Arguably the greatest sports commentator ever, certainly the greatest rugby commentator, Bill McLaren, known as ‘The Voice Of Rugby’ believed passionately in sport and sportsmanship. Last week’s 15 Quotes from Bill covered Celebrations, Fisticuffs, Tough Guys & some Big Boys. This week we continue with Big Boys. Here’s the next 15 unique quotes from Bill McLaren:
On French forward, Cristian Califano, ‘built like a bicycle shed’
“And there’s Beaumont in that English scrum looking like a man who enjoys his food …”
“There’s a few stone o’ Border beef in that scrum”
“There goes 18 stones of prime Scottish beef on the hoof” (anyone know who Bill is referring to here?)
With reference to Moss Keaner – “prime Irish beef”?
On Jonah Lomu “It’s like trying to tackle a snooker table!”
“Now I’m not a hod man, but if I saw Jonah Lomu running at me I’d be putting down bricks, I’ll tell you.” [on Jonah Lomu]
On Victor Ubogu’s behind – England v South Africa. Big Victor Ubogu had his shorts ripped to shreds in a frantic ruck and as he bent down to change them right in front of the camera – his big behind came into view, Bill’s dulcet tones rang out “A splendid rear view there!” The whole pub erupted with laughter.
Running (can anyone tell us who Bill was referring to here?)
“He could sidestep 3 men in a telephone box”
“He’s like a slippery salmon.”
“He’s like a whirling tsetse fly!”
“He’s like a demented ferret up a wee drainpipe.”
“He’s as quick as a trout up a burn.”
On the towering Doddie Weir running with the ball “like a run-away giraffe”
On Simon Geoghegan, Irish winger “He’s like Bambi on speed.”
On Grant Batty: “He plays like a runaway bullet.”
The late great, Bill McLaren was simply the world’s best rugby commentator ever. He was known as ‘The Voice Of Rugby’. Bill believed in sportsmanship – shaking hands, thanking the ref, respect, fun and, of course, competition. He loved the characters in the game. His unique descriptions and authoritive voice added so much excitement, intrigue and enthral. His spirit lives on here in this blog and in The Bill McLaren Foundation. We were honoured when Bill’s daughter, Linda, wrote a beautiful piece for last week’s post. This week Ollie Campbell (Ireland & Lions fly half) told me that just the mention of Bill McLaren’s name brings great memories gushing back.
All 60 quotes are categorised as follows:
Celebrations x 1; Fisticuffs x 3; Tough Guys x 5; Big Boys x14; Running x 11; Passing x 1; Kicking x 10; Jumping x 4; Weather x 2; Absolute Classic McLaren x 5; Looking Back x 2 Encouraging students x 1; Sportsmanship x 1
Bill Mclaren Quotes Part 1 includes quotes about Celebrations; Fisticuffs; Tough Guys; Big Guys and also a beautiful piece written by Bill’s daughter, Linda, specifically for us.
Bill Mclaren Quotes Part 3 about Runners (& jinkers); Passing; Kicking and Lineout Jumping (15 x Quotes)
Bill Mclaren Quotes Part 4 Line-Out jumping (continued), Weather Conditions, Classic Mclaren, Looking Back (15 x Quotes)
Bill McLaren’s spirit lives on – here in this blog and in The Bill McLaren Foundation.
Please add (a) any quotes you recall and (b) what Bill’s commentaries meant to you. Thank you.