Scottish Rugby celebrates famous five with new Hall of Fame inductions
Dee Bradbury, Vicky Galbraith, Keri Holdsworth, Kim Littlejohn and Ally Ratcliffe inducted to our Hall of Fame.
Scottish Rugby’s determination to recognise the growing diversity of the game and celebrate the huge role that women play in enhancing rugby, is celebrated today.
Five women who have made pioneering and ground-breaking contributions to rugby and wider society are being inducted into Scottish Rugby’s Hall of Fame.
They are Dee Bradbury OBE, Vicky Galbraith, Keri Holdsworth, Ally Ratcliffe and Kim Littlejohn.
The famous five will join Scottish Rugby’s most capped player of all time, Donna Kennedy, who played in a then world-record 115 international matches and who was inducted in 2017.
The Hall of Fame was established in 2010 to celebrate the towering contribution made by Scots to the oval ball game for what is now over 150 years.
Scottish Rugby Board Chairman John Jeffrey, who also chairs the Hall of Fame induction panel, declared: “As the Scotland Women’s squad prepare for their World Cup qualification matches, which begin in Italy on Monday, the panel felt now was a really good time to pay tribute to just some of the women who have helped to shape the rich history of our game in Scotland.
“Scotland Women only played their first international match 28 years ago but as a sport and as rugby clubs we know how vital women and girls have always been to the game and never more so than today.
“Happily, now all areas of the game – from the playing field to the boardroom – are open and accessible to women and girls and it’s right that our Hall of Fame should acknowledge and celebrate the changing landscape and that diversity.
“Today’s induction also underlines the importance that Scottish Rugby places in its strategy through to 2023 – Winning, Women and Wellbeing – in encouraging more women and girls to become involved in rugby.
“The latest Inductees are truly inspirational role models.”
The panel – comprising John Jeffrey; Scotland’s all-time points’ record-holder Chris Paterson MBE; Scotland’s 1990 Grand Slam head coach and multi-British & Irish Lions head coach Sir Ian McGeechan; and renowned former BBC Radio Scotland rugby commentator and broadcaster Bill Johnstone – inducted the following:
DEE BRADBURY OBE: Dee became the first female President of a Tier One rugby union in the world when she began her two-season term as Scottish Rugby’s President in 2018. A former police officer, Dee took up rugby after she had represented Great Britain at athletics and played representative netball. She helped to establish the women’s section at the Oban Lorne club, where she eventually became club president and secretary of the Argyll and Bute club. She was first elected to the Scottish Rugby Council as women’s representative and served as Scottish Rugby’s first female vice-president from 2016 for two years before her elevation to President. She also represented Scottish Rugby on Rugby Europe. Her sons, Magnus and Fergus, are both rugby players, Magnus having represented Scotland and Edinburgh Rugby in the back-row and Fergus, Scotland under-20 as a prop.
VICKY GALBRAITH: Vicky Galbraith won 29 caps for Scotland Women as a prop forward out of the Murrayfield Wanderers and Richmond clubs between 1998 and 2002, helping Scotland to the Women’s European championship in 2001. Some 24 hours after that match in Lille, she was back on club duty helping Richmond win the English Women’s club championship at Twickenham. She pursued a successful career in pharmaceutical anti-cancer drug development but in a horrific irony she found herself diagnosed with a rare cancerous brain tumour. After undergoing major surgery to remove the tumour and during intensive chemotherapy, Vicky's thoughts were with others and she put her best foot forward in a massive sponsored Big Walk to Clinic from her birthplace, Portree on the Isle of Skye, where her diagnosis began, to the Beatson Cancer Care Centre in Glasgow. The 215-mile trek, in April 2011 saw her raise thousands for cancer charities. She died, aged 40, in May 2013.
KERI HOLDSWORTH: Keri Holdsworth was capped 15 times for Scotland Women as a back-row forward from the Watsonians club between 2008 and 2010. As a graduate of Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh, she progressed her career as a physiotherapist in NHS Fife but also gave back so much to the sport of rugby, whether at club level with Watsonians, the FASIC Sports Medicine Centre at Edinburgh University or with Scotland age-grade teams and international players. She was also a physiotherapist volunteer at the 2012 Olympics in London and was immensely supportive of young players developing in rugby, bringing her skills and enthusiasm for the game to girls' festivals and tournaments. Sadly, she died in a car crash in the north of England in June 2014 but the esteem in which she is held is evident from the creation of a Keri Holdsworth scholarship at Edinburgh University.
KIM LITTLEJOHN: Kim Littlejohn, a hard-running centre originally from Kirkcaldy, was one of the trail-blazers for women’s rugby in Scotland. She won 43 caps between 1993 and 2000 out of the Edinburgh Accies club that she joined having taken up the sport at Edinburgh University. She played in the first international, a win against Ireland at Raeburn Place in 1993, and went on to captain Scotland in 29 of her 43 caps. She led Scotland to, thus far, their only Grand Slam in the Women’s game, fittingly scoring a try in the 8-5 victory over England at Inverleith in March 1998 which crowned that success. She was renowned for creating opportunities for fellow players to shine and also for her uncompromising defence.
ALLY RATCLIFFE: Ally Ratcliffe nee Little won six caps for Scotland Women as an inside centre/ full-back out of the Langholm, Waterloo and Carlisle clubs in 2000. She started playing mini-rugby at the Langholm club as an eight-year-old and was so passionate about rugby at the oldest club in the Borders that she returned from university and teacher training to become, ultimately, the first female head coach of a men’s club first XV in Scotland in 2013 when she feared had she not stepped forward that the club was on the brink of folding. After a season as head coach, she became de facto director of rugby and working alongside others, including Langholm’s former DO, Iain Park, she established youth infrastructures that are working to this day. As a teacher, deputy rector, at Hawick High School, Ally also provided invaluable guidance and help to a promising young rugby talent. That talent has flourished as Lisa Thomson is now a pivotal member of the Scotland Women’s team.
Scottish Rugby plans to conduct the inductions in person to Dee, Alison and Kim, alongside family members of Vicky and Keri, during November’s international matches.
The full list of inductees to the Hall of Fame reads:
2010 - David Bedell-Sivright; Phil Macpherson; Ned Haig; Ken Scotland; Sandy Carmichael MBE; Andy Irvine MBE; Finlay Calder OBE; Bill McLaren CBE; Gavin Hastings OBE; Sir Ian McGeechan; Jim Telfer MBE; Gordon Brown.
2013 – Mark Morrison; Ian Smith; Hugh McLeod OBE; Ian McLauchlan OBE; Jim Renwick; David Leslie; Gary Armstrong OBE; Chris Paterson MBE; Norman Mair; John Rutherford
2017 – Douglas Elliot; Donna Kennedy; Mark Robertson; James Robson MBE
2020 – Doddie Weir OBE
2021 – Scotland team of 1871; Dee Bradbury OBE; Vicky Galbraith; Keri Holdsworth; Kim Littlejohn; Ally Ratcliffe