Scottish Rugby is saddened to learn of the death of Past President Jock Steven who died overnight after suffering from dementia for several years. He was 84.
John Brown Steven was President in 1993-94, a season characterised by narrow defeats for the Scotland team, including the controversial “hand of Rob” late penalty which saw England snatch a 15-14 Calcutta Cup win at Murrayfield. A draw against Ireland at Lansdowne Road was the high point of the season.
Born in St Andrews on 10 May 1935, Jock’s family had moved to Fife from their roots in Ayrshire and he grew up on a tenant farm at Stravithie, in the parish of Dunino, on the East Neuk of Fife.
Later, the family took on the mixed arable Beley farm at Dunino and produced crops including barley, potatoes and wheat.
Jock Steven was educated at Madras College, where he played as a flanker and then joined the FP club, where he was captain in the 1958/59 and 1961/62 seasons.
After National Service in the Royal Horse Guards, he returned to rugby and in 1957 played with his three brothers, Bill, Alan and Robert, in the Madras first XV in one game.
He also represented North and Midlands (including against the 1964 All Blacks) and the Barbarians – winning selection for the latter on their 1962 Easter tour of Wales and was an unused travelling reserve for Scotland.
On completing his playing career, he coached at Madras and with North and Midlands and served on the club committee and as club President at Madras from 1970-75.
He became part of the North and Midlands committee and then joined Scottish Rugby’s general committee as Midlands district representative in 1976, taking responsibility for the Scotland Under-18 squad during his stint.
He was tour manager of the Scotland Development XV unbeaten tour to Zimbabwe in 1988 – which marked the introduction to Scotland colours of the likes of Craig Chalmers and Alex Moore – and took all the challenges on that tour, including a collision between a cement mixer and the team’s bus and an aborted plane landing after a rhinoceros strolled on to the runway, in his stride!
His wife, Val, died last year of cancer.
Scottish Rugby extends its sincere condolences to all Jock Steven’s family and friends.