Willem Alberts dancing alone in the gym


Alesana Tuilagi trademark crunching hit


Rugby's first ever OWN TRY in NRC


Prop Adam Jones' drop goal attempt


Benito Masilevu's huge side-steps


Barbarians run riot vs Leicester Tigers


Lee Jones makes huge trysaving tackle


Metuisela Talebula brilliant finish


Juan De Jongh vs Terry Crews dance off

Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday Funnies - Bill Mclaren - The Voice of Rugby

Friday Funnies - Bill Mclaren - The Voice of Rugby

Legendary commentator Bill Mclaren will forever be known and remembered as the voice of rugby. After 50 years of commentating, the man from Hawick in Scotland sadly retired in 2002 .

A passionate man, his love of sport led him into the world of rugby commentating. From a young age he was an ardent Scottish supporter, envisioning famous victories of the future.

"I've still got the fictional reports I used to write when I was a wee boy of seven or eight. Scotland always won. They beat the world once by 70-3."

He played to a respectable level and made it to Scotland trials in 1947, but fell ill with tuberculosis which nearly killed him, forcing him to give up his beloved game.

McLaren maintains, "I would trade in everything I've achieved in rugby for a Scotland jersey and a chance to represent my country."

Mclaren got through the illness and soldiered on to become a symbol of this great sport, with one of the most distinctive and recognisable voices in the game.

His biggest asset in contributing to rugby was in the way he personalized it and added his own touch of colour. Not every commentator, in rugby or otherwise, can claim they made the event more memorable, but McLaren certainly did.

Weve thrown together a collection of some of the colourful moments from Mclarens career that we hope youll enjoy. Its a small tribute to a great man who had a way with words like no other.


Time: 01:12

Posted at 5:05 pm | 33 comments

Viewing 33 comments

roddymac January 30, 2009 6:52 pm

Thank you RD for this the man is a true legend of the game and we'll all be dancin in the streets of Scotland when we win the 6 nations!

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Anonymous January 30, 2009 7:02 pm

I think the word "Legend" is over used today. But in McLaren's case it doesn't go far enough. His voice is so synonymous with this great game. I still miss listening to him commentating.Bill McLaren a true legend.

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sergeant stu January 30, 2009 7:58 pm

Bill McLaren is now, and always will be the voice of rugby in my opinion. Nobody can commentate as well nor use such abstract analogies and still make them seem right. He has inspired my love of the game as much as any player. Cheers RD and Bill!

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Milo_Cav January 30, 2009 8:18 pm

THis man single handedly makes rugby 2001 better than any other rugby game available. Total genius

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The 80s Guy January 30, 2009 8:31 pm

My favourite Billism: "Theyre tackling like dervishes all over the place." Scotland vs. England, 2000.

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Hawickboy1990 January 30, 2009 8:46 pm

About Mickey Skinner:"Sometimes he looks a bit like a moving thatched cottage"Awesome!

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elliot January 30, 2009 9:36 pm

You don't realize how important commentators are in a game until you suffer though the bad ones. I wish that here in the States, for those rare instances where they broadcast Eagles games on ESPN, they'd hire on a commentator from Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Australia, or even New Zealand.The ones we have here in America just don't seem to do the game justice.

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MisterDavid January 30, 2009 11:27 pm

My favourite McLaren memory was when, a few years back, Bill spotted some boys from his school on-screen pitchside at Murrayfield.'I hope they're behaving themselves properly,' he said, to the nation.

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boomshanka January 30, 2009 11:59 pm

'hes burrowing like a demented mole'

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opfazonk January 31, 2009 11:14 am

he likes buffalos, does he not? ;-)

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win January 31, 2009 4:20 pm

legendthe voice of rugby

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Anonymous January 31, 2009 5:49 pm

The voice of Mclaren is Pure Rugby.

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Jonathan January 31, 2009 6:03 pm

Simply one of the greatest sports commentators of all time, not because of his depth of knowledge necessarily...but his joy and love of the game, infectious enthusiasm and those great turns of phrase!! Thanks Bill! We wish you would come back!!

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minstrel boy February 01, 2009 12:41 am

"he`s like a mad octopus" :))a true legend!

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David February 01, 2009 2:32 pm

a brilliant commentator, he was always gracious and fair. The voice of Rugby just about sums him up, top man

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Anonymous February 01, 2009 2:40 pm

The best. never showed any bias towards any team even when it was scotland playing, puts the likes of miles harrison and stuart barnes to shame. Its a shame they're the best the sport has to offer, bring back bill!

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robert February 01, 2009 11:46 pm

From the other side of the world I've always had great affection for Bill McLaren, who even at such a distance became one of THE voices of rugby in my life. My thanks and respect.

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Anonymous February 02, 2009 12:56 am

"They're like a bunch of shermin tanks rolling up the field there!"

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Fridge February 02, 2009 10:43 am

I may buy him a water buffalo!

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Anonymous February 02, 2009 8:15 pm

Bill McLaren was a truely great commentator and no commentator in any other sport. A true hero and legend!

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Anonymous February 03, 2009 8:08 am

Oh my lord, hes hoofed that Garryowen so high therell be snow on itAndTheyll be raising many a pint to Finlay Calder in the wee boarder pub the Thistle and Sporan tonight

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Roger November 13, 2009 1:36 am

More Bill PLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEASE!

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Roger November 13, 2009 1:37 am

More Bill PLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEASE!

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Anonymous January 19, 2010 10:26 pm

what a man. have great memories growing up listening to him! what a true legend of the game!!!

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Bart January 20, 2010 4:53 pm

As Sergeant Stu stated: He has inspired my love for the game as much as any player, team or match. Thanks for the memories. Will be missed...

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gch January 20, 2010 5:04 pm

great man, great memories. just listening to his voice can send shivers down your spine and make your eyes wet. no matter how a player screws up, he would just say: 'he'd be dissapointed with that'. you can only deeply love this man and his legacy.

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Templeogue Unit January 21, 2010 1:00 am

a true genius! my earliest memory of watching a game of rugby was ginger mcloughlin plowing over for a try with mcclaren screaming willing him over, R.I.P

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james.warren2 January 22, 2010 11:22 am

You taught me to love the game of Rugby with your passionate, hilarious and unbiased commentary this is all down to you Bill, thankyou so much, R.I.P

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Abs7 January 22, 2010 7:14 pm

Aww where to start, Bill you have given myself so many nice memories that i will carry with me forever ..
i remember when me and my father was watching the wales v england game and scotty gibbs crashed over, your commentary had us talking for ages about what u said.. although we weren't together you still made the moment amazing..

I was actually watching this try during the stereophonics gig at morfa stadium.. everything about that day will stay with me forver..

Awesome...


Thank you Bill, RIP!! You will never been forgotten as long as i live..

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geordie January 22, 2010 10:27 pm

people use the word 'legend'a little to much these days but he really is a true legend.



'oohh i think that hit will put him in edingburgh royal infermery'


he made the jonah lomu on the playstation so enjoyable

great man

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Evan January 23, 2010 5:01 am

I remember going down to the rugby club on the weekends with my dad and watching the game. His voice brings back memories and gives me shivers. The man is a legend an had a voice made for the job. May he live on through the sport forever.

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Anonymous January 24, 2010 8:36 am

fantastic
r.i.p

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Anonymous January 24, 2010 1:29 pm

Here in the USA rugby does not generate alot of media attention, and it was almost non existant back in the pre-web days. I feel I was especially lucky then to somehow stumble onto Bill Mclaren's work all those years ago. Absolutely one of the finest sports commentators the world has ever produced.

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