They’re big boots to fill… but Alex is giving it a try

Former Scotland rugby captain Alastair Kellock and Alex Cuthbertson , to whom he donated his old training boots (Wattie Cheung)
Former Scotland rugby captain Alastair Kellock and Alex Cuthbertson , to whom he donated his old training boots (Wattie Cheung)

A SPORTS-mad lad has been given some huge boots to fill – those of a former World Cup captain.

Alex Cuthbertson has been unstoppable since he got a pair of boots worn by former Scotland rugby captain Alastair “Big Al” Kellock.

The rugby hero gave his old size 14 boots to Alex after the youngster’s dad Craig mentioned he’d struggled to find a pair big enough for his son.

Now Alex, 18, from Stepps, has been tearing up the pitch in games – buoyed by the fact he’s wearing his hero’s footwear.

Big Al said he was only too happy to see Alex make use of the boots he wore while training for the national team and Glasgow Warriors.

He said: “To see Alex with my boots on is brilliant. I can see how much he enjoys his rugby. I’m sure he fills them far better than I ever did.”

Alex wears the boots while playing Tri Rugby which brings together people with and without learning disabilities to enable them to participate in the sport.

Trust Rugby International (Tri) is a charity that runs full contact rugby clubs, where participants can train, play and compete on the same team.

Alastair Kellock of Scotland runs with the ball during the RBS Six Nations (Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Alastair Kellock of Scotland runs with the ball during the RBS Six Nations (Stu Forster/Getty Images)

There are three teams – in Edinburgh, Ayrshire and Glasgow – who come together to form a Scottish team, called The Clan, that plays mainstream rugby teams.

Alex, who has cerebral palsy and learning difficulties, has been playing since the start of the season and tells everyone he loves wearing Big Al’s boots.

Dad Craig, 50, and mum Bernie, 42, couldn’t be prouder. Craig said: “My other boys George and Finlay play rugby and this means Alex has his team too.

“He’s loving it. He played his first game last year and scored two tries.

“I had a lump in my throat seeing him play because when he was born we were told there was a chance he might never walk, talk or communicate.”

North Sea technician Craig played rugby at Allan Glen’s Rugby Club in Bishopbriggs for years and got to know Big Al during the time he played there too.

It was this link that led to the former captain bringing along his old boots for Alex.

During his career Big Al was capped 56 times for Scotland and captained the team at the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

He also skippered Glasgow Warriors for nine seasons.

Jamie Armstrong, founder and coach of Trust Rugby International, said the charity had been training indoors at Langside College in Glasgow but was looking for a base at a rugby club in Glasgow.

The Clan is always on the lookout for teams to play so Alex and the other players can test their skills.

Jamie said: “Alex has always loved rugby but it wasn’t until now that he got a chance to play.

“He has a great attitude to training and can skin you on the wing because he’s fast.”

For more information go to www.trustrugby.org

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