Scotland Wales Northern Ireland

You are in: Rugby Union  
Front Page
Rugby Union
Rugby League
Other Sports
Sports Talk
In Depth
Photo Galleries
TV & Radio
BBC Pundits
Question of Sport
Funny Old Game

Around The Uk

Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC News

BBC Weather

Saturday, 6 April, 2002, 18:49 GMT 19:49 UK
McLaren says farewell
Bill McCLren
McLaren has been commentating for over 50 years
Billl McLaren has commentated on his final rugby union international after fifty years behind the microphone.

Fittingly, he was sent off with a 27-22 victory by his beloved Scotland over Wales at the Millennium Stadium.

But McLaren has never been anything less than impartial in his broadcasting delivery.

He was acknowledged by Scottish and Welsh fans alike before his farewell game, with all present giving a rousing rendition of "For Who's a Jolly Good Fellow" before kick-off.

Gregor Townsend and Chris Paterson make the presentation to Bill McLaren
McLaren receives a rare 1951 bottle of Macallan

Ever the rugby purist, McLaren admitted to being frustrated by the rugby, however.

"I was a bit disappointed by the quality of play - there were not many exciting passages. But it was a victory for Scotland, which was great, and the atmosphere was wonderful."

He said he was close to tears many times and applauded the enduring "fellowship that sets rugby apart from other sports".

Welsh legend Jonathan Davies paid a personal tribute to McLaren after the game.

"The respect people have for Bill is amazing. On behalf of everyone in rugby, thanks. You will leave behind a huge void."

It will be a terrible wrench to leave, but my wife Bette has a little of list of jobs for me to do
Bill McLaren

McLaren, who has been greeted by standing ovations at all of his matches this season, started broadcasting when his own playing career was cut short by tuberculosis before he had earned the chance to represent Scotland.

He is looking forward to retirement, but has one regret.

"It will be a terrible wrench to leave, but my wife Bette has a little of list of jobs for me to do.

"I have had a great time but I am ready to put my feet up now. I just wish I could have won that one cap."

BBC rugby union legend Bill McLaren
"I've had a great innings"
Links to more Rugby Union stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Rugby Union stories

^^ Back to top