Generous rugby supporters helped raise more than £25,000 for grassroots sport in the north and north-east at an event inspired by one of the game’s most revered characters.
The inaugural Press and Journal rugby lunch was staged at the Ardoe House Hotel in aid of the Bill McLaren Foundation and was a sellout success.
It brought together a host of the game’s luminaries, led by Doddie Weir and fellow former Scotland stars, for an afternoon centred around a screening of Scotland’s six nations championship match against Wales.
Proceeds from the event, generated through ticket sales and fundraisers including an auction hosted by Bonhams specialist Bruce Addison, will be used by the foundation to support projects in the region.
The lunch, organised by Aberdeen-based integrated communications agency Citrus:Mix and with Carbon Financial Partners as main sponsor, represented the foundation’s first major event in the north-east. The late great McLaren spent time in the Granite City when he studied at Woolmanhill Physical Education College, maintaining his passion for the oval ball game by turning out for Aberdeenshire during his stay in the 1940s.
Following his death in 2010, McLaren’s family and friends formed the foundation bearing the renowned broadcaster’s name. To date £330,000 has been donated by the foundation to a variety of good causes.
Linda Lawson, Bill’s daughter and a leading light with the foundation established in her father’s honour, said: “The response to the event was phenomenal. It was incredibly touching to see the warmth and spirit from everyone who attended towards the foundation and its work.
“We cannot thank the guests enough and will take great pride in putting the funds to good use.”