Scotland legend Andy Irvine has paid tribute to his fellow past SRU president Fred McLeod, who died at the age of 80 after a long illness on Christmas Day, writes Duncan Smith.
McLeod gave more than 60 years’ service to the sport he loved, most famously during the turbulent year of 2005 when Scottish rugby was torn by rifts and facing a bleak financial outlook.
He returned to serve for one year as interim chairman and chief executive with the task of restoring stability to the union.
“Freddie was rugby through and through. He was a great servant to the game and I really enjoyed working with him,” said Irvine.
McLeod was elected president of the Scottish Rugby Union in 1996, a year after being one of Scotland’s representatives on the International Rugby Board, taking part in the momentous decision made in Paris in 1995, which led to rugby union becoming a professional sport.
Born in 1939 in Edinburgh, he was educated at Stewart’s College and Edinburgh University, qualifying as a chartered accountant.
He played for 23 years as a full-back with Stewart’s FP, retiring as a player in 1970 after he had detached a retina in his eye.
McLeod was first elected to the SRU general committee as one of the Edinburgh District representatives in June 1981.
Mr McLeod’s funeral will take place at Warriston Crematorium in Edinburgh on Friday 10 January at 10am, with a wake thereafter at Stewart’s-Melville RFC’s clubhouse at Inverleith.