GENEROUS rugby players are offering up breakfast before donating blood to support one of their team-mates.

Haddington RFC are doing their bit for long-serving player Alan Bell, who is currently undergoing stem cell treatment for acute myeloid leukaemia.

The 36-year-old, who plays in the front row for the Reds, has been a part of the club for more than 10 years.

Now, the rugby club is hosting Belly’s Big Breakfast in the Neilson Park clubhouse before giving blood in Edinburgh on Saturday afternoon.

Keith Wallace, president of Haddington RFC, was delighted to see the club helping out Mr Bell, who runs Tranent’s youth and community service charity Recharge.

He said: “Alan had said any support we could give in terms of raising awareness for blood cancer and stem cell transplants would be great. That is what he is wanting people to do while he is undergoing treatment.

“We were going to do a walk to go and give blood but we were told it was too strenuous.

“Given Alan likes his food, we will just have a breakfast and alert people to what they can do to support him.”

The breakfast runs from 9am to noon, with proceeds, including donations, going to DKMS, which aims to defeat blood cancer, and Bloodwise, which supports research into all types of blood cancer.

After tucking into the hearty meal, members of the rugby club will then make the trip into Edinburgh and the city’s blood donor centre on Lauriston Place.

Up to 25 people will donate “a pint of Haddington’s finest” to the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service.

Alan, who is recovering at home in Dunbar after stem cell treatment, is unable to attend the event because of his low immune system but wished his clubmates all the best.

Currently, he needs to visit hospital twice a week for regular check-ups.

He said: “I hope it all goes well and it is really great that they are doing this.

“It is brilliant the rugby club are doing the blood drive in the afternoon as well, which is great.

“The great thing is it is really raising awareness of stem cell donations and giving blood – two things I was a bit naïve of.

“I donated blood before but did not realise all the different conditions that require blood transfusions.

“Similarly, I was aware of DKMS but not fully, if that makes sense.”

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