THE Kingsholm Supporters Mutual (KSM) has been overwhelmed by the generosity of Gloucester supporters who have raised more £2000 to buy four sets of kit for Bucuresti Steaua's junior teams.
On the same week Gloucester face the Romanian side in the European Challenge Cup; the KSM has announced a staggering response to their appeal over the Christmas period.
Their initial target was to raise enough money to buy a set of kit for one of Bucuresti's junior teams but they have been flooded by donations and support and can now fund the purchase of all four of Bucuresti's junior teams.
Bob Rumble, chairman of the KSM and responsible for the collect, said: "We initially put out this cash appeal for £400 so that we could buy a set of shirts for one of Bucuresti Steaua's junior teams.
"The response from Gloucester supporters has been magnificent, to such an extent that we are now able to kit out all four of the teams with shirts, shorts, and socks.
"Considering this appeal was made over the Christmas period, we had more than £800 pledged in the first few hours. This stunning response surely shows what a special, community sport rugby still is.
"The children of Bucharest have very little and Gloucester supporters' generosity is going to make a big difference."
The first set of kit will be presented by a KSM official an hour before the kick-off of Saturday's game.
The KSM has already masterminded a kit collection in aid of SOS Romania Rugby at Kingsholm but their latest fund-raising effort is a staggering achievement.
Ken Nottage, Gloucester's managing director, who has pledged a donation from the club, said: "This is a remarkable thing to have achieved in such a short space of time and just goes to show what can be done when supporters pull together.
"The generosity that has been shown, coupled with the work of the KSM, has been rewarded by the amount of money that has been raised. It's fantastic."
Gloucester meet the Exeter Chiefs for the fourth time in competitive action this weekend, this time in the semi-final of the European Rugby Challenge Cup. Director of Rugby David Humphreys told the local media this week that this is the sort of game that Gloucester want to be involved in on a regular basis and that he and his team are looking forward to it.
Following the 29-26 loss to Harlequins, club captain Billy Twelvetrees spoke of his disappointment that the Cherry and Whites were unable to cash in on the home side's indiscipline and lose a lead on Saturday afternoon.
Number eight Gareth Evans admitted to a collective feeling of frustration as Gloucester lost narrowly at Harlequins on Saturday, but insisted that there are plenty of positives to draw upon ahead of next Saturday's European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final at home to Exeter.
Gloucester travel to the Stoop on Saturday afternoon to take on Harlequins in the Aviva Premiership. The Cherry and Whites make just two changes from last weekend's win over Connacht as they seek consistency and continuity in their play as Nick Walshe told the local media this week.
Speaking to GRTV after the final whistle, Tom Palmer praised the Cherry and Whites concentration and desire to hold on to a narrow 14-7 victory. The second row topped the tackle charts with 19 as he led the home team's resistance.
Supporters who are still to purchase tickets for Saturday's European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final at home to Exeter Chiefs at Kingsholm (kick off 7:45pm) are reminded that Early Bird prices are only valid until 6:30pm on Thursday evening.
The Gloucester Wheelchair Rugby team travelled to Fenton Manor Complex, Stoke on Trent last Saturday to take part in the final round of the GBWR Super Series of the season, knowing just one win would be enough to crown them Division 3 Champions.