South Scotland

Bill McLaren bust unveiled in Hawick

Media captionMr McLaren's widow Bette and daughter Linda admire the bust in his honour

A memorial bust of veteran BBC rugby commentator Bill McLaren has been unveiled in his home town.

Hawick community councillors hope that the £11,500 statue and a planned rugby heritage centre will boost tourism.

The bust of Mr McLaren will sit near tributes to motorcycle heroes Steve Hislop and Jimmie Guthrie in the town's Wilton Lodge Park.

The project has been funded through public subscription and donations from local organisations.

The bust of Mr McLaren, who died in January 2010 at the age of 86, was unveiled at 11:00.

Rob Brydon, who was behind the scheme, said: "I can't praise the sculptors highly enough.

"They didn't take it off a photograph, it was more off video tapes from the BBC and the McLaren family and I think they have got it spot on.

"We are delighted with it."

McLaren spent 49 years behind the microphone.

His first radio commentary was in 1953 as Scotland lost 12-0 to Wales.

Within six years he was commentating on TV and his skills became world renowned. He retired in 2002.

McLaren was the first non-international to get into the International Rugby Hall of Fame.

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