Bill McLaren was a full time school teacher in his home village of Hawick in Scotland. In his spare time he also became the TV rugby commentator on the BBC for over 50 years. When I was a young broadcaster in New Zealand trying to get a start at the microphone I can remember thinking, ‘if what Bill McLaren does has him regularly on the BBC it must be the way for me to go.’ So I shamelessly modeled myself on his method.
Bill believed those involved in any game are much more than just being nameless creatures with numbers on their backs. He researched every player in every game to find out who they were as people, where they came from and maybe even who their parents were! I met Bill a number of times and he always told me, ‘son, before anything in life you MUST always do your homework!.’
I tried to do that and I think it worked for me – well, it must have, I am still touring and commentating and now have over 40 years of experience doing it. If you hear me on the air and listen carefully my style is still shamelessly done in my version of a direct impersonation of ‘the McLaren way.’ Thanks Bill!
Keith Quinnfrom Keith Quinn