.

"Then, at the same time, we're doing an under-15s tournament with just five Scottish teams, so that will be really good. Usually it's just Saturday and Sunday, but this year we've got Friday night as well, all day Saturday, all day Sunday, so it's expanded!

"It's amazing. It doesn't happen in Scotland. This will be the only thing in Scotland that's a full weekend event. I can't even remember one that's happened apart from the BMC Cup.

"It's one of the biggest tournaments in Scotland now I think."

Dunfermline Press: Players are travelling from across the country for the tournament.Players are travelling from across the country for the tournament. (Image: Dunfermline Water Polo Club.)

Alasdair said that the Campbell family are "touched" by the support they have received in respect of the tournament and remembering Brian, who he joked would tell them to "stop making a big fuss about him".

He continued: "It's amazing. We knew that dad did a lot and was really highly thought of, but I think this just shows you how highly thought of he was.

"A lot of the English teams are coming because they knew him and had connections with him as well. It's really nice.

"I'm not surprised there's a demand for it, because these tournaments don't happen, but the support has been incredible, and more than I could've anticipated I think.

"The prizes that people are willing to donate, and the distance people are coming to be part of it, is really touching, to see that people want to support it.

"Hopefully it continues because this is only the third year that we've ran it, so we want to keep it going for a lot more.

"I think he (Brian) would just be really happy that so many kids are getting to play and experience tournament water polo.

"Our little slogan is opportunities in and out the water. We're giving people opportunities in and out of the water, and that's what dad was all about. I think he'll be pleased that that's continuing."

Dunfermline Press: The action begins on Friday evening.The action begins on Friday evening. (Image: Dunfermline Water Polo Club.)

The 12 participating teams at the competition include, at under-18 level, Warrender, Portobello, Stirling, Menzieshill, Radcliffe, Northampton and Worthing, and Dunfermline, Warrender, Stirling, Menzieshill and West Edinburgh Stingrays at under-15.

Additionally, on Sunday, there will be a 'minis' game, for beginners in the sport, and a 'Brian's boys' exhibition match, featuring players that were involved in Brian's Scottish junior squads down the years.

Matches will also be live streamed by organisers, who wished to express their thanks to all those supporting the event, whilst a raffle and a silent auction, to win a Bentley Edinburgh experience, will take place.

Merchandise will also be available, and can be viewed and purchased online.

The first match on Friday evening, between Dunfermline and Stirling, takes place at 7.20pm, with the action concluding at 3.45pm on Sunday.

For more information, visit The BMC Water Polo Cup on Facebook.