THEY might show no mercy on the pitch but St Neots rugby players are proving when it comes to seven-year-old Molly Moore they are just a bunch of softies.

St Neots Rugby Club have organised a three-day extravaganza of beer, music, barbecue and the beautiful oval games next week in order to raise money for Molly.

The youngster suffered a stroke in August and had to undergo six months of specialist treatment before she could return home to Offord Cluny.

Though she went back to Offord Primary School before Christmas, Molly still needs a wheelchair to get around and is working with a therapist to improve her speech.

Her parents Katie and Jason need thousands to re-fit their home, and pay for her ongoing treatment. The family's plight touched the hearts of the rugby club's committee, who hope to raise as much money as possible for the youngster with a festival of rugby.

It is a departure for the club, which traditionally has held an annual one-day match for an established charity. Last year they raised £3,500 for services charity Help For Heroes.

Organiser Jim Norton said: "We wanted to do something local this year and we thought we could make a real difference to Molly.

"We have decided to combine the charity event with the mini rugby festival, as it is in its 36th year, to make it into one big weekend."

The weekend will kick off on Friday, April 15 with a beer festival, as well as live music and a fairground.

The festivities will continue on Saturday with a session of touch rugby by the newly-formed St Neots ladies team from 11am, followed at 1pm with the lads taking on Hertfordshire Police for a charity show-down.

At 3pm the St Neots 1st team will take on arch rivals Stoneygate in the final league game of the season.

In the evening, the beer festival will continue with music from two live bands, and to prove that they can take the rough with the smooth, the players will be getting their legs and chests waxed to raise further funds for Molly.

The day will end on Sunday with the mini rugby festival which is expected to attract 800 youngsters from across the region.

A signed England T-shirt from the Six Nations team, thought to be worth £600 is the star lot in a charity auction which also features a meal for two in London.

Mum Katie said she was overwhelmed with the club's support. The family have already converted their garage into a bedroom and wet room for Molly, but need thousands more to make the space comfortable for her.

Hopes are also to buy a bird's nest swing for Molly and younger sister Daisy to enjoy together with friends in time for Molly's birthday in May.

Katie said: "Last summer it made me quite sad. Whenever we were out in the garden, Molly had to sit in her chair, while everyone else was running around and having fun.

"We found a bird's nest swing, which you can get quite a few kids and you can swing it up quite high. The cheapest one we can find is £1800. But that's my dream. It would be amazing."