Rugby brings immense pleasure and a sense of community to millions of people. But, occasionally, it brings tragedy instead – like many other sports. Though it happens very rarely, injuries can be serious and life-changing. Hearts and Balls aims to ensure that, in times of need, those connected with rugby are supported by the wider rugby community.

Since 1999 we’ve supported over 30 players and their families. This support has taken many forms – financial and non-financial, short-term and long-term. Click here to see what we do.

If you yourself have suffered a serious injury on the rugby field, or are suffering as a result of an injury to a loved one, we may be able to support you too. Go to Can We Help You? to find out more.

On the other hand, you may be able to support us. If you’d like to donate money, or join a fundraising event, go to Help Us. The News and Events section also has details of fundraising activities, both past and future. 

“Hearts and Balls is totally committed to helping our seriously-injured rugby friends enjoy the quality of life that their tragic injuries have dictated they must now lead. Rugby is a game that many of us have taken a huge amount from, and it is only right that we now combine to put something back in. I encourage you all to support Hearts and Balls’ excellent work.”

Gavin Hastings (Watsonians, Scotland, Barbarians, and British Lions)



Hearts and Balls has donated in the region of £200,000 to rugby players and their families since 1999. Through advice and advocacy, we also help them to raise money from other sources. Our recent funding includes:

  • new wheelchairs for players with spinal injuries
  • specialist mattresses for players with spinal injuries
  • adapting the home and garden of a spinally-injured player
  • car insurance for a specialist vehicle for a spinally-injured player
  • an additional carer to accompany a spinally-injured player on holiday
  • mortgage interest payments for the wife and young children of a player who died from a heart problem when playing rugby
  • specialist IT equipment for a spinally-injured player returning to study
  • legal costs of setting up a trust for an injured player.

We also work with national and international bodies and charities to help provide specialist vehicles and other equipment.

Our next goal is to develop plans and actions to help players with spinal or other catastrophic injuries to pursue education and development goals and to achieve gainful and fulfilling employment. We will do this in conjunction with other partners.

“Hearts and Balls is a constant for those who have suffered, physically and emotionally, through serious injury from participating in rugby. It provides not only financial assistance, but, more importantly, a medium through which despair and hope can be redistributed, to the benefit of those most affected. Above all, Hearts and Balls helps those whose lives have been turned upside down, to take the next step forward. Its work reminds you, in short, that you are not alone.”

Dugald McArthur (Broughton)

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