Graham Hogg

Scottish Rugby is saddened to learn of the death of former Scotland back and renowned Currie, Edinburgh and Scotland A coach, Graham Hogg.  He passed away yesterday (Tuesday 8 August) aged 69.

Charles Graham Hogg (pictured right), known to all and sundry as Greco, was born in Hawick.

He won two caps out of the Boroughmuir club as a replacement wing against France and Wales in February 1978 and was a key figure in the Meggetland men’s march to prominence in the Scottish club game during that period.

He was particularly proud of Boroughmuir’s triumph in the Melrose Sevens in 1976, when they saw off Kelso, Gala, Heriot’s and Stewart’s-Melville en route to lifting the Ladies Cup.

Champions

When he hung up his boots, Hogg, who worked for the Inland Revenue for many years, brought the same passion and nous to a coaching career, which saw him mastermind Currie’s rise from fledgling club to become Scotland’s champions in seasons 2006-2007 and 2009-2010.

One of the charges that he nurtured at Malleny Park, Ben Cairns, had taken over as the club’s head coach in recent times from another Currie stalwart, Ally Donaldson (over whom Hogg had also been a huge influence) but Hogg was still a fixture behind the posts watching studiously and with sage advice ever-ready.

Hogg’s finest hour in representative rugby was when working alongside British Lion Douglas Morgan, and the former Scotland B prop Hugh Campbell, he coached Scotland A to their 1998 Grand Slam.

Grand Slam

Ireland A were accounted for 11-9 in Dublin, their French counterparts dispatched 24-20 in Edinburgh, Wales A were beaten 18-10 away and the Grand Slam was concluded with a six try romp against England 42-14 at Inverleith.

Douglas Morgan was moved to describe the match as “as good a rugby performance as I have witnessed in the last 20 years by any Scottish side.  Graham Hogg and Hugh Campbell prepared the side so thoroughly and much of the success must in part be credited to them for their organisational and motivational skills.”

A good-natured disciplinarian, many of Scotland’s recent greats, who did not arrive the customary five minutes early for any of his team meetings, were greeted with “bide oot” as they had to wait outside the room until the meeting was over.

Hogg also coached Scottish Students and the Edinburgh District side, where the friendship that he had forged with Scottish Rugby President Rob Flockhart, flourished anew.

Rob Flockhart said today: “I met him at university, played with him at Boroughmuir and, for a time, managed the Edinburgh and Scotland A teams he coached.

“Graham was a highly intelligent man, an outstanding motivator (in his own inimitable style) and a great coach who gained the respect of, and improved the game of, all those he coached. On and off the pitch he was a special servant to our game."

Grant McKelvey, former Scotland hooker, who played under Hogg’s guidance at Edinburgh, said: “Greco is a man that a generation of rugby players in Scotland are indebted to. He had the ability to squeeze every last effort out of you in games and training.

“He was held in the highest regard possible by his players. He was a man manager before his time, had the ability to connect with everyone and had a huge influence and impact on all the players he coached for many seasons.

“Greco was a man you would crawl over broken glass to play for and one you would never pass in the street now without saying hello.”

Scottish Rugby extends its sincere condolences to all Graham Hogg’s family and friends.

Graham Hogg's funeral will take place at Mortonhall Crematorium in Edinburgh on Monday 21 August at 11am.