Arthur Dorward

Scottish Rugby is saddened to learn of the death of the 15-times capped former Scotland scrum-half Arthur Fairgrieve Dorward, who passed away last week aged 90.

Dorward, whose international career spanned from 1950-57, led Scotland on three occasions – against England in 1952 at Murrayfield; and against France away and Wales at home the following year.  He was the first Gala player to captain Scotland and also played club rugby for Cambridge University.

Followed his brother

Dorward, who won Barbarians and South of Scotland honours too, had succeeded his older brother Tom in the Scotland scrum-half jersey, Tom having won five caps between 1938 and 1939 before he died during the Second World War.

Arguably Arthur Dorward’s finest Scotland performance – during an era where the 44-0 loss to South Africa in 1951 spawned a run of 15 successive defeats – came in the 1957 meeting against Wales at Murrayfield.

In his book “Scottish Rugby – game by game”, author Kenneth Bogle wrote: “On a dry and sunny afternoon, an enormous crowd that included many thousands of Welsh supporters saw a hard, fast and exciting match. 

“The outcome was uncertain until the end and it took one act of genius to separate the sides.”

The scores were tied at 6-6 when Scotland full-back Ken Scotland missed a penalty attempt and the Welsh sought to find touch – they didn’t. Bogle takes up the story: “Scrum-half Arthur Dorward took the ball and, completely unexpectedly, dropped a prodigious goal from a long and difficult angle (at least 40 metres out and 10 metres from the touchline). It was said that the cheers of the astonished crowd were heard in Princes Street.”

A director in the family textile and clothing business, Dorward was schooled at St Mary’s Prep School in Melrose and Sedbergh School in Cumbria.

Scottish Rugby extends its sincere condolences to all Arthur Dorward’s family and friends.