SCOTTISH rugby’s rising star Stuart Hogg has been given a surprising boost ahead of his first international start by being told he is related to the late Northern Ireland footballer George Best.
The news emerged when Stuart’s father John, whose late mother came from Ulster to Hawick, contacted a relative in Portadown who had sent over a newspaper clipping reporting on Stuart’s debut against Wales a fortnight ago, and the fact that he had an Irish grandmother.
John was stunned to be told by a family cousin that it was obvious that the 19-year-old had inherited the ‘Best’ genes. The young Hogg, who will start at full-back against France at Murrayfield on Sunday, tweeted the news to the amusement of his Scotland teammates, with Alastair Kellock duly ‘revealing’ that he was related to David Beckham.
“It was a bit of a surprise and there have been a few laughs,” Hogg said yesterday, “but it seems to be true.”
The Scotsman contacted Hogg’s Irish relative Maureen Vance, who revealed the news to John.
She said: “We’ve all known about the connection with the Bests and Georgie for years, but there hasn’t been a lot of contact with the Hoggs I suppose.
“When a cousin got in touch to say to watch out for Stuart against Wales, I was delighted to tell his dad about the connection. The trouble now is who we support when Scotland come to play Ireland!”