Ex-Howe of Fife stalwart Bob Easson awarded British Empire Medal for services to rugby

Cupar's Bob Easson with his 2018 SportScotland coach developer of the year award (Pic by Alan Peebles)Cupar's Bob Easson with his 2018 SportScotland coach developer of the year award (Pic by Alan Peebles)
Cupar's Bob Easson with his 2018 SportScotland coach developer of the year award (Pic by Alan Peebles)
Cupar’s Bob Easson has been awarded a British Empire Medal in the latest King’s birthday honours list for services to rugby.

The 77-year-old started his sporting career at his home-town club, Howe of Fife, making 205 appearances as a player and later helping out with coaching, before moving on to Edinburgh Academical in 1989 and taking on national roles with Scottish age-grade sides and at the SportScotland Institute of Sport.

A former pupil of Cupar’s Bell Baxter High School, Easson trained as a physical education teacher at Glasgow’s old Jordanhill College took his first rugby coaching course in 1970, going on to spend the next half century putting what he learnt into practice coaching Accies, North and Midlands and Edinburgh.

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Scottish Rugby president Colin Rigby was among the first to congratulate Easson on his honour, saying: “Time in Bob’s company is always time well spent.

“Bob is the ultimate people person, whose passion for rugby and the manner in which he imparts his knowledge are infectious, good-humoured and modest.

“I am delighted to learn of his recognition in the King’s birthday honours list.”

Easson, formerly head coach and later director of rugby at Accies, says his approach is that he coaches people rather than specific sports, enabling him to offer the benefit of his expertise to athletes in fields other than his own over the years, such as Scottish Commonwealth Games boxers.

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“For me, no matter whether at school, club, age-grade, district or professional level, coaching has always been about being part of the rugby community,” he said.

“My philosophy of coaching is it’s not really coaching the sport, whether that’s rugby, basketball or bull-fighting. You are coaching people, and to play a part in making people better is immensely satisfying.

“The proudest moment is when you see someone evolving and developing and improving on where they’ve come from, and I get a big buzz out of that.

“Coaching’s a passion of mine and to be able to work with young coaches and see them move on, improve and get better, those are proud moments.”

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His BEM isn’t the first accolade to go Easson’s way as he was named coach developer of the year at 2018’s SportScotland coaching, officiating and volunteering awards at Glasgow City Chambers and he was granted honorary life membership of Accies in 2022.

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