'Rock steady gentleman' of the rugby pitch passes away

Former Edinburgh Accies and Scotland rugby player Donald Sloan has died aged 81.

BORN in Balerno in May 1926, Donald Sloan was educated at Edinburgh Academy.

He began his rugby career with Edinburgh Accies, after serving as a lieutenant in the Royal Scots from 1944 to 1948, and went on to win seven caps for Scotland from 1950 to 1953.

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The highlights of his international career included two tries in a Murrayfield victory over England.

Another memorable moment was when he scored in a 19-0 victory over a Welsh side containing 11 British Lions. He also scored against Ireland in Edinburgh.

Donald Scott, who played with Mr Sloan against England in 1950 said: "We shared a try that day. We both landed on a high kick over the try line.

"As we got up I patted him on the back and the press assumed I was congratulating him, but I was just pleased we'd got one over the English.

"He was rock steady on the pitch, he was a gentleman and a good friend."

Mr Sloan was one of 16 sons who have followed their fathers to represent Scotland at rugby, and the first from Edinburgh Accies.

He also played for the Barbarians in 1949 and 1950.

When he became a chartered accountant with Thomson Mclintock, he and his wife Daphne moved south to Chislehurst in Kent.

He joined London Scottish, a team he captained in 1956, and played alongside well known players such as Dr DWC Smith, Kim Elgie, and Logie Bruce Lockhart.

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Ross Paris who played with Mr Sloan at London Scottish, said: "On one occasion in practice Ian Lochland and Donald were working out a dummy scissors routine when Ian collided into Donald and broke his nose.

"Dr DWC Smith, playing on the wing, called for a teaspoon and a glass of brandy.

"He reset Donald's nose there and then, and Donald never complained.

"He was always very modest, and very generous."

He continued to play rugby into his fifties, playing in various London Scottish teams.

He was a member of the committee and eventually became vice-president of the club. In this role he helped raise funds for a new stand and organised the annual dinners at the Savoy for more than 100 people.

He lived in Kent for the rest of his life and died last month. He is survived by wife Daphne and sons Andrew, Kim and Richard.