Former SRU president Derek Brown dies at 80

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THE SRU last night announced the death of past president Derek Brown. He died yesterday at the age of 80.

He was president of the SRU in 1998-99, a season that culminated in Scotland winning the last Five Nations Championship.

Just as his father Bob did before him, Brown was widely recognised for years of service to Melrose rugby club both on and off the pitch. He had his own joinery and funeral business in Melrose.

Educated at Melrose Grammar School and Galashiels Academy, he played in the back-row for Melrose, the South, Scottish Districts and the Barbarians. He also travelled as a reserve for Scotland without being called upon.

Jim Telfer, who was Scotland coach in that 1999 championship-winning year, described Brown as a “tireless forward” who made his debut for Melrose as a teenager. “His main asset was his indefatigable spirit. He was a typical Border forward,” Telfer added.

When his playing career ended, Brown was a member of the Melrose club committee for more than 30 years. He followed in his father’s footsteps as club secretary for 12 years and then became club president.

First elected to the SRU general committee in 1984, Brown was field convener for eight years, overseeing the transformation of Murrayfield to a 67,000 all-seater stadium. “Scottish Rugby extends its sincere condolences to Derek’s wife Janet and all his family and friends,” the SRU said in a statement.