The Emirates Airline Glasgow 7s, which takes place for the first time at Scotstoun Stadium, next month, will be linked to the Voice of Rugby and a great evangelist for the global advance of the abbreviated game.The Bill McLaren Foundation is confirmed today as the official charity of the Emirates Airline Glasgow 7s.
Bill’s daughter, Linda Lawson, said today: “Dad adored sevens. His final TV commentary was at the 2002 Melrose Sevens and I remember how excited he was when he came back from Hong Kong for the first time."
“Sevens, and the values of the sport, were so close to Dad’s heart and we are delighted that the Foundation will benefit from the official charity status at the Emirates Airline Glasgow 7s.”
What the status means in practice is that the Foundation will have the opportunity to promote its aims to the crowd at the glittering two-day event on 5 and 6 May, which involves 16 of the best international sevens teams on the planet as the penultimate leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series.
There will be a bucket collection and guests will be able to sample Bill’s IPA beer, which has been produced for the Foundation by the Black Isle Brewing Company near Inverness.
Chris Paterson, Scotland’s cap record-holder cited Bill’s commentary of his 90-metre try for Gala at Melrose when Gala won the Ladies Cup in 1999, as one of his proudest recollections.
He said: “Bill’s description of that try is stuck in my memory and I think it’s really fitting that the Foundation has this official link to the Emirates Airline tournament which will be staged in Glasgow for the first time.”
Dominic McKay, Scottish Rugby’s Director of Communications and Public Affairs, said: “Bill was renowned around the world as the Voice of Rugby and the flair with which he commentated on some of the best sevens players in the world, Fiji when they were dominant in Hong Kong for example, was such a part of these occasions.
“We are thrilled that the Foundation will be on board with us at the Emirates Airline Glasgow 7s and that we assist in the Foundation’s profile and work at such a major international event, for which tickets are selling fast and which will attract a global TV audience anticipated to be more than 200 million.”
Notes to editors: The Bill McLaren Foundation is a charity which has been set up to raise funds to support the development of rugby and its values and also to recognise the contribution Bill McLaren made to rugby through education and the development of an interpretative centre.