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Chris Paterson was a true servant to Scotland

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John Beattie | 15:44 UK time, Wednesday, 21 December 2011

So, Chris Paterson has retired. What will you always remember of him?

I'll keep this blog brief. And it is such good news to hear of a player retiring before the ignominy of being pushed.

I think I first noticed him when he romped in from 80 metres at the Melrose Sevens when his pace was plainly out of the ordinary.

And he appeared to have that instinctive ability to ghost past players that the likes of John Rutherford and Gregor Townsend before him - both Borderers - had in spades.

Then there was a cup final win with Paterson scoring a try for Gala.

To me, Chris was the last of the "old fashioned" rugby players in terms of his size. He was never over-developed in physique.

He was the lightweight runner, the sprinter, who could drag a man down rather than blast him out of the way. Chris seemed to be at top speed in three strides and nobody was going to catch him.

Paterson has retired from international rugby at the top of his game. Photo: SNS

Paterson has retired from international rugby at the top of his game. Photo: SNS

In short he was, somehow, typically Scottish.

I've spoken to him and interviewed him and as a man he is unfailingly courteous.

The bad bit to the history is that he was mistreated by Scotland.

He never said it out loud but I suspect he wanted to play stand-off but was always told he didn't have the pass, or the kick from hand, or some other guff.

Instead, he played on the wing and at full back. He was superb there, but I think he could have been one of our finest ever stand-offs.

It's always sad to see a great man retire, but in this case he does so at the top of his game, with his body intact for the most part, and on his terms.

Chris Paterson, well done: a true servant to Scotland.

Right, leave a message for Chris here, and I'll make sure he reads it...


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  • Comment number 1.

    A modern great both as player and sportsman, very sorry to see him go.

    Excellent judgement to the end, leaving whilst still at the top of his game.

    Good luck in whatever comes next!

  • Comment number 2.

    Great player. I remember his intercept try from a chip in a test in New Zealand and also the 2 great tackles in last years 6N's on Foden et al. Sublime penalty kicker too. Hopefully he will have a good season in Heineken and add that to his cv.

  • Comment number 3.

    Thanks for the memories Mossy, always gave Scotland 100% and it wasnt always appreciated but it will be when you've gone.

  • Comment number 4.

    Agree. Unfortunate that because of his 'versatility' he was habitually played out of position.

    A great servant to the game and genuine world class goal kicker (certainly best in the world in the run up to 07 WC).

    However, don't think it is all that great for players to retire before they are not selected. I think given the physical demands of rugby, it is true to say that players can prolong their careers at club level, and can see the reasoning for it - but I'm sure there are more than a few retirees who would have been picked and more importantly required for their side.

  • Comment number 5.

    Yes, it says a lot for the man to win 100+ caps mostly in positions that he himself would not have liked to play and not complain about it - it's Scotalnd's loss anyway. Even so, I always enjoyed watching him with ball in hand having a go and agree with point #2 that some of his last ditch tackles in the 6N were of the highest order - not bad for a wee fella...

  • Comment number 6.

    His retirement has been carried out the way he always performed for Scotland, with the team foremost in his thoughts and never wanting to give anything less than his absolute best.

    A selfless team member, and his dedication to the dark blue can be measured in the amount of pain he was in as he hobbled on stage to talk to Dougie Donnelly at Bill McLaren's memorial last year whilst still recovering from his split kidney.

    My favourite memory of him playing for Scotland was as he seemed to uncharacteristically lose his temper with Lomu blitzing past him for the Baa-Baas a decade ago. The whistle peeped for a forward past just too late for him to stop from committing to a tackle that absolutely nailed the big Kiwi legend, despite Chris giving away about 7-8 stones to the big guy.
    Of course it wasn't a late hit, he's far too sporting a player for that!

  • Comment number 7.

    And I like the way he is one of the few blokes to have ruptured a kidney and played on. Tough man. Mind you, Galashiels and the Borders, a bit tougher than the rest of us.

  • Comment number 8.

    In over 50 years I have seen Rugby Players come and go. Some have been good players and some first class and very classy players. There have been numerous GREAT players. Chris Paterson is, in my opinion, is Scotland's GREATEST. A true professional and an inspiration to all. Not just players but to spectators as well. Above all he is a gentleman. Someone will fill the No. 15 jersey but no one will ever fill his boots. Hope to see him continue to play for Edinburgh for the next couple of seasons.

  • Comment number 9.

    Oh, and former First Minister of Scotland Jack McConnell posted on my facebook page: Total professional! A star on the pitch and a credit to the game off the pitch too, in good times and bad. A terrific role model for any young player. Chris will be missed - I hope he retains a role in the game for the future. All the best. JMcC

  • Comment number 10.

    So many great memories from Mossy. Hope he always remembers the roars from the adoring scottish supporters when he came on as a sub on the days he should have started!

    My sons most cherished autograph!

    Happy retirement!

  • Comment number 11.

    Ahhhh - we will always be left to wonder how great a stand-off he might have been, if he had been given a regular run there at the start of his career. But that's sport and what makes life interesting. Perhaps he was too much of a gentleman and should have asserted himself and said "I'm playing at Stand-off or not at all."
    Well he has been an absolutely fantastic servant to Scottish rugby in good times and very grim times.
    I was fortunate enough to meet him in Edinburgh and ask him to recommend me a restaurant to eat at -(He didn't let me down there either). It was just after the 2005 Lions squad was announced and I told the young non- rugby lass she had just met one of the greatest players not to have won a Lions jersey - perhaps it was a good tour to miss! I think he was unlucky to be playing in a poor Scottish team at the time (and desperately poorly coached too!) but he was far too polite to say so.
    Definitely one of my all time heroes and I am delighted to have the opportunity to thank him for the many hours of pleasure I have had watching him play - win or lose. I also thank him for never ever letting himself or his fans down by tarnishing his image with anything but exemplary conduct on and off the pitch.
    I do not remember him so much for his kicking, good as that was, but in his early Interational days when he got the ball I always felt a thrill of anticpation that he had the speed, elusiveness and rugby brain to make something exciting happen.
    I wish him success and personal fulfillment in anything he goes on to do.
    Chris Paterson - Thank you, Sir for the entertainment you have given us and the memories we will treasure.

  • Comment number 12.

    Chris Paterson is one of the first players I recognised when I started watching rugby and I have always been amazed by his skill and talent. I am not all knowing when it comes to the game, but I know he is a credit to his team and Scotland and will always be remembered. I have met him a couple of times and have always found him to be a gent! In fact, instead of letting fans down, he always insists on staying out to finish his signings, even if he missed the post match meal. Scotland has lost a true legend, but thankfully Edinburgh still have him for a while to come!

  • Comment number 13.

    A true gentleman an great ambassador for Scottish rugby. Thanks, Mossy and good luck for the future

  • Comment number 14.

    Whenever he was on the pitch you knew the kicking duties and the defence at fullback were in safe hands. An awesome player and a brilliant and humble Scot.

  • Comment number 15.

    Sad to see him go. Watching him play was one of the reasons I got into rugby. Truely inspiring and possibley one of the most under-rated players in the world. True legend of Scottish rugby. Great sportsman and a gentleman, was always a comfort to see his name on the team list you knew he would put in 100%.

  • Comment number 16.

    Nearly met him a couple of years ago at Ledbury RFC but was too intimidated to introduce myself. I was the guy hanging around in the Scotland top waiting to be noticed. I coach u8s and Chris is the best kind of example to them of the kind of rugby player they should aspire to be.

  • Comment number 17.

    Well done sir and thank you!

    There have been many great players to have graced the Blue Jersey, Chris Paterson stands tall alongside them. Where he stands even taller in my opinion is his conduct on and off the pitch, that is the true measure of the man.

    I will always remember his pace, balance and poise. John, any chance of the BBC digging out some of his Gala footage to put on the website?

    I wish him all the best for the future and look forward to watching him play for Edinburgh.

  • Comment number 18.

    Goodbye Chris Paterson, a true great, and one of my inspirations in the game, the man who made me want to play fullback and be the best i could be at it. Farewell, the guardian of the Scottish Tryline.

  • Comment number 19.

    I was truly saddened to hear the news today. There are a lot of great memories to choose from when it comes to Mossy on pitch. However, two of my favourites were off pitch (kind of!)

    The first was at Sco vs Japan at MacDairmid Park. A lot of points were scored that day, not least by Mossy himself! After yet another successful conversion, a bunch of schoolkids were desperate to get his attention. True to form, after he heard half the stand yelling, he gave them a grin and a wave, and made those kids' day.
    The second was when my partner and I met Paterson & Mike Blair in Princes St one day. Edinburgh were about to head off to Tolouse in the H Cup, but they were kind enough to stop for a chat, sign something, and discuss the poor quality of French telly. And my day was made.

    He was a great ambassador for Scots rugby both on and off field. He is a great player, who always seems to be approachable and make time for the fans too, which makes him all the more special - that's the sort of thing that makes kids want to play. We will miss him!

    Thanks Chris. A true star. I'm just glad we can still watch you with Edinburgh!

  • Comment number 20.

    Played a lot of tests. Not the Greatest Scottish player of all time. Was he ever a Lion? Good player, great servant,

  • Comment number 21.

    Sad to see another of my childhood heroes go, but I guess all good things must come to an end...

    The highlight for me has to be that enviable run of 36 consecutive kicks scored, and almost a year without a miss.

  • Comment number 22.

    An incredibly modest guy, who would be embarrassed by all this fuss; in a challenging decade for Scottish rugby, his contribution might not be fully appreciated for many years to come.

    Good luck for the future.

  • Comment number 23.

    Fantastic player, by all reports a fantastic bloke, and the fact his career has not been littered with the silverware his talent deserves is a fantastic shame. He gives slighter built blokes, like myself, hope of, in what is still essentially a 'strongest-man-wins' sport, making rugby a contest involving more than just brute force!

    I admire his kicking ability, his professionalism and his dedication to both Scotland and rugby as a whole. And hope that he continues playing for Edinburgh for a while, en route to some silverware and a fitting end to a brilliant career.

    All the best mr Patterson!

  • Comment number 24.

    To give the best idea of his contribution in the last twelve years, imagine we didn't have him, so many narrow wins could easily have gone the other way! Every time the ref's arm went up for a penalty you just knew three points were coming our way!

    A great sportsman and by all accounts I've heard a true gentleman of the sport! I don't think I've ever read about him jumping off ferries on New Zealand either!

    I think my favourite memory of him was in the 2003 summer tour to South Africa, a length of the field try, started by a Kenny Logan burst, I think Paterson was involved in the middle, then got back in position to finish! The two try savers against Foden and McLean in this years six nations were memorable too!

    I look forward to watching him in play for Edinburgh in the Pro12 and Heineken Cup and do please wish him the best and a thank you from us all!!

    Some sort of BaaBaas testimonial too?

  • Comment number 25.

    Chris never gave anything less than 100% whenever he took to the field. He's deceptively tough as befits a Galashiels lad and his scything tackles as the last line of defence were just as exciting as his 'mazy' running and clever passing. As an ex-forward my heart belongs to the guts and grunt of the pack and it takes a very special 'skinny wee back' to make me take notice. Chris Paterson is such a player, a credit to his background and always to the blue jersey ( regardless of what number was on the back) I hope he wants to be involved in nurturing new young players, they can learn a lot from him.

  • Comment number 26.

    All the best Chris- great professional- you wore the dark blue with immense pride and courage.

  • Comment number 27.

    Chris Paterson, the model Pro

  • Comment number 28.

    A great servant to Scottish rugby - always there when needed, and never one to complain. Not just someone for aspiring young rugby players to look upto, but someone for all young sportspeople to aspire to emulate.

    Disappointed that I'll not see him in a Scotland shirt again, but looking forward to seeing him continuing to ply his trade with Edinburgh Rugby - hopefully starting with helping Edinburgh spank the weegies in the 1872 Cup.

  • Comment number 29.

    I'm so sorry that we probably never saw his full repertoire of abilities on the international stage. I suppose, more than anything, I admire his ability to get "in the zone" regardless of the situation, and kick all those points for his country. It displays both his natural talent and a rare and admirable application to becoming and remaining the very best that he could be. Add to that his grace, balance and speed as a runner, his courage in defence, his fair minded spirit and his willingness to play anywhere and anytime when his country called, and you have a man who was fine an example of a sportsman as any child could aspire to become. Best of luck to him in the next chapter.

  • Comment number 30.

    End of an era for Scottish Rugby, very sad when I heard today that Chris, our talisman, had retired. He was a beacon during a period when scottish rugby was at a real low point. As an exiled Scot I cannot wait to see seeing him at Ravenhill next year, hope he helps achieve great things with Edinburgh this season.

  • Comment number 31.

    Thank you Chris for what you brought to the 6N.

    He was one of my favourite players in the tournament and was gutted whenever he wasn't in the starting 15. As a Welshman looking in on the Scottish games, a team with Chris in it was promised at least one form of creativity in his elusive running, not to mention the best kicker I can remember.

    Congratulations to him on all the compliments he is getting.

  • Comment number 32.

    My fave player for the last 10 years - loved the way he ran Gazelle-like through the pack of lions in front of him. Whenever he got the ball I was excited that he could do something. The wife doesn't like Rugby but she would let me watch when Chris was on because he was so cute (her words honest!), so would be good if he could re-consider for the Six Nations to give me an easy time please.

  • Comment number 33.

    Can't say anything that hasn't been said above, but thanks to Chris for 100% commitment to the cause, reliability in goal-kicking that got us wins against the odds and superb defence exemplified in the two try-saving tackles against England and Italy in the last 6N.

  • Comment number 34.

    When I first got into rugby my dad told me to keep an eye out for an exceptional Scottish player called Chris Paterson. And no truer words could have been said. Mossy has captured what the Scottish Rugby player is about - heart, soul, devotion, smiling with the highs, and dusting off with the lows. A truly exceptional player, who would give it all. It's a sad day for Scottish Rugby to know that we can no longer cheer Mossy on in the international games, yet I'm pleased that he is retiring on his terms. Clearly from the amount of posts and tweets on twitter (#farewellmossy trending), he really is someone the Scottish people - players and supporters alike will always have fond memories of. As will I.

    Happy Retirement from internationals Mossy!

  • Comment number 35.

    I agree wholeheartedly with John. I have covered Scottish rugby for 5Live for 15 years, and it has been a pleasure to deal with Chris. He has never been anything other than unfailingly courteous - in both good and bad times -and reflects enormous credit on his sport and his country. I grew up in an age when rugby was the sport for all sizes - something that sadly doesn't seem the case now - but Chris somehow seemed to defy that and the way that his kicking developed in later years was simply astounding.

  • Comment number 36.

    I had the joy of going down to Invercargill to watch my first Scotland game, what an epic. The kicking the ball off the ground when it fell off the tee was funny but it got a bit too serious after that.

    Great player, true professional all sorts of pride and passion.

    Thanks for the good times Chris!

  • Comment number 37.

    Selfishly I'm quite disappointed, I would like to have seen him in a Scotland shirt for one more season.

    Despite that I feel very privileged to have watched him play on many occasions, over the years.

    We are very lucky to have had Chris Paterson and I wouldn't have swapped him for anyone else.

  • Comment number 38.

    Phonominal goal kicker, superb runner and tackles like a train, a huge loss for Scotland.

  • Comment number 39.

    Chris Paterson gave so much pleasure to the Scottish supports, he always gave 100% at whatever position he was selected and never complained about not being selected in his favourite one! He is an example to all young sportsmen and women in how to conduct yourself on and off the pitch. I thank him and watch out any player trying to fill his boots!

  • Comment number 40.

    (Even) my Swedish partner is sad to see Chris go. Immediately identifiable, even on a bad TV feed 800 miles away. We've seen him at Murrayfield, and in NZ. He's a class act and has a unique style on the park. He's been a great player and ambassador.

  • Comment number 41.

    Well, all good things come to an end, better on his own terms I suppose. Lots of memories; delight at English fans' disbelief at his being the world's top kicker; desdpair at his lack of assertiveness over playing fly half (why oh why?) and lack of faith in him by national coaches (you know who they are).

    Loved best of all, the look on Foden's face as he realised that that 'old man' had just bundled him with a sublime tackle into touch - he'd already scored the try in his mind but hadn't reckoned on Mossy.

    All the best for the future, whatever you do. You've more than earned it.

  • Comment number 42.

    An absolute Scottish sporting hero, excellent role-model and great player. I can't remember any game, good outcome or bad, where Mossy gave less than 100%. A great rugby brain, always making much required breaks and supporting runs (even though the team mates sadly weren't always as sharp...) . Constantly improved his game to overcome any perceived weaknesses. He carries the essence and spirit of Scottish rugby. Your contribution is hugely appreciated Chris. You have given us such fantastic memories and pride. On his deathbed my father said: "If I could have one wish, it would be for Chris Paterson to play at stand off again for Scotland", but as a family we have enjoyed countless performances, regardless of the number on the shirt. All the best for the future, and like many others here I hope to see your continued involvement in Scottish rugby a coaching role, although I also hope to see you in an Edinburgh shirt many times prior to that.

  • Comment number 43.

    We were fortunate enough to meet Chris and some of the team in New Zealand this year. We were really impressed at how approachable and open the all of the guys were. They were all a credit to Scotland.
    We have been fans of Chris for many years and congratulate him on being such an outstanding sportsman, team player and a fantastic role model to younger players.

  • Comment number 44.

    My abiding memory has to be the drop goal that ended our 27 year losing streak against the Wallabies. Yet, as others have pointed out there was, and still is, much more to his game than just kicking. While sad that he's hanging up his boots for Scotland, I'm pleased that it's on his terms and wish him all the best in playing for Edinburgh (well at least after the derby games).

    Thank you Mr Paterson.

  • Comment number 45.

    I Agree 110% with what John and so many others have said. Will be sad not to see you in a Scotland shirt anymore but growing up watching you I have many fond memories, including the drop goal v Australia at Murrayfield '09 and the amazing tap tackle v England this year. Ever the gentleman on and off the field you are a credit to Scottish rugby and the country too :)! All the best to you and your family in the future x

  • Comment number 46.

    Some player. Some tackler. Some kicker. Legend!

  • Comment number 47.

    First saw Chris as a schoolboy(him, not me!) - stood out a mile. Then in HIS cup final @ Murrayfield. But apart from his rugby skills, I've always admired Chris, the person - he's a credit to himself, his family & parents. He should continue to play as long as he wants to before becoming a lifestyle coach. England would pay him a small fortune to advise people like Tindall, Care and the rest of their 'professionals' on how to conduct yourself as a representative of your country, your sport, your team & your self. We'll all miss you, Mossy.

  • Comment number 48.

    Comes from near where im from. Absoloutly amazing player. I remember arguing with friends when they said Carter was the best kicker, I always said Paterson was and in my opinion is the best kicker in the world! One of the best tacklers, an all round great player and one of Scotlands best ever players! Thankyou Mossy

  • Comment number 49.

    A really great servant to Scottish rugby and the international team. I reckon his best position was 10 and it is a shame that he was not seen there more. I played 10 opposite him on his senior league debut for Gala and although I was only a few years older it was easy to see that he was going to be a bit special - constantly having to chase him and trying to stop his consistent 50m breaks were a decent indication as to his talent!
    Over the years developed in to a really good goal kicker as it was not a strength in his early days but it is his competitive spirit and desire to succeed that I will remember. Hopefully he has a good few more years in him at Edinburgh (or Glasgow) to help bring the next generation through - Stuart Hogg I think would benefit greatly from his mentoring.
    Well done Mossy!

  • Comment number 50.

    Chris Paterson has indeed been a great example of morals, he never faked illness to get away from a tough game however, he was a safe player, he'd never kick long distance I felt he wanted to continue with his 100% record and that never struck me as being a team player, he crabbed a lot of the time when carrying the ball I don't know if that is because he felt out of position but he only advanced forward on a few occassions and he wasn't keen on being tackled.

    I remember being at Murrayfield for a Scotland game & Chris missing a few kicks and was replaced by Dan Parks, Dan missed a couple of kicks and was boo'd and jeered but Chris was cheered when he left the field. hrm, something wrong with that

    That's my personal feelings out the way. I understand I'm setting myself up for criticism from Edinburgh/Scotland supporters but I'm writing what I feel.

  • Comment number 51.

    Shame that Scotland's best players seem to get picked out of position. Townsend at center, Paterson at full back. If Paterson really wanted to play at fly half he didn't really show it to both club and country coaches.

  • Comment number 52.

    As an English man and England fan Chris I should be glad you are going.
    However i have always admired you and your game, utmost respect and admiration for your acheivements and the way you play this great game
    The Scotland team will be weaker for your absense which is good for us!
    Best of luck in the future

  • Comment number 53.

    Chris Paterson - for me one of the very best of Scotland: professional but gentlemanly, skillful and instinctive, prodigious with the boot, scintillating and intelligent in attack, relentless and committed in defence. As a Scotland supporter, my heart always lifted when he got the ball in his hands - the game was on! A little bit of Moss-magic might open up the field - quick feet, a shimmy and he'd have made metres and beaten two of the opposition. During some dark days as a Scotland supporter, Chris Paterson was the torch-bearer for Scottish rugby. Happy retirement from the international scene and thank you, Chris: you were truly outstanding.

  • Comment number 54.

    HuffBuff - You are entitled to your opinion. As I am entitled to respond. Chris Paterson never kicked long distance because he couldn't, not because he wouldn't. Why try kicking for goal from 50m when you're fairly certain you won't make it and give the ball to the opposition? Rather leave it for someone else to try and either go for touch or get the points.
    The Parks v Paterson issue is almost in folklore of Scottish rugby. Insofar as Parks has been an inconsistent performer when in the dark blue and has sometimes across as not giving 100%. Mossy, on the other hand, has given 100% every time I have watched him play and even the best kickers miss kicks.

    Right, on to the point of this blog and paying tribute to one of Scottish rugby's finest servants:
    His kicking was second to none (statistics support this). The fact that he came back from the serious kidney injury that would have ended the career of lesser men. The fact that he won over 100 caps for his country and would have been more had it not been for injuries. His omission from the Lions Tours was questionable but that's in the past now.

    Putting it simply:- Chris Paterson - the Lion that never got to roar.
    Thank you and enjoy your retirement.

    The Lion that never got to roar

  • Comment number 55.

    A true role model who made the most of the opportunities he was given, though he wasn't given all the opportunities he should have. If fellow professionals follow his example, the game can only flourish.

    My abiding memory of Paterson is to see him being decked by a kicked ball in the warm-up before facing Australia in Brisbane in 2003. My heart sank, as the odds were against us with a fully fit team, but he recovered a played a storming game.

  • Comment number 56.

    John Beattie reckons Chris could've been one of Scotland's greatest stand offs, maybe. But he goes out as one of Scotland's greatest players in any position. A true inspiration from a fellow fullback, pace, intelligence, a right foot to die for, and above all an un-wavering courage in the era of 19st monster forwards.

    I salute you, Mr Paterson.

  • Comment number 57.

    I always enjoy watching great players play at their best and hearing what other great players and coaches think about them. Chris is one of the best and, at times, THE best in the world. He was a great servant to Scotland as a player through some difficult times and I hope that he continues through coaching and/or as an ambassador for Scottish rugby.

    Well played, Mossy.

  • Comment number 58.

    Scottish rugby legend who was unfortunate not to have been given a better run at fly-half. Also very unfortunate not to have been recognised by the British Lions selectors.

    I have watched him play many times for Scotland but my abiding memory is of an Edinburgh vs Cardiff Blues match in Cardiff. It was the last Blues game played at the Arms Park and Chris stayed for almost an hour on the pitch immediately after the game signing autographs and having pictures taken by both sets of fans. He didn't leave the pitch until every child or adult had spoken to him or had something signed. A true gentleman who appears to be an increasingly rare breed amongst our new bunch of rugby starlets.

    I do hope he continues his involvement in the game, our young players could learn a thing or two about attitude both on and off the pitch. Thank you for the memories.

  • Comment number 59.

    #50 huffbuff

    "I remember being at Murrayfield for a Scotland game & Chris missing a few kicks and was replaced by Dan Parks, Dan missed a couple of kicks and was boo'd and jeered but Chris was cheered when he left the field. hrm, something wrong with that"

    Not really. It is the mark of the man that despite his poor kicking performance on that day the crowd appreciated other aspects of his game and showed it.

  • Comment number 60.

    A wonderful example to supporters and younger players alike. A much under-rated rugby player who's kicking was under-rated. Scotland will miss his qualities. Sorry it didn't work out at Gloucester.

  • Comment number 61.

    Great player admired in France too,

    Maybe to close the debate about stand off or winger/FB, below on the scotsman web site;

    "Chris Paterson admits stand-off role would have ended career early as he calls time on Scotland "

  • Comment number 62.

    Gutted to hear about Chris Paterson retiring but also glad he's bowing out at the top of his game. Such a cool headed gentleman on the pitch and one of the best and most reliable players Scotland has ever and will ever have.

    Stand out moment for me has to be last 6 nations when he pulled off that stunning try saving tackle on Ben Foden. Classic.


  • Comment number 63.

    A great servant of Scottish rugby. A true pro and a true gent. Bravo Mossy. 22 tries. Two years without a missed kick. Scotland's player of the decade IMO. We will miss him terribly. He received a lot of well deserved praise for his amazing goal kicking stats in recent times but he was far more than that.

  • Comment number 64.

    You are truly a Scottish legend! You inspire so many people (including me) to follow in yours foot steps, if that is even possible! Thank you for making every Scotland game i watched exciting!

  • Comment number 65.

    Well done Chris - as an England supporter I always worried when that man set the ball on the tee, you knew what was coming! A true gentleman both on and off the pitch, a great servant to Scottish rugby and the game in whole, the Scotland team will miss you - a brave decision to stand down when you know you might have another year or so at international level

    A great player who deserves all the plaudits he gets - good luck with the rest of your career. I still think your best was played at full back and not out-half, there was never a safer pair of hands in the back three, and not many got past you either!

  • Comment number 66.

    As a proud Englishman, Chris Paterson was the one Scottish player I feared and loved watching in equal measure. Having been a around a while I've been fortunate enough (or not...) to see his incredible pace and commitment break English hearts as well as defensive lines. And to endure his almost metronomic goalkicking success for years.

    I for one am glad he never played at 10 full time because like many others on this forum, I think he would have been outstanding. I never understood why he wasn't given a run and given encouragement to develop whatever shortcomings the selectors believed he had as a stand off.

    So I genuinely wish Chris well in his international retirement and will continue to look forward to watching him in the Heineken cup - just pleased he won't be embarrassing England defenders any longer :-)

  • Comment number 67.

    How did this man not get selected for the Lions?

    In terms of professionalism and effort, Chris clearly gave it his all. When Frank Hadden dropped him did he sulk - no he got on with it and won his place back, and rightly so.

    A natural stand off and getting picked to play wing and fullback also shows his talent and want to do the best for his country.

    For all of those that over the years have written him off let me ask you, out of 109 times you've gone to work how many times have you taken your foot off the gas or had a mare? Exactly - One thing with Chris was that he always gave his best and did what was best for his team and country.

    Thanks for all of the fond memories - a true legend.

  • Comment number 68.

    Chris Paterson you are my Hero!
    So many times your skills saved the day for Scotland. You are the type of person that makes me proud to be Scottish.
    Thank you. Good luck in the rest of your career.

  • Comment number 69.

    Fantastic player and a real inspiration to the next generation. Totally agree with John, showed that you don't have to be a a muscle bound brute to be a fantastic rugby player!

    Always thought he was a victim of his own success, in being too good at too many positions and was never given a definitive role. Much like Josh Lewsey.

  • Comment number 70.

    Fabulous memories from one of the game's true gentlemen.
    An inspiration to everyone - I hope he stays in the game for many years as he has so much to offer.
    A crying shame that at a time where Scotland so desperately needed a No 10 he weasn't given a go.
    Well done Mossy - Scotland will miss you.

  • Comment number 71.

    What a fantastic career Chris Patterson has had. He has beena great kicker and my english and Welsh friends always emitted a groan when his name was on the start list and you came to expect the kicks to sail over, with metronomic efficiency - the surprise would be if one missed!

    I've been trying to find out how long it was between missed kicks at goal in the Six Nations. Some number of years, I think - but anyone know how many?

    But the bigger eye-catcher was when he got the ball in hand and had the chance to run with it. He would seem to be heading into an impassable block of opposition players - and then, couple of jinks here and a dummy there and space appeared. He would not always be the one running through it and away - he knew when to pass as well. One of the greats in a line of outstanding Scottish full-backs stretching back (in my memory) to Ken Scotland. To stand at least as high - perhaps even higher - in the pantheon as Andy Irvine and Gavin Hastings is an amazing achievement.

    Will he be missed? Heck, yes. I'm missing him already. Good luck with the rest of his rugby career and beyond.

  • Comment number 72.

    There is a line in 'Docherty', by Hugh McIllvany after the Docherty dies. Someone says that he was only five foot four, but when your heart goes from your toes to the top of your head, that's it an awful lot of heart.

    Easily applicable to Mossy and his pride in representing our nation. Thank you Mossy and good luck in the next stage of your life.

  • Comment number 73.

    I just want to say I think Chris has been a true great. Attitude and ability are a credit to him. Never hear him complaining just gets on. If injured, dropped or overlooked just gets his head down and gets on. So many players from different countries are big headed or love the limelight. Chris as I said gets on and this has meant he sometimes goes under the radar ie. I think it a crime he didn't get selected for a Lions tour! He is an inspiration with his attitude, dedication to the game and Scotland! You can look back on your career Chris with a great deal of pride..................well done!

  • Comment number 74.

    So many memories, so much joy

    My hero and if I could pick a role model for my growing son it would be him.

    Enough said really.

  • Comment number 75.

    What a player!!!! And a great role model.
    Always gave 100% and was able to rally team and supporters alike just by taking to the field.
    A very sad day for Scottish Rugby as it loses one of it's true greats!
    You'll be sorely missed mate!

  • Comment number 76.

    Awesome player!

    109 Caps, 809 points, 4 world cups, captained Scotland 12 times, successfully kicked 36 consecutive goals for Scotland which is astonishing. Fantastic achievements and a model professional.

    Scotland could do with a few more players like you.

    All the best for the future!

  • Comment number 77.

    @#7 AlisdairMacdonald - i think the reason this seems so out of character for mossy is that it wasn't him! If it's the same instance I'm thinking about it was that other "last of his kind" wing Cammy Murray. However, thanks for reminding me about it as it has made me chuckle in memory of the gigantic roar that went around Murrayfield, certainly the biggest of the match, when big jonah was felled like a giant redwood about 5 metres the otherside of the touchline, 10 seconds after the whistle had blown! A vistory for the wee man everywhere!

  • Comment number 78.

    thanks so much Chris, where would Scotland have been in the last 10 years without you. You just never ever let Scotland or the supporters down. Instrumental in the crucial wins at murrayfield (Australia, SA, England), getting us through in tight world cups too. Massively underrated in attack and defense over the years.

    I met you in France 4 years ago, stalked you while very drunk to record a message for my mum. Did you do it? of course you did, you're Chris Paterson! Always gets the loudest cheer at Murrayfield for a reason. Tragedy not to be a British Lion. Maybe in 2013! Look forward to more years watching you set Murrayfield alight in the Edinburgh shirt.

    Thanks for everything

  • Comment number 79.

    Let us just be thankful that we had Chris to fill those positions since despite his physical size he has the heart of a Titan, & played like it whenever he walked on the pitch.

  • Comment number 80.

    What a career, inspiration and talent. Agree 100% with JB that stand-off should have been his position, but it didn't matter, he was great wherever he played.

    The only negative side was the Lions....hang your heads in shame Sir Clive and Sir Ian McG for not selecting Mossy in 2005 or 2009 - a shocking decision.

  • Comment number 81.

    A great player, a true professional, the team, squad and followers will all miss his flair and incredible reliability in all aspects of the game.
    All the best with the future Chris, you deserve every success.

  • Comment number 82.

    have followed Chris since his days at Gala, (my pupa was a friend of his dad's) has always shown himself to be quiet and unassuming but one who should never be underestimated!
    I am absolutely gutted that he won't be playing in the Calcutta Cup match at Murrayfield in Feb, i would have loved to have seen him play one more time, I do think it would be a great occasion for him to make an appearance, (not play), to give him a chance to say goodbye to the Scotland fans who have loved watching him play over the years.
    Next stop, the Hall of Fame!!

  • Comment number 83.

    Paterson is certainly my prefered Rugby player.

    For the most of his qualities.

    As a Scotland fan, i've always been in his back for the titutality of it's team.

    I'm a brasilian rugby amateur player from Salvador, and his style is my main inspiration.

    I'll certainly miss his actions on the field and behavior as a example player.


  • Comment number 84.

    Chris Paterson was all of the above, loyal servant to the (lost) Scottish Rugby cause, a jolly good fellow, solid teammate etc; but let's not get too carried away with the eulogies, he was not a great rugby player, a good one, yes, but not great.He is /was not in JW's or Carter's class and less talented than other 'great' Scots who wore the 15 jersey, there's also the small matter of a British Lions tour..
    still I wish him well..

  • Comment number 85.

    Hello, Chris Paterson texted me to say he is reading the comments on this blog and he says: "Please post a huge thank you to everyone who has taken the time to post a comment. I am truly humbled and so appreciative of all the support from everyone. Reading the comments made what was a special day into a special one for me and my family."

    He's reading this.

  • Comment number 86.

    My favourite memory of Chris Paterson was at the Recreation Ground in a game against Bath.

    There was some good natured taunting of the Edinburgh team by some of the locals, but they soon shut up when Chris' tounchfinder took a chunk out of the roof of the stand! Very funny..

    For Scotland, his 60m try against Italy will always be my fondest Paterson moment.

    I wish him well for the future and would like to thanks him for being a perfect ambassador of Scotland.

  • Comment number 87.

    Spoke at length to Mr Paterson in St Etienne after the Portugal game in 2007. It was hard to believe how unassuming a professional of his standing could be. The ultimate 'off the field' role model with the skill to light up any game he played in.

    All the best for the future and hopefully we will see you on the BBC during the Six Nations and beyond!

  • Comment number 88.

    84. Cordonbleu. Personally, the comments you have posted about Chris I would consider more appropriate for JW if by JW you mean Jonny Wilkinson. Another player who had the heart of a Lion and a fiersome tackler. I greatly admire him for his courage and commitment and brought "offensive defence" to a new level, but for me not a natural rugby brain with the ball in hand - made to look better than he was by great leaders and talented players around him. Personally I think JW a damn fine player, but overrated - not in the same league as the true all time greats. You might have had a different opinion of Chris if you had seen more of him playing with class players around him. Apart from anything else - when he was at his best Scotland had few other serious threats and so defences could target him more.

  • Comment number 89.

    Enjoy your International retirement Chris as you thoroughly deserve it.
    Watching all of Scotlands matches over the years i was impressed with Chris,s sportmanship to opposing players and his skill and total dedication to the cause.
    Looking forward to seeing you at club level with Edinburgh.

  • Comment number 90.

    Great points kicker Mr Consistant in that department.
    Renowned as being a comitted professional.
    I think that the general standard of the Scottish teams he played with took the shine away from his true abilities.
    That said, good luck in retirement!

  • Comment number 91.

    Shame to see Mossy retire, been so used to seeing his name on the teamsheet for so long now I’ll have to remind myself why he’s not there for the England game in February!

    Excellent broken play runner and unselfish in his play knowing when to give a pass he was a ray of sunlight in an otherwise bleak time for Scottish Rugby. Possibly one of the best cover tacklers I’ve seen (which he proved time and again not just in the England/Italy games of this years 6 Nations). Also much like Shane Williams for Wales shows everyone you don’t need to be a 6ft plus bruiser to play the game and succeed.

    Unfortunately his greatest asset in his versatility, which saw him rack up his impressive 109 cap tally counts against him in terms of how some will view him in terms of greatness. Had he played solely as a 10, 11 or 15 he could well have been marked as one of the greatest to play for Scotland but because he never claimed one position as his own it’s easier for people to overlook him in favour of others. Personally I do view him as a great player (no one that get 100+ caps in my book is going to be otherwise).

    Also to put it another way Mossy was never moved from his previous position because he wasn’t first choice there, but more because the alternative to take that place was better than that of the position he was moved to.

    In terms of being a Lion definitely suffered from playing in a poor performing Scotland team at the time (as shown by the lack of Scots on tours recently). To my mind should have been on the 2001 tour, especially given that the FBs were Iain Balshaw and Matt Perry.

    All the best to Chris on his future outside of the internationals and thanks for all the memorys along the way.

  • Comment number 92.

    I will always remember the way he struck fear into the hearts of the opposition, a bit like Wilko did, when some grunty front row forward (us flankers never give away penalties - ahem) transgressed. He'd step up with massive confidence and, with that signature arm-high stance, hoofed it over with absolute precision.

    Chris, you're a credit to the game. You are a model player, an proper ambassador for the sport we love regardless of national affiliation. With Wilko and Shane joining you on the retirement list how long is it before BoD follows? The greats of rugby. Thanks for the entertainment and for making my English stomach sink when you stepped up to take that kick.

  • Comment number 93.

    There is nothing bad you could ever say about the man, his contribution to scottish rugby has been immense. His attitude, courtesy, humility courage, skill are an example to any young player.

    Can't agree that he could have been one of the all time 10s, he could have been a solid 10 given time in the jersey, but never world class. At his peak he was playing in a Scotland team that was at best poor, so it was difficult to judge how good he really was.

    At 15 for whatever reason he lacked the confidence to really take people on from deep, which he certainly had the ability to do. More often than not, he resorted to running 20m and then launching an up & under which were rarely effective. I think if he had taken people on a bit like like his predesessor Glen Metcalfe, then he could have been one of our best ever in that position. Laterly he did adopt a more confident running out of defence approach, but by then he had lost a yard.

    For his try saving tackes in the last WC , and his loyalty to the team for a decade, he deserves every accolade that have been heaped upon him this week.

  • Comment number 94.

    Thank you for your service to the rugby world Chris, I always enjoyed watching you, a class player.
    It seems to me that as a player with pace and excellent vision, he would have been excellent at 10. I am Welsh and I have always thought that if he were playing for Wales, France etc he may have been able to show his running ability more often. One the one hand he has not been recognised as the goal kicker he is. During his playing days he was no doubt the best kicker in the world and never got the recognition of this awesome talent.

  • Comment number 95.

    For me, one moment stands out in my mind which demonstrates his intuitive attacking style - Wales v Scotland, 2008...

    Henderson intercepts Hook's pass to Shanklin, breaks away, tackled by Byrne, but gets the ball up to Patterson who, in the space of one stride, catches then kicks on, between the desperate lunges of Hook AND Phillips, perfect length and puts the pressure all on Wales, then slots the reulting penalty from the touch line... class

    Never let his head drop, never (seemingly) missed a kick, never let his standards drop on, or off, the pitch - Scotland AND world rugby will miss him.

    Quite a crop of class players retiring at the mo' - post WC clearout syndrome, bit of 'pruning' should result in some healthy growth I hope, for all the home nations.

  • Comment number 96.

    I was gutted to read via Rabodirect facebook page of Chris's retirement from the international scene.

    Going along to any Scottish game one felt much more confident knowing Chris was in the team and as others have said he was often given the biggest cheer.

    He has been my favourite player, who I have admired for his sporting ability including his extremely accurate goal kicking and his professionalism - getting on with the job in hand though probably underrated; a great role model for young people.

    Watching Scotland play won't be the same and he is irreplaceable.

    Thanks for all your hard work. All the best for the future.

  • Comment number 97.

    A class act. I think we'll miss the assuring calm that Mossy brought to the team; not the biggest tackler but always brought his man down, safe at the back...and whenever we got a penalty you you could see the opposition trotting back to the posts with their heads down knowing that they'd be 3 points worse off...great to see!

    I have a few lasting memories of Chris; first was the Calcutta cup at Murrayfield in 2000 when he tried to take Austin Healey on the outside, he got put into touch but I loved seeing him have a go, fearless. Next was also a Calcutta cup match at Murrayfield when he chased a touchline hugger which was gathered by Matt Dawson, whom he unceremoniously wrapped up and hurled to the ground...we won, and it felt fantastic.

    It's been said so many times, but he is a true talent and gent of the game and a sore loss for our national team. He's what rugby is, and should be, all about. One of our greatest.

  • Comment number 98.

    ...I still owe Mossy £1 for the kick he converted (from in front of the posts mind!) in 1990 when refereeing a 1st year 'A' game; on that day, the PE teacher said then that he would play for Scotland; with 20+years interest that come sin at about £1.01 ! If you ant the money Mossy, give me a shout ! Well done sir and cannae wait for the autobiography! Sorry, one last thing; 'chip and chase' - it's the future !

  • Comment number 99.

    Chris, you are an inspiration to every person in scotland. I have always enjoyed watching you and the fact that you are also a complete gentleman rounds everything off. I hope I might have the priviledge of meeting you one day. Lastly- Thanks so much for everything you've done to Scotland! Good luck in the future too!

    Charlie (Oban)

  • Comment number 100.

    First time I took my son to Murrayfield for an international (he was 6) we arrived at the same time as the Scotland team bus. He ran over to ask for Chris's autograph as he got off the bus and he couldn't have been nicer about it. Made a wee lad's day. The world would be a nicer place if more people were like Chris.

    All the best, and good luck for the future.


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