Rugby fan Jack, 96, enters Melrose Sevens hall of fame after his 80th tournament

A 96-year-old rugby fanatic has been inducted in the Melrose Sevens hall of fame in honour of celebrating his 80th tournament.

To mark his achievement, Jack Dun has received an honours cap from Melrose Rugby Club for his continued support of the sport since the age of eight.

He started attending the Melrose Sevens in 1934, and of a possible 82 tournaments he missed only two while he was serving with the British Army in India in 1947 and 1948.

President of the Melrose Rugby Club in 1983 – marking the centenary year of the Sevens competition – Mr Dun was presented with his cap by former Scotland and British & Irish Lions player, John Jeffrey, during the honours presentation, accompanied by his grandson Matthew.

Proud moment: Jack Dun with his Melrose Sevens hall of fame cap.

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Mr Dun said: “It came as a total shock to be inducted into the hall of fame, but a surprise I am absolutely thrilled about.

“Melrose Sevens has played such an important role in my life and is the bedrock of bringing the local community togethe

“I am extremely grateful for this tremendous honour the rugby club has bestowed on me.”

Mr Dun was introduced to the Melrose Sevens tournament by his mother who took him to watch the final from the Weirhill just in front of the town’s church in 1934.

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Former players and family turned out to see Mr Dun admitted to the hall of fame and presented with his cap.

After playing in the tournament for a number of years, and racking up 176 appearances for the first 15, Mr Dun joined the ranks of match officials, and was later on the Scottish Rugby Union’s referee selection panel for many years.

The hall of famer has seen many players grace the turf at The Greenyards, but believes one particular player shone brighter than most.

He added: “The greatest player I recall was the magnificent Eddie Oxley. He should have been the first black player to be capped by Scotland, but society at the time prevented this from happening.

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“He was terrific, and a natural leader, he played when I was a young boy and seeing him on the pitch certainly inspired me to get involved in the sport. One of the best players I’ve had the privilege of seeing.”

Prized possession: Mr Dun's honorary Hall of Fame cap.

The Melrose Rugby Sevens is the oldest competition of its type in the world dating back to its inaugural tournament in 1883.

The format is now played at tournaments around the world, including the Olympics, and is one of the toughest tests of any rugby player’s fitness.

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No official documents exist to confirm why, how and when it was decided that the abbreviated game of rugby was to be first played at the Greenyards in Melrose in April 1883.

The introduction of Hong Kong Sevens in 1976 revolutionised the game and promoted seven-a-side rugby to an international audience, introducing players such as Jono Lomu to fans.

St John’s care home manager, Alison Grant, said: “This is a tremendous accolade for Jack, he has always talked about his enthusiasm for the Melrose Sevens, and for him to receive hall of fame status is a momentous occasion for him.”

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