AddThis SmartLayers

Dual international turned rugby writer dies at 86

A Scottish rugby writer described as “one of the most outstanding journalists of his generation”, who also represented his country at two sports, has died aged 86.

Tributes have been paid to Norman Mair, pictured below, who worked at The Scotsman for four decades from the early 1960s until 1998.

He made four appearances for the Scotland national rugby union team and also holds the elite distinction of being a dual international, having represented his country on the cricket field in a match against Worcestershire in 1952.

During his time at the Edinburgh-based title he became a confidant of the Scottish rugby team’s coaches, who even consulted him on matters of selection.

Norman Mair

Former coach Sir Ian McGeechan told The Scotsman: “When I was coaching Scotland, I used him as a sounding board.

“We talked about things and looked at things together, he would give me a heads-up.

“He would never compromise any confidentiality. If some of the Scottish rugby union selectors knew some of the conversations I had with him, they would have panicked.”

Sir Ian added that Norman was “the best rugby writer of them all, without question”.

An obituary to Norman in the paper notes he became best known for his elegant and analytical writing on sports, including golf and tennis.

A deep knowledge of rugby meant he was required reading for those who played and coached the game as well as those who simply watched it.

Ian Stewart, editorial director of The Scotsman Publications Ltd, said: “I was saddened to hear of the passing of Norman Mair.

“He was one of the most outstanding journalists of his generation, and his contribution to The Scotsman and to sports journalism in general was simply huge.

“His insightful views helped shape rugby in this country.”

Norman finished working at The Scotsman in 1998 and had been suffering from a long illness at the time of his death.

He was inducted into the Scottish Rugby Hall of Fame last year.

One comment

You can follow all replies to this entry through the comments feed.
  • December 9, 2014 at 11:07 am

    Norman was indeed “one of the outstanding journalists of his generation” – probably of any generation. Also an absolute gentleman who wrote with equal distinction on golf. R.I.P. Norman.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(0)