William Gordon MacDonald

04th July 2012

London Scottish is saddened to learn of the death of former international full-back Gordon MacDonald, who has died at the age of 73.

Gordon, was a regular member of the 1st XV at London Scottish for 10 seasons at a time in the club's history when the LSFC 1st XVs were regarded as one of the best sides in the country. He was Captain of the team for 2 seasons, a feat only done by one other man, Frans Ten Bos, in the first 100 years of the club. During one of his tenures as Captain, London Scottish had an unbeaten season and topped the merit league, in the 1968/69 season.

He was also a regular member of the Middlesex County side and again under his captaincy won a County Championship (this was at a time when such Championships included all the top players in domestic rugby). Gordon also played regularly for a hugely successful Anglo-Scots side, and appeared for the Barbarians. As well as that, although it's only recorded as one cap, Gordon also toured Argentina with Scotland and played against Argentina, though was not awarded caps for those games due to the fact that at the time internationals against Argentina were not considered as a full international.

Gordon was also a member of the Scotland set up for several seasons. Years later during the time when Will Carling was leading the way for professional rugby, Gordon was to remark to my Father, 'I don't know why he's complaining, it used to be I'd be involved with rugby seven days a week, training at London Scottish, Middlesex duties, up and down to Scotland on the train, selection duties with London Scottish and Middlesex, and I never got a penny for it.'

He was a prolific goal kicker, on the Middlesex tour of East Africa in 1968 season, he was top scorer with 45 points all by kicking, this in the time of the heavier leather ball. Also what should be noted was the success of Gordon as a Captain. This was after all long before the 10 minute half-times with the Coaches, it was the Captain on the field giving pointers; although Gordon especially at London Scottish was surrounded by talent he was able to lead sides to great success. His skill of leadership was probably both a mixture of his on field acumen and his larger than life personality which so many people loved him for. This time of on field leadership probably helped Gordon's latter career as a Coach to be equally effective and successful, creating future rugby talent. Though Gordon never got a significant amount of Scotland Caps, his time as a player was at the highest level of the domestic scene. He leaves behind a loving family and many friends.

London Scottish extends its sincere condolences to Gordon MacDonald’s family and friends.

Courtesy of Ross MacDonald

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