Scottish Borders memorial for Bill McLaren – They love their sporting heroes in the Scottish Borders town of Hawick and none are held in greater affection than Bill McLaren – the voice of rugby union.
A memorial bust to Bill, unveiled by his family, now stands next to the museum in the town’s Wilton Park and looks over to Hawick HIgh School where he taught.
And he is in good company. Nearby are statues to world class motor cyclists Jimmie Guthrie and Steve ‘Hizzy’ Hislop.
Linda Lawson, Bill’s daughter said “Wilton Lodge Park brings back great memories for me as a child and later when we brought our own kids here – you can even see the family home from here. We’re really thankful to everyone who has worked so hard to create this lasting memorial to Dad.”
Bette McLaren, Bill’s wife, unveiled the bust (right) to the sound of a lone piper playing Flower of Scotland.
The project, which cost £11,500, was taken on by Hawick Community Council and funded through public subscriptions, a concert by the Glynneath Male Voice Choir, a dinner from Hawick Trades, donations from local rugby clubs, a grant from the common good fund and money from the John and Mary Elliot Charitable Foundation.
The bust itself was made by the renowned Beltane Studios and Rob Brydon, from Hawick Community Council who was behind the scheme, said: “I can’t praise the sculptors highly enough. They didn’t take it off a photograph, it was more off video tapes from the BBC and the McLaren family and I think they’ve got it spot on.”