Obituary: Ken Ross

Obituary: Ken Ross

Scottish Rugby is saddened to learn of the death at the weekend of former Scotland flanker Ken Ross. He was 84.

Kenneth Innes Ross won 11 caps for Scotland between 1961 and 1963 and was the first cap out of the Boroughmuir club.

He was born in Folkestone in Kent on March 15, 1937, his father serving with the Seaforth Highlanders.

The family returned to Scotland and spent time in Nairn before settling in Edinburgh where Ken only took up rugby when he was 15 at Boroughmuir High School.

He first came to prominence when he played for the combined Glasgow and Edinburgh side against Australia at Old Anniesland in Glasgow in December 1957. The Wallabies won the match 9-3.

But he had to wait another three seasons for his Scotland debut.

In the interim, doing his National Service with the Royal Marines, he played for the United Services (Portsmouth), Devonport Services, the Royal Navy in the Inter-Services Tournament, Hampshire in the English County Championship and toured with the Irish Wolfhounds.

His first international was a narrow 5-12 loss against South Africa at Murrayfield in January 1961, precursor to home victories against Wales and Ireland later that year.

Against the Irish, Ross scored a brace of tries in a 16-8 success. The Press loved the Scots’ performance that day. “In the loose Ken Ross, John Douglas and Ken Smith were getting on to every loose ball in a flash and no sooner had they made the pounce, than the whole pack were with them.

“Altogether a great, exciting match of wonderful variety. Every skill in the game was portrayed. Every emotion stretched to the limit,” enthused the Glasgow Herald’s correspondent.

The following year, Ross shared in Scotland away victories in Cardiff and Dublin and a drawn Calcutta Cup match on home soil.

And in his last year of international duty, Ross was again part of a stellar forward pack who achieved an 11-6 victory over France at the Stade Colombes in Paris, France’s first defeat on home soil for five years at the time.

His final Scotland cap was against England at Twickenham in 1963, when Scotland were thwarted by a glorious score from England stand-off Richard Sharp, who was a friend of Ross’s from his time in the services.

Ross worked for Invergordon Distillers, continuing his rugby with the Ross Sutherland club, before joining Stanley P. Morrison as a whisky broker in Glasgow in the mid ‘60s.

His work took him to some 72 countries around the world, but he always maintained a keen interest in the Boroughmuir club, from which he won his international honours.

Scottish Rugby extends its sincere condolences to Ken Ross’s widow, Joan, daughters Tiffany and Trisha, son Gavin, grandchildren Flora, Hebe, Willow, Una and Chrissie and all his many friends.

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