Ex-Melrose player Michael Cipolato

Michael Cipolato
Michael Cipolato

Tributes have been paid to a record-setting former Melrose rugby player, who has died at the age of 78.

Michael Cipolato, who passed away on December 14, became a Borderer because his father had a senior position as head waiter at the Peebles Hydro.

He was educated at the Abbey School, Fort Augustus, on the shores of Loch Ness, where he was an outstanding sportsman in the 1950s.

When he left school, he joined Melrose Rugby Club, for whom he played in the first XV.

He was a prominent member of the squad in the 1960s and held the club record for the most tries scored by a centre-threequarter.

Mr Cipolato died peacefully in Edinburgh after a short illness and is due to be laid to rest after a private funeral in the city.

A friend and former classmate at Abbey School, Michael Turnbull, said: “He was a flamboyant character on and off the field. Sadly, he never played for Scotland but, given his ability, he should have.”