Rugby memorabilia

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TWO of legendary rugby commentator Bill McLaren’s famous ‘big sheets’ will soon be up for grabs in Cupar.

The iconic pieces of memorabilia will be the star attractions at a sportsman’s dinner and raffle being held by Howe of Fife Rugby Club.

One of the sheets will be auctioned at the dinner, which takes place at Howe’s Provost Wynd clubhouse on Saturday, April 30.


The other will be raffled at the Howe Sevens tournament at Duffus Park on Saturday, May 7.

Proceeds will be split between the club’s youth development programme and the Bill McLaren Foundation set up in memory of the late ‘voice of rugby’.

Bill’s ‘big sheets’ are the stuff of rugby folklore.

His skill on commentary was no fluke, as he spent hours preparing for every match in painstaking detail.

Large blank sheets of paper were filled with minutiae on every player, official and ground — Bill would often call players at home asking for information such as their height, weight, nicknames and details of family members.

Each fact sheet took around 40 hours to complete.

The two on offer in Cupar — both framed copies of the originals — relate to the clash between Scotland and England at Murrayfield in 1970 and New Zealand’s encounter with the Barbarians at Cardiff Arms Park in 1993.

Scotland vanquished the Auld Enemy 14-5 on that occasion, while the All Blacks triumphed 25-12.

The Bill McLaren Foundation was set up after his death in 2010 to support the development of the game of rugby and its young players.