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On This Day / Players & Officials / Bill McLaren
Bill McLaren
Scotland
player portrait
Full name William Pollock McLaren
Born October 16, 1923, Hawick
Died January 19, 2010, Hawick (aged 86 years 95 days)
Relations Son-in-law - AJM Lawson, Grandson - RGM Lawson, Grandson - JG Thompson
Profile

Bill McLaren's status as 'the voice of rugby' was formed by a celebrated career calling the biggest rugby games for the BBC. An iconic figure, he remains the only non-player to be inducted into the International Rugby Hall of Fame. He was awarded an OBE, CBE and MBE for his services to the sport and retired in 2002.

Born in Hawick, Scotland, in 1923, he was a talented flanker in his youth and progressed to the verge of a full cap for his country in 1947 before a bout of tuberculosis ended his playing days and very nearly his life. By agreeing to test a new drug, Streptomycin, his life was saved.

His journalistic career began with the Hawick Express before he jumped into commentary, making his radio debut for the BBC in 1953 as Scotland lost 12-0 to Wales. His television debut came in 1959 and his final game in 2002, as Scotland beat Wales 27-22 in Cardiff.

Alongside his commentary career, McLaren taught physical education after studying in Aberdeen, overseeing the early development of several future Scotland caps. His son in law, Alan Lawson, was a Scotland international scrum-half, as is his grandson, Rory Lawson, who currently plays for Gloucester.

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Latest Photos
Mar 11, 2010
Former Scotland captain Gavin Hastings speaks at a tribute to Bill McLaren
Former Scotland captain Gavin Hastings speaks at a tribute to Bill McLaren
©  PA Photos
Jan 25, 2010
The cortege for veteran rugby commentator Bill McLaren passes through Hawick
The cortege for veteran rugby commentator Bill McLaren passes through Hawick
©  PA Photos
Apr 5, 2002
Commentator Bill McLaren
Commentator Bill McLaren
©  Getty Images
Feb 2, 2002
The great Bill McLaren
The great Bill McLaren
©  PA Photos
Bill McLaren rugby photos (5) »
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