Scottish Rugby is saddened to learn of the death of Past President, Chairman and Chief Executive, Fred McLeod, who passed away after a long illness on Christmas Day. He was 80.
Frederick Charles Hubert McLeod gave more than 60 years of distinguished service to the sport he loved, from the grassroots to the global game’s ultimate governing body.
Fellow past President, Andy Irvine, the former Scotland and British Lions full-back, said: “Freddie was rugby through and through.He was a great servant to the game and I really enjoyed working with him.”
Born in 1939 in Edinburgh, he was educated at Stewart’s College and Edinburgh University, qualifying as a chartered accountant.
He played for 23 years as a full-back with Stewart’s FP, retiring as a player in 1970 after he had detached a retina in his eye.
He became a club selector and then the first secretary of the newly-formed Stewart’s-Melville FP in 1973, latterly becoming club president.
In 1979 he took on the role of secretary of the invitational club, the Co-optimists, managing them to the final of the Hong Kong 7s in 1981 and the quarter-finals in 1986.
He was first elected to the SRU General Committee as one of Edinburgh’s District representatives in June 1981 and his tenure included both Scotland’s 1984 and 1990 Grand Slams.
He chaired Scottish Rugby’s finance committee, managed the national team’s tour to Argentina in 1994 and from 1991 until 1996 he was one of Scotland’s representatives on the International Rugby Board, taking part in the momentous decision made in Paris in 1995, which led to rugby union becoming a professional sport.
In 1996 he was elected President and his year in office included a match in which – so typical of his compassion and basic decency – the rugby community embraced the families that had been so tragically affected by the Dunblane disaster.
In 2005, at a turbulent time for Scottish Rugby, he returned to serve for one year as interim Chairman and Chief Executive and set about the process of restoring stability.
Off the rugby field, he worked for 27 years at the food company DB Marshall of Newbridge, rising through the ranks to become company secretary and finance director. He was later bursar at Stewart’s-Melville College.
A High Constable of Edinburgh, Rotarian, golfer, bowler and cricketer – playing as a wicket-keeper/batsman for Stewart’s FP for some 20 years – Fred’s was a life lived to the full.
He enjoyed 51 years of marriage to Sandra, who passed away in 2014.Scottish Rugby extends its sincere condolences to their three children, Angela, Graham and Caroline, Fred’s seven grand-children and all his many friends.
Fred McLeod’s funeral will take place at Warriston Crematorium in Edinburgh on Friday 10 January at 10am, with a wake thereafter at Stewart’s-Melville Rugby Clubhouse at Inverleith.