Thursday, January 28, 2010
The late great Bill McLaren was laid to rest on Monday in his hometown of Hawick, Scotland. Hundreds of mourners lined the streets to pay respects to the rugby commentator who left such an indelible mark on the game.
McLaren, who passed away aged 86 last week, worked in rugby for over 50 years before retiring in 2002. Tributes have poured in for the great man whos unique, colourful, and impartial style of commentary was loved and appreciated by all.
Former Scotland stars Gavin Hastings, Colin Deans, Jim Renwick, and Gregor Townsend were all present at the funeral service which had over 650 family and friends present.
We have been amazed by the response from the media, such touching tributes from the great and the good of the rugby world and far further afield and, just as important, people we've met on Hawick High Street over the past week or so, said McLarens grandson, Gregor Lawson.
"So much has been said by people significantly more important and erudite than me about his unparalleled impartiality, his iconic voice, his professionalism, his gentlemanly nature and his ambassadorship for both rugby and Scotland.
"Whilst we have shed many tears through sadness, a great many have also been shed simply through bursting with pride," he added.
McLaren commentated like no other, with his love and passion for the sport shining through, to the point that you truly felt he was in his element being at the game.
That enthusiasm was infectious as millions of fans, young and old, grew fond of the manner by which he described the action in front of him. Players were honoured to take part in a match that he was involved in, despite possibly being referred to as a raging bull or even a wild octopus.
The best known voice in the game of rugby has passed, but the memories live on with countless hours of classic footage from days gone by. Generations past and present grew up with McLaren, and if all goes well, our children's children will one day hear the lyrical tones of Hawick's greatest son.