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Page last updated at 16:40 GMT, Thursday, 11 March 2010

Chris Paterson pays tribute to the late Bill McLaren

McLaren synonymous with rugby - Paterson

Scotland's record points-scorer Chris Paterson has described the late broadcaster Bill McLaren as "the one and only" and a "true gentleman".

Crowds will gather at Murrayfield on Thursday evening for a tribute to the legendary rugby commentator from Hawick, who died in January aged 86.

"The warmth that came over in his commentary was brilliant," said the Edinburgh full-back.

"He fought to see the positives in every situation."

Paterson recalls being in awe of McLaren as a youth in the Borders and then as player for Gala.

"Growing up I only thought there was one place that rugby was ever played, which was Murrayfield, and there was only one commentator, which was Bill," said Paterson, who won his 100th cap for Scotland in the recent Six Nations defeat by Wales in Cardiff.

"Going to Border league games, you would see him and you could equate the man to the voice.

"There was an aura about him. He was such a nice man that I don't think you could talk highly enough of him. He was far nicer than you could ever imagine.

"I can remember playing towards my latter years with Gala and being commentated on by Bill and thinking I would love to meet him. The commentary came over like he knew you."

And Paterson, who will miss the Calcutta Cup tie against England, reckons players were honoured to have been the subject of one of McLaren's commentaries.

Chris Paterson has been capped 100 times for Scotland
Record points-scorer Paterson has been capped 100 times for Scotland

"You never feared what he had said about you; you looked forward to hearing what he had said about you, regardless of how you had performed," he said.

"If he was talking about your good things and making light of your bad things, it was always a nice feeling.

"Going back and watching the TV and listening to him, you thought 'this guy knows a lot about me'. It was like a friendship.

"He was a true gentleman. He never changed."

And he added: "I've looked back at games I've played before and smiled and that's a lot down to Bill's commentary.

"When you are growing up you dream of scoring the winning try.

"When you were running around the garden pretending you were at Murrayfield, the voice you heard in your head was Bill McLaren's.

"That underlines that he was the one and only."

The tribute event at Murrayfield begins at 1830 GMT and there is free admission.

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see also
Thousands pay tribute to McLaren
11 Mar 10 |  South of Scotland
Murrayfield honours Bill McLaren
29 Jan 10 |  South of Scotland
Final farewell for Bill McLaren
25 Jan 10 |  South of Scotland
In Pictures: Bill McLaren the 'voice of rugby'
19 Jan 10 |  South of Scotland
Obituary: Bill McLaren
19 Jan 10 |  Scotland
Bill McLaren - the voice of rugby
19 Jan 10 |  Scotland
McLaren's greatest commentaries
19 Jan 10 |  Rugby Union
Voice of rugby Bill McLaren dies
19 Jan 10 |  South of Scotland

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