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

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Bill McLaren - Rugby's Man with the Golden Mic

The late great Bill McLaren was laid to rest on Monday in his hometown of Hawick, Scotland. Hundreds of mourners lined the streets to pay respects to the rugby commentator who left such an indelible mark on the game.

McLaren, who passed away aged 86 last week, worked in rugby for over 50 years before retiring in 2002. Tributes have poured in for the great man who’s unique, colourful, and impartial style of commentary was loved and appreciated by all.

Former Scotland stars Gavin Hastings, Colin Deans, Jim Renwick, and Gregor Townsend were all present at the funeral service which had over 650 family and friends present.

”We have been amazed by the response from the media, such touching tributes from the great and the good of the rugby world and far further afield and, just as important, people we've met on Hawick High Street over the past week or so,” said McLaren’s grandson, Gregor Lawson.

"So much has been said by people significantly more important and erudite than me about his unparalleled impartiality, his iconic voice, his professionalism, his gentlemanly nature and his ambassadorship for both rugby and Scotland.

"Whilst we have shed many tears through sadness, a great many have also been shed simply through bursting with pride," he added.

McLaren commentated like no other, with his love and passion for the sport shining through, to the point that you truly felt he was in his element being at the game.

That enthusiasm was infectious as millions of fans, young and old, grew fond of the manner by which he described the action in front of him. Players were honoured to take part in a match that he was involved in, despite possibly being referred to as a ‘raging bull’ or even a ‘wild octopus’.

The best known voice in the game of rugby has passed, but the memories live on with countless hours of classic footage from days gone by. Generations past and present grew up with McLaren, and if all goes well, our children's children will one day hear the lyrical tones of Hawick's greatest son.

Time: 04:20



  • wooooo! first haha

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 28, 2010 5:56 pm  

  • fantastic tribute, RD, well done. God bless the great man

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 28, 2010 5:57 pm  

  • Thanks for a great tribute to a truly special man RD. Rest In Peace Bill McLaren

    By Anonymous Chris M, at January 28, 2010 6:12 pm  

  • Brilliant tribute to a brilliant man. What a man

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 28, 2010 6:32 pm  

  • HERO

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 28, 2010 7:45 pm  

  • By and far my most favorite sport announcer bar none. If RD could find one of the clips from the 5 nations in the 90's where he describes a couple of knock ons at the back of the lineout as "a bit of okery pokery" I'd praise to you as the Gods you already are.

    Today's commentators could take a lesson in humility and neutrality from old Bill.

    By Anonymous Canadian Content, at January 28, 2010 8:13 pm  

  • A wonderful commentator. Left me choked hearing about his passing. Weird, eh? So influential as voice growing up watching rugby in the UK. No match could be watched without someone attempting a Bill McLaren accent and comment to something on the pitch.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 28, 2010 8:49 pm  

  • Some of us in Portugal, like me, also grew up listening to Bill McLaren.

    Unfortunately not live, but by seeing some old rugby tapes.

    Congratulations for the website and the tribute to Bill McLaren

    By Blogger filipe canas, at January 28, 2010 9:57 pm  

  • RIP Bill...

    Truly an amazing commentater and rugby personality...

    By Anonymous themull, at January 28, 2010 10:04 pm  

  • He's all arms and legs, he's like a mad octopus!

    When he goes like that he's like a mad Giraffe!

    Genius commentary.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 28, 2010 10:32 pm  

  • On eof the best long players of Bill's is here:


    By Anonymous mise, at January 28, 2010 11:08 pm  


    By Anonymous welshno7, at January 29, 2010 12:38 am  

  • Never will a commentator leave such a lasting mark on any sport as bill, rugby isnt the same without him and its shame there wasnt a few more bill mclarens about :)

    Its like he kicked 3lbs o' hagis lol

    By Anonymous adios, at January 29, 2010 12:47 am  

  • Never will a commentator leave such a lasting mark on any sport as bill, rugby isnt the same without him and its shame there wasnt a few more bill mclarens about :)

    Its like he kicked 3lbs o' hagis lol

    By Anonymous adios, at January 29, 2010 12:47 am  

  • what can I say RD, you bring happiness to people. please don't make it stop you wild buffalos.

    PS. what a sexy man Bill McLaren was aswell

    By Anonymous Frank, at January 29, 2010 2:25 am  

  • A true hero

    Why he wasn't Knighted i dont know.
    The only person in the hall of fame not to play an international, that says a lot.

    R.I.P The greatest commentator ever

    R.I.P Bill Mclaren

    By Anonymous The Welsh Nation, at January 29, 2010 2:35 am  

  • R.I.P Bill, a gent and a true legend.

    Anyone remember his commentry on the video game 'Jonah Lomu rugby'?
    "the forwards are like a bunch of sherman tanks going up the field there"........classic

    He will be missed

    By Anonymous irish_tom, at January 29, 2010 3:37 am  

  • Thanks for the memories Bill. Brought a lump in my throat watching all those old hightlights. Can't belive that the Scotland slam was 20 years ago! Seems like yesterday!

    By Anonymous JPM, at January 29, 2010 5:27 am  

  • Complete legend - the game will sorely miss him. Loved the tribute video. :)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 29, 2010 6:56 am  

  • Lol at the Jonah Lomu game comment! i might have to play that later! :)

    Great video to a great man.....

    ....gotta say though about the guy asking why he wasnt knighted.... sorry but knighting bill mclaren would be a massive insult..................................................to bill mclaren..... i mean knighthoods go to people like elton john ffs! bill mclaren should have been fooking crowned!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 29, 2010 8:18 am  

  • Legend is a word used too often on these pages but it applies in every sense to Bill.

    Anybody else watching that footage yearning for the old amateur days? Edwards, Campese, Underwood?

    By Anonymous Ted, at January 29, 2010 9:35 am  

  • i suppose ted its been traded for bulk.......i mean you look at the 'mad giraffe' the guy probably wasnt as bulky as nowadays 'mad giraffes' so like i said, its been traded.....

    ofcourse there is the jonah lomu's but there has always been the jonah lomuesque players (never as good but similar in attributes) big and fast, but it seems nowadays everyone has to be a hulking giant.....

    the black guy with no shorts? steve ojomu? went to myyyyy school!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 29, 2010 9:56 am  

  • Rugby has lost its voice

    By Blogger Disco, at January 29, 2010 10:48 am  

  • The truest or true rugby fans, and the best there's ever been behind the mic.

    By Anonymous Edbok, at January 29, 2010 11:20 am  

  • That wasn't Ojomu that was Victor Ubogu!

    By Anonymous Kev, at January 29, 2010 4:58 pm  

  • Legend of the game and he wasn't even a player!


    By Anonymous fridge03, at January 29, 2010 5:17 pm  


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 29, 2010 5:39 pm  

  • 'That wasn't Ojomu that was Victor Ubogu!'

    also went to my school :)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 29, 2010 7:28 pm  

  • Bill McLaren's voice, words, and charisma, truly embodied everything that is great about rugby. He will forever be remembered for his brilliant quotes, and lovely moments of wit. From Vancouver, Canada rest in peace Bill.

    By Blogger Jon, at January 29, 2010 10:13 pm  

  • He'd probably foot a put in touch as well!

    Gosh that guy's awesome.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 30, 2010 3:12 pm  

  • lol, (above comment made me chuckle!)

    yeuuuuup, its a shame he's gone awesome tribute video and i think it would've done him proud!

    a massive loss to the rugby world.

    i think scotland should have a minute silence for him in the 6N :)

    By Anonymous No.7, at January 30, 2010 6:58 pm  

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