John Spencer to join speakers at celebration South dinner

FORMER England and British and Irish Lions centre John Spencer will enter the South of Scotland den next month at a dinner in aid of the Bill McLaren Foundation.

Peter Brown's place in Scottish rugby history was assured after he captained Scotland to back-to-back wins over England on successive Saturdays in 1971, a feat never before or since achieved, and Spencer was the opposing skipper.

Now 63, Spencer is a popular after-dinner speaker and he and Ross High President Scott Glynn will give the main speeches at the first Foundation dinner, to be held at the Cardrona Hotel on Friday, 24 June, while Ian Barnes, the former Hawick and Scotland lock forward, and coach, takes on the role of chairman.

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Those signed up for the event reads like a 'Who's Who' of South and Scottish rugby, from Colin Telfer, John Rutherford, John Jeffrey, Jock Berthinussen, Bobby Cunningham and Eric Paxton, to Keith Robertson, Peter Dods, Carl Hogg, Norman Suddon, Roy Laidlaw and Bryan Redpath, the current Gloucester coach.

Foundation secretary John Thorburn said: "It promises to be a fantastic night of nostalgia, with video footage from memorable South games being shown.

"There are also numerous 'Big Sheets' from Bill McLaren's famous archive available to purchase on the night.

"The night is open to everyone who is passionate about South of Scotland rugby. It is an opportunity to mix with some of the greats of the Scottish game, something that is sadly lacking in the professional era."