Manu Tuilagi smashes Tom Williams

Top14 player imposter!

JDV smashed by Benoit August

The Northampton Saints 30m scrum!

Bastareaud huge hit on Rory Lamont

All Blacks skills - Pt 2 In the backyard

Trinh-Duc sets up Harinordoquy try

Wales vs England 1999

Greg Holmes great hit on Francois Louw

Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday Funnies - Bill Mclaren - The Voice of Rugby

Legendary commentator Bill Mclaren will forever be known and remembered as the voice of rugby. After 50 years of commentating, the man from Hawick in Scotland sadly retired in 2002.

A passionate man, his love of sport led him into the world of rugby commentating. From a young age he was an ardent Scottish supporter, envisioning famous victories of the future.

"I've still got the fictional reports I used to write when I was a wee boy of seven or eight. Scotland always won. They beat the world once by 70-3."

He played to a respectable level and made it to Scotland trials in 1947, but fell ill with tuberculosis which nearly killed him, forcing him to give up his beloved game.

McLaren maintains, "I would trade in everything I've achieved in rugby for a Scotland jersey and a chance to represent my country."

Mclaren got through the illness and soldiered on to become a symbol of this great sport, with one of the most distinctive and recognisable voices in the game.

His biggest asset in contributing to rugby was in the way he personalized it and added his own touch of colour. Not every commentator, in rugby or otherwise, can claim they made the event more memorable, but McLaren certainly did.

We’ve thrown together a collection of some of the colourful moments from Mclaren’s career that we hope you’ll enjoy. It’s a small tribute to a great man who had a way with words like no other.

Time: 01:12



  • Thank you RD for this the man is a true legend of the game and we'll all be dancin in the streets of Scotland when we win the 6 nations!

    By Anonymous roddymac, at January 30, 2009 7:52 pm  

  • I think the word "Legend" is over used today. But in McLaren's case it doesn't go far enough. His voice is so synonymous with this great game. I still miss listening to him commentating.
    Bill McLaren a true legend.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 30, 2009 8:02 pm  

  • Bill McLaren is now, and always will be the voice of rugby in my opinion. Nobody can commentate as well nor use such abstract analogies and still make them seem right. He has inspired my love of the game as much as any player. Cheers RD and Bill!

    By Anonymous sergeant stu, at January 30, 2009 8:58 pm  

  • THis man single handedly makes rugby 2001 better than any other rugby game available. Total genius

    By Anonymous Milo_Cav, at January 30, 2009 9:18 pm  

  • My favourite Billism: "They´re tackling like dervishes all over the place." Scotland vs. England, 2000.

    By Anonymous The 80s Guy, at January 30, 2009 9:31 pm  

  • About Mickey Skinner:
    "Sometimes he looks a bit like a moving thatched cottage"

    By Anonymous Hawickboy1990, at January 30, 2009 9:46 pm  

  • You don't realize how important commentators are in a game until you suffer though the bad ones.

    I wish that here in the States, for those rare instances where they broadcast Eagles games on ESPN, they'd hire on a commentator from Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Australia, or even New Zealand.

    The ones we have here in America just don't seem to do the game justice.

    By Anonymous elliot, at January 30, 2009 10:36 pm  

  • My favourite McLaren memory was when, a few years back, Bill spotted some boys from his school on-screen pitchside at Murrayfield.

    'I hope they're behaving themselves properly,' he said, to the nation.

    By Anonymous MisterDavid, at January 31, 2009 12:27 am  

  • 'hes burrowing like a demented mole'

    By Blogger boomshanka, at January 31, 2009 12:59 am  

  • he likes buffalos, does he not? ;-)

    By Anonymous opfazonk, at January 31, 2009 12:14 pm  

  • legend
    the voice of rugby

    By Anonymous win, at January 31, 2009 5:20 pm  

  • The voice of Mclaren is Pure Rugby.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 31, 2009 6:49 pm  

  • Simply one of the greatest sports commentators of all time, not because of his depth of knowledge necessarily...but his joy and love of the game, infectious enthusiasm and those great turns of phrase!! Thanks Bill! We wish you would come back!!

    By Blogger Jonathan, at January 31, 2009 7:03 pm  

  • "he`s like a mad octopus" :))
    a true legend!

    By Anonymous minstrel boy, at February 01, 2009 1:41 am  

  • a brilliant commentator, he was always gracious and fair.

    The voice of Rugby just about sums him up, top man

    By Anonymous David, at February 01, 2009 3:32 pm  

  • The best. never showed any bias towards any team even when it was scotland playing, puts the likes of miles harrison and stuart barnes to shame. Its a shame they're the best the sport has to offer, bring back bill!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 01, 2009 3:40 pm  

  • From the other side of the world I've always had great affection for Bill McLaren, who even at such a distance became one of THE voices of rugby in my life. My thanks and respect.

    By Anonymous robert, at February 02, 2009 12:46 am  

  • "They're like a bunch of shermin tanks rolling up the field there!"

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 02, 2009 1:56 am  

  • I may buy him a water buffalo!

    By Anonymous Fridge, at February 02, 2009 11:43 am  

  • Bill McLaren was a truely great commentator and no commentator in any other sport. A true hero and legend!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 02, 2009 9:15 pm  

  • “Oh my lord, he’s hoofed that Garryowen so high there’ll be snow on it”
    “They’ll be raising many a pint to Finlay Calder in the wee boarder pub the Thistle and Sporan tonight”

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 03, 2009 9:08 am  


    By Blogger Roger, at November 13, 2009 2:36 am  


    By Blogger Roger, at November 13, 2009 2:37 am  

  • what a man. have great memories growing up listening to him! what a true legend of the game!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 19, 2010 11:26 pm  

  • As Sergeant Stu stated: He has inspired my love for the game as much as any player, team or match. Thanks for the memories. Will be missed...

    By Anonymous Bart, at January 20, 2010 5:53 pm  

  • great man, great memories. just listening to his voice can send shivers down your spine and make your eyes wet. no matter how a player screws up, he would just say: 'he'd be dissapointed with that'. you can only deeply love this man and his legacy.

    By Anonymous gch, at January 20, 2010 6:04 pm  

  • a true genius! my earliest memory of watching a game of rugby was ginger mcloughlin plowing over for a try with mcclaren screaming willing him over, R.I.P

    By Blogger Templeogue Unit, at January 21, 2010 2:00 am  

  • You taught me to love the game of Rugby with your passionate, hilarious and unbiased commentary this is all down to you Bill, thankyou so much, R.I.P

    By Blogger james.warren2, at January 22, 2010 12:22 pm  

  • Aww where to start, Bill you have given myself so many nice memories that i will carry with me forever ..
    i remember when me and my father was watching the wales v england game and scotty gibbs crashed over, your commentary had us talking for ages about what u said.. although we weren't together you still made the moment amazing..

    I was actually watching this try during the stereophonics gig at morfa stadium.. everything about that day will stay with me forver..


    Thank you Bill, RIP!! You will never been forgotten as long as i live..

    By Anonymous Abs7, at January 22, 2010 8:14 pm  

  • people use the word 'legend'a little to much these days but he really is a true legend.

    'oohh i think that hit will put him in edingburgh royal infermery'

    he made the jonah lomu on the playstation so enjoyable

    great man

    By Anonymous geordie, at January 22, 2010 11:27 pm  

  • I remember going down to the rugby club on the weekends with my dad and watching the game. His voice brings back memories and gives me shivers. The man is a legend an had a voice made for the job. May he live on through the sport forever.

    By Blogger Evan, at January 23, 2010 6:01 am  

  • fantastic

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 24, 2010 9:36 am  

  • Here in the USA rugby does not generate alot of media attention, and it was almost non existant back in the pre-web days. I feel I was especially lucky then to somehow stumble onto Bill Mclaren's work all those years ago. Absolutely one of the finest sports commentators the world has ever produced.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 24, 2010 2:29 pm  

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