Scottish Rugby is saddened to learn of the death of the former Hawick and Scotland centre/wing George Stevenson. He was 79. Stevie, as he was known affectionately, won 24 caps for Scotland in an international career that spanned nine years.
A product of Hawick PSA and Linden, he was a regular with the Greens from 1951 to 1967. He scored a try on his debut for Scotland against England at Murrayfield in 1956 and added tries in victories against France and Australia in his third and fifth caps. Another highlight was his thrilling solo try for the Scottish Districts when they defeated South Africa 16-8 at his beloved Mansfield Park in the 1960s.
Everyone in Hawick knew that “Stevie” would sidestep that day because that was his routine in club colours. The only exception was the poor Springbok defender who was completely bamboozled.
At 6ft 2ins, he was a big man playing in the backs of that period. His Hawick and Scotland team-mate and friend, Hughie McLeod, reflected: “Stevie was raw-boned and tough. He was always a match-winner.
He was a like car. He had gears and he would move into top gear when he thought it was necessary.
“He was never happy touching the ball down in the corner. He would always want to touch down under the posts. He was such a character.”
McLeod recalls when Stevenson was a late call-up for the Calcutta Cup match against England at Twickenham in 1959 when the English midfield was Philllips and their captain Jeff Butterfield. “I remember telling Stevie about how powerful and special a player Butterfield was but his response was ‘Dinnae you worry.’” Scotland drew the match 3-all that day.
Raised in Hawick, George Drummond Stevenson served his apprenticeship as an engineer and did two years’ National Service.
He worked for Bibby’s the farm suppliers and, ultimately, became a whisky representative for Ballantine’s Whisky, even though he was a teetotaller. His job with Ballantine’s meant he was based in Glasgow and at that point he moved house to Currie.
He died on Tuesday. Scottish Rugby extends it sincere condolences to all Stevie’s family and friends. Hawick RFC will hold a minute’s silence before their RBS National League game against Stewart’s-Melville FP at Mansfield Park on Saturday to mark his death.
When we have funeral details we will advise via our website.