Glasgow Warriors players in special Fife tribute to retiring team-mate Chris Fusaro

The esteem in which Chris Fusaro is held by his Glasgow Warriors team-mates was reflected in their reaction to the former Scotland flanker announcing his retirement from professional rugby at the end of the season.

Chris Fusaro paid tribute to his Glasgow Warriors team-mates and coaches as he announced his retirement. Picture: Ross MacDonald/SNS

When Fusaro turned up for training yesterday the whole squad gave him a guard of honour decked out in the colours of his boyhood club, Howe of Fife.

It was a thoughtful tribute to the Kirkcaldy-born openside who has spent 12 seasons with Glasgow.

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Capped four times by Scotland in 2014, Fusaro was part of the Warriors side that won the Guinness Pro12 in season 2014-15, coming off the bench in the final against Munster in Belfast.

Injury has limited him to just four appearances this season, taking his total to 183, the third most in the club’s history behind Rob Harley and Ryan Wilson.

His coach, Danny Wilson, described him as a “model pro” whose influence extended beyond the field of play.

“Chris has not played a lot of rugby for us this year,” said Wilson. “He had a bit of a nasty injury but from knowing him from old and working with him here he is a model pro.

“He contributes massively off the field although he has not been able to contribute massively on the field.

Chris Fusaro, left, and Peter Horne celebrate with the trophy after Glasgow Warriors' victory over Munster in the 2015 Guinness Pro12 final in Belfast. Picture: Gary Hutchison/SNS

“His training standards have been immaculate, his off field cultural stuff has been really good. He is very popular here and played a lot of rugby over a long period. The boys gave him an emotional send-off - he has a few weeks to go yet but he is a top bloke.”

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At the front of the tribute was fellow Fifer Pete Horne. The pair go back a long way and were team-mates in the Bell Baxter High School team that won the Scottish Schools Cup in 2007. The side, which defeated Dollar Academy in the final at Murrayfield, was the last from a state school to win the trophy.

Fusaro came through the ranks at Howe of Fife, then played for Heriot’s before joining Glasgow where he was player of the season in 2011-12.

He announced his retirement with a heartfelt tribute to his wife, team-mates, coaches and the Warriors supporters.

“The years are full of nothing but the best of memories, and it is hard to put into words my gratitude to everyone who has helped me make them,” he said.

“To all my coaches at Glasgow who gave me the opportunities to play for a team who take immense pride in what it means to represent the Warriors, thank you.

“To the fans at Firhill and then Scotstoun who have given us incredible support over the years, without you our team wouldn’t be where it is today.

“To all my brothers, past and present, the memories I’ve made with you, on and off the pitch, will last a lifetime. I’ll miss the feeling after a game when you look around and know that everyone has given everything, although the not being sore part might be quite nice…

“Last of all, my long-suffering wife, Katie. Thank you for being there for the whole journey, for the many ups and down, for keeping me smiling and grounded along the way and for singlehandedly bringing up our kids whilst I was away doing what I loved.”

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