Scottish Rugby is saddened to learn of the death of former Scotland international hooker and legendary rugby writer Norman George Robertson Mair. He passed away aged 86.
Edinburgh-born Mair attended Edinburgh Academy and then Merchiston Castle School before going on to study law at Edinburgh University, when he made his Scotland debut in the 1951 Five Nations game against France in Colombes.
He played three further Tests in the championship, including what was then considered a miraculous home victory over Wales (19-0).
A crowd of 80,000 supporters looked on as a Scotland team, featuring a 22-year-old Mair in a squad in which none of the back division was above that age, overcame a Welsh side complete with 11 British Lions.
A gifted cricketer – a left-hand batsman and slow left-arm bowler – Mair then joined a select group of double internationals when he was picked to play for Scotland at cricket against Worcestershire the following year.
Some eight years later he began working as a journalist for the Scotsman newspaper where his intricate and analytical writing on sports, including golf and tennis, earned him widespread popularity.
He was the chief rugby correspondent at the Scotsman for more than 20 years and, in 2013, was inducted into the Scottish Rugby Hall of Fame – joining Bill McLaren as the only former player to have been admitted for his achievement and contribution off the field, rather than on it.
After his retirement he remained a popular and welcome presence on the BT Murrayfield press deck on international match-days long into his 80s. He will be sadly missed.
Scottish Rugby extends its sincere condolences to Norman Mair’s family and friends.