Scottish Rugby is saddened to learn of the death today of SRU past president Derek Brown. He was 80.
Brown was president of the SRU in 1998-99, a season that culminated in Scotland winning the last ever Five Nations Championship.
Just as his father Bob did before him, Derek was widely recognised for years of dedicated service to Melrose rugby club both on and off the pitch.
He had his own joinery and funeral business in Melrose but he could not have been further removed from the stereotypical image of the dour undertaker. He was an absolute gentleman with a fine sense of humour and always good company.
Educated at Melrose Grammar School and Galashiels Academy, Derek played in the back-row for Melrose, the South, Scottish Districts and the Barbarians. He also travelled as a reserve for Scotland without being called upon.
Jim Telfer, who was Scotland coach in that 1999 championship winning year, described Derek as a “tireless forward” who made his debut for Melrose as a teenager and who was renowned for his prowess in the lineout. “His main asset was his indefatigable spirit. He was a typical Border forward,” Telfer added.
When he completed his playing days, Derek was a member of the Melrose club committee for more than 30 years. He followed in his father’s footsteps as club secretary for 12 years and then became club president.
First elected to the SRU general committee in 1984, Derek was Field Convener for eight years including the 1990 Grand Slam season, overseeing the transformation of Murrayfield to the 67,000 all-seater capacity stadium and the official re-opening of the stadium by The Princess Royal in 1994.
Scottish Rugby extends its sincere condolences to Derek’s wife Janet and all his family and friends.