Bill McLaren Foundation plan museum
June 16, 2011
The late Bill McLaren had one of the most loved voices in rugby © Getty Images
The Bill McLaren Foundation have announced plans to open a museum in the legendary commentator's home town of Hawick.
The 'Centre of World Rugby' will attempt to tell the story of the sport using McLaren's unique voice wherever possible as a tribute to the former teacher, journalist and commentator who died last year. It is hoped the project, set to cost in the region of £4m, will be up and running in the next three years with the funding set to come from a variety of sources.
"Bill McLaren's legacy is in the moving image and his unique ability to describe it," commented Alistair Moffat, director of the Foundation. "TV can be ephemeral and it ages fast but our plans are to make it timeless and use predominantly Bill's voice to tell the story of world rugby. It will be a thriving fast moving montage of pictures telling the history of this sport from the beginning.
"Bill's wonderful voice has been compared to Tweed, rich textured and absolutely of this place. We are grateful for the support we have had so far in particular, BBC Scotland who have granted free access to their archive of matches on which Bill commentated. Their contribution will supply the backbone of the museum's appeal. Working together, we can all bring to Scotland and the Borders an attraction that we can be proud of - and one Bill would have been proud of."
Moffat's comments were echoed by Linda Lawson, McLaren's daughter. "Our focus to date has been on developing the sport of Rugby Union and encouraging sporting opportunities for young people," Lawson said. "We're now delighted to be making progress with our third objective - Dad's educative centre. The Centre is a very exciting project, the progress on which has come far faster than we anticipated."
The Foundation, formed in March 2010 with the aim of supporting the development of rugby and its values, also recently announced the launch of their grant-making programme, which has attracted a number of applicants.
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