Borders rugby legend Roy Laidlaw taking up new sporting challenge

Borders rugby legend Roy Laidlaw’s loyalty to his home-town club, Jed-Forest, can’t be doubted, having spent his entire playing career there.

Monday, 1st March 2021, 5:32 pm
Borders rugby legend Roy Laidlaw has been appointed as honorary captain at Jedburgh Golf Club (Photo: Bill McBurnie)

Now, though, the Jedburgh 67-year-old, capped 47 times for Scotland between 1980 and 1988, has taken up a new post with another sporting club in the town.

The former scrum-half has been appointed as honorary captain at Jedburgh Golf Club.

Laidlaw’s a relative newcomer to the sport, having only taken it up three years ago, but he’s put in more than his fair share of voluntary shifts at the Dunion Road course since then to help keep its greens up to scratch and that’s something he plans to keep up.

Former Scotland No 9 Roy Laidlaw golfing with his No 10 from back in the day, John Rutherford, at Jedburgh Golf Club (Photo: Bill McBurnie)

“It’s such a nice sport,” Laidlaw, playing off a handicap of 25, told us.

“I’ve always said that rugby sevens and golf are like for like as anyone can win on their day and one bounce of the ball can create havoc.

“My sons – Clark, Scott and Chris – all play golf, but it’s something I only took up three years ago.

“Over the last couple of years, I’ve not been able to play that much, but since Christmas I’ve been at it most days, even if it’s just been at the driving range at Mounthooly as you can hit a few balls there in any weather.”

His most regular playing partner at the Jedburgh course is his long-time Scotland team-mate John Rutherford, 65, of Selkirk.

Laidlaw and Rutherford’s partnership for the national team was a record-breaker, stretching to 35 games, though it was outdone a year ago last October by the pairing of his nephew Greig Laidlaw and Finn Russell at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, and the pair, both former British and Irish Lions, remain regular sporting companions.

He also enjoys the occasional round with fellow ex-internationals such as Keith Robertson, Finlay Calder and Gary Callander.

A spokesperson for the club said: “We are delighted to announce that Roy Laidlaw has been appointed as honorary club captain at Jedburgh Golf Club for the 2021 season.

“Roy is a very popular figure at the club and in the town as a whole.

“We ask that everyone supports Roy throughout the season to ensure he gets the year he deserves.”