Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Bill McLaren RIP 1923-2010

I grew up listening Bill's voice all over the (then) Five Nations rugby. There was always massive disappointment for me when the commentator was someone else. Even for England v Scotland games where my fierce English pride could flourish in 'just a game'. His impartiality was a wonder to hear.

He kept a sensible view of the match rather than scathing comments about players, rules, decisions etc and was an education as I grew up, and a pleasure as an adult.

So I was surprised at how saddened I felt when I heard of his death today. Eighty-six is a pretty good innings, so I cannot complain of a man taken young; but an icon of my youth, and of rugby is gone.

I remember well Rory Bremner's first appearance on my TV - he 'did' Bill's voice to a tee. No-one did it before (or since I think), and it was done with affection. I knew then that a) someone shared my perception, and b) Rory would become a star.

Bye Bill

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