Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Sad News ( Bill McLaren Dies)

 I heard the sad news today that the great man had died
ever since i was a wee boy when ever i have heard him talking it has taken me back to my childhood and the times sitting by the fire with my grandad and waiting for the game to start then Bill would start his commentry and his passion made you believe that anything was possible no matter what team we faced that day we would show them our strength and hopes
goodnight Bill and much love to you for all the memories and for your passion for our wee nation sleep tight and keep looking as once again we will rise and one day win the  RUGBY WORLD CUP in your memory

 A Piece in the Guardian about the great Man click to visit the full story

Bill McLaren made his first appearance on national BBC radio in 1953. Photograph: Dave Rogers/Getty Images Sport
The rugby union commentator Bill McLaren has died aged 86. McLaren, from Hawick, was known as the "voice of rugby" after almost 50 years as a national broadcaster. He retired in 2002, having made his first appearance on national BBC radio in 1953.
He received an OBE, CBE and MBE for services to the sport and combined his work as a broadcaster with that of a PE teacher until 1987. He studied Physical Education in Aberdeen and coached several players who went on to play for Scotland, such as Jim Renwick, Colin Deans and Tony Stanger.
McLaren died this morning in the community hospital in his hometown of Hawick in the Scottish Borders. Hawick's club secretary, John Thorburn, led the tributes, saying: "We're devastated, obviously. We've got a room named after him at the rugby club. It was very close to his heart, Hawick rugby club. He's a huge loss to rugby worldwide."
Following his retirement, McLaren would still attend Hawick matches, though ill health prevented him continuing to do so more recently. "It was a big part of his life," Thorburn added.
The Scotland legend Gavin Hastings, who worked with McLaren, said: "First and foremost, Bill was a very proud and passionate Scot but such was his professionalism that you never really have known that. He always remained very unbiased in his commentary and I think that that was unquestionably one of his endearing qualities. He was just such a gentleman as well."
Speaking about his fondest memories of McLaren, Hastings said: "I will always remember I had the good fortune to be along side him in the commentary box on a number of occasions. One of the times that I will always remember being there, he said, 'Now son, if you want to speak, just tug away at my coat'.
"I was keen to say something so I kept tugging away at his coat for what seemed like about five minutes before he allowed me to speak. It was just the sort of passion of the man that he got so much into the game and that was just the way he was. He will be sadly missed. He was a wonderful commentator and he just brought the world of rugby into so many people's homes. He was a wonderful man. He was a real family man. He was known as the 'voice of rugby' and that probably will be his legacy."
Two of McLaren's grandchildren are professional rugby players: the Scotland and Gloucester scrum-half Rory Lawson and the Edinburgh utility back Jim Thompson.

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Andy the Daft Hermit lives 45 minutes outside Inverness with his wife Mel in an old bus parked in a layby. This current home of theirs is the longest they have ever stayed in one spot. “I’ve been travelling now 25 years,” said Andy Lowe. “Mel’s been travelling 15. One of the reasons we’ve come and stayed up here is because of Mel’s health. I wanted to bring her to the mountains for fresh air and clean water and just a slower pace of life.” Mel has had breast cancer twice, skin cancer once, and for three years believed she had bone cancer after being wrongly diagnosed. Andy’s belief in the restorative powers of the north made them pack up ‘The Black Bus’ that they live in and cross the border into Scotland. New Highland home for hermit couple Andy and Mel “I think we both believe in trying to get to a more simple way of life,” said Andy, “but it’s strange for us because we are sort of hermits, or we like to live separate, but it’s not being anti-social… it’s just the way we are that allows us to be creative.” Andy first began travelling when he left the army. Fed up with bureaucracy he packed a rucksack and left for France and has been travelling ever since. By investing any money the couple have earned into solar panels and wind generators they now live a self-sustaining existence, without electric bills, and collect rain water “straight from Heaven”. “It’s not easy,” said Mel. “There might be time when there might not be enough facilities around, but you always find a way, you know?” Rather than rejecting technology, Andy blogs about his travels online and collaborates with artists from around the world via his ‘Scratchy Heid Film Studio’, which he runs from a static trailer next to the couple’s bus. He explained his philosophy: “My belief is that if you can go through life and you drop dead and you’ve got a balance there that slightly outweighs the good than the bad, you’ve done alright. “Yesterday, with what Mel’s been through with the cancer and all that, I had a woman on one of my sites there that thanked me for the writing, for the positive things, and to me that’s worth everything. You can keep your millions, we’re not interested. That is what we do.” To check out Andy’s artwork and video projects check out his website. MORE FROM THE NORTH

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