Universally loved, Bill McLaren was known as the ‘Voice of rugby’ throughout his distinguished broadcasting career.

Having seen his dream of playing for Scotland dashed by tuberculosis, McLaren, a PE teacher by profession, used his extensive knowledge of rugby to entertain and inform BBC viewers for the best part of half a century. 

His love of the game was infectious and his distinctive Borders brogue – and wonderful turn of phrase – helped bring the game to life for armchair fans up and down the country.

The former Hawick flank forward made his BBC debut in 1953, commentating on Scotland’s 12-0 loss to Wales and provided commentary on the same fixture in his last match, nearly 50 years later in 2002.

Never sensationalist or overly critical, McLaren was a true gentleman of the game who passed away in 2010 at the age of 86.

Best Highlights

2:26 | HOF 104 Bill McLaren