United Kingdom

Bill McLaren

Bill McLaren

(1923 – 2010)

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United Kingdom

Bill McLaren

Bill McLaren
(1923 – 2010)

In memory of

Bill McLaren

(1923 – 2010)
About Bill
This is a memorial dedicated to Bill McLaren. William Pollock McLaren CBE was a Scottish rugby union commentator. Until his retirement in 2002, he was known as 'the voice of rugby'. Renowned throughout the sport, his enthusiasm and a memorable turn of phrase endeared him to many.
Bill was born in Hawick, in the Scottish Borders, in 1923 and grew up to be a useful flank forward. He made the Hawick first XV before serving with the Royal Artillery in Italy during the Second World War. He played in a Scotland trial in 1947 and was on the verge of a full international cap before contracting tuberculosis, which nearly killed him and forced him to give up playing. He spent 19 months in a sanatorium before being given
Continued...
About Bill
an experimental drug, Streptomycin, which saved his life.
Bill studied Physical Education in Aberdeen, and went on to teach PE in different schools in Hawick right through to 1987. He coached several Hawick youngsters who went on to play for Scotland, including Jim Renwick, Colin Deans and Tony Stanger.
Bill McLaren's journalistic career started as a junior reporter with the Hawick Express. In 1953, he made his national debut for BBC Radio, covering Scotland's 12–0 loss to Wales. He switched to television commentary six years later. McLaren was one of many post-war commentators who progressed from commentating on BBC Radio to BBC Television during the infancy of televsion broadcasting in the UK.
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About Bill
These included Murray Walker (motor racing), Peter O'Sullevan (horse racing), Harry Carpenter (boxing and rowing), Dan Maskell (tennis), David Coleman (athletics), Peter Allis (golf) and John Arlott (cricket).
Recognition of his services came in November 2001, when he became the first non-international to be inducted into the International Rugby Hall of Fame. He was awarded an MBE in 1992, an OBE in 1995 and a CBE in the 2003 honours list. A Facebook group, backed by over 6,000 members, was campaigning to gain a knighthood for McLaren.
McLaren also featured as a commentator on the video games Jonah Lomu Rugby and EA Rugby 2001.
During his final commentary, Wales v Scotland in 2002, the crowd sang
Continued...
About Bill
"For He's a Jolly Good Fellow" and one Welsh supporter displayed a banner claiming "Bill McLaren is Welsh".
He was married to Bette. His son-in-law is former Scotland rugby scum half Alan Lawson. They had five grandchildren, including Scotland scrum-half and Gloucester player Rory Lawson and Edinburgh's Jim Thompson.
Bill passed away on the 19th January 2010 at the age of 86 in his home town of Hawick. This is a tribute to Bill, his life and his many achievements. May he rest in peace.
Remembrance Messages
On 21st Jan 2010
Susan Turner
wrote:
Fond memories of a great PE teacher at Burnfoot School. Full of encouragement and always fare. A voice heard the world round..irreplaceable. Thoughts fly homeward to all his family.
Rest In peace Mr McLaren.x
Remembrance Messages
On 19th Jan 2010
Anonymous
wrote:
You were an amazing commentator and a real gentleman. You entertained thousands and you will be sadly missed. Rest in peace.
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Bill McLaren - tribute extract

Bill McLaren

This is a memorial dedicated to Bill McLaren. William Pollock McLaren CBE was a Scottish rugby union commentator. Until his retirement in 2002, he was known as 'the voice of rugby'. Renowned throughout the sport, his enthusiasm and a memorable turn of phrase endeared him to many.
Bill was born in Hawick, in the Scottish Borders, in 1923 and grew up to be a useful flank forward. He made the Hawick first XV before serving with the Royal Artillery in Italy during the Second World War. He played in a Scotland trial in 1947 and was on the verge of a full international cap before contracting tuberculosis, which nearly killed him and forced him to give up playing. He spent 19 months in a sanatorium before being given...

Bill McLaren is remembered by...
Susan Turner
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Rest in peace Bill
I first met Bill at ****
My sincere condolences to all friends and family of Bill
My fondest memory of Bill was ****
Bill used to really enjoy ****
What I will miss the most about Bill is ****
Bill inspired me to ****
Bill changed my life by ****
If I had to sum up what Bill meant to me it would be ****
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