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Broadcaster and writer Ian Robertson is Holt RFC’s main dinner speaker

PUBLISHED: 00:32 12 October 2017

Ian Robertson has a date at Holt RFC next month. Picture: Club

Ian Robertson has a date at Holt RFC next month. Picture: Club

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This year’s guest speaker at Holt Rugby Club’s annual dinner next month will be rugby commentator and broadcaster Ian Robertson.

Robertson’s sporting potential first became evident in his student days when he won rugby blues at both Aberdeen and Cambridge Universities.

An outside half, noted for his intelligence in reading play, he joined London Scottish and went on win eight international caps for Scotland between 1968 and 1970.

This rugby background is remarkably similar to Holt’s founding father and first president, Logie Bruce Lockhart. Like Logie, Robertson went on to be a public school teacher, but in his case at the leading Edinburgh school, Fettes, where his former pupils included Tony Blair.

It is as broadcaster that Robertson is best known. He joined the BBC as a rugby commentator in 1972 and for over 40 years has covered some of the greatest rugby matches around the world.

He says that his most memorable on-air moments are Scotland winning the Grand Slams in 1984, against France, and in 1990, against England, plus Jonny Wilkinson dropping the World Cup goal for England in 2003.

Over this period he has been no stranger to controversy and was highly critical of the British Lions’ coach Warren Gatland’s decision to drop the great Irish player Brian O’Driscoll in 2013. During the summer season he has often commentated on horse racing and, to quote, has had “numerous tiny shares in a succession of very slow horses that lacked any sort of ambition”.

Robertson is now recognised as one of the UK’s leading rugby after-dinner speakers.

As well as a wealth of sporting anecdotes, he can draw on his wider experience in the media. He has written biographies of leading rugby players, including Englishman Billy Beaumont, Welshman Gareth Edwards and Scot Andy Irvine. Moving beyond sport, Ian wrote the family biography of actor Richard Burton, spending a week in Hollywood to persuade the late Elizabeth Taylor to write the foreword.

The dinner will be held at the club’s Bridge Road clubhouse on Thursday, November 2. Tickets, at £48, are available from Andrew Ross on 07889 958008 or e-mail: arosss@btinternet.com

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