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The odd mistake
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Bill McLaren with the Bill McLaren press gallery plaque
Bill holds aloft a special plaque in his honour

Bill McLaren

My role as commentator is to help the viewers to understand what is happening on the field.

Often, you are not always talking to a rugby audience - there are always people waiting for the next horse race or the football results.

It's our duty to try to help the people who don't know that much about rugby union to learn a bit more about it and become interested in the sport.

But we also must entertain those who know all about the game.

The best thing about being a commentator is the fee you get at the end!

It's lovely to get paid for something you enjoy.

Bill McLaren smiles for the camera
Bill has the "best job in the world"

You are so fortunate to see the great games, the great teams, great players and the great venues and they will always stay in your memory.

To have been witness to these great moments in the flesh and to have the delight of covering it has been part of the pleasure for me.

However, the job can have its down sides.

I've never enjoyed going away from home for a great length of time.

So the World Cups have been quite hard work, especially 1987 which was in the southern hemisphere.

I also get annoyed when I make a mistake or two in the commentaries - that gets me down.

I once said a player was offside at a line out.

But I heard the referee's voice clearly mentioning someone else, so 20 million viewers heard the referee saying "McLaren's got it wrong"!

The early years
My preparations
The odd mistake


Bill McLaren
Bill McLaren
legendary BBC commentator

Watch as many matches as you can, because the more you see the more you will learn

:: Bill McLaren's career in pictures
:: A reluctant legend
:: Bill's five favourite rugby moments

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