Rugby Memories Club


Murray Watson is the Hawick RFC Rugby Memories Club contact, and can be contacted by e-mail.

Full details:

Murray Watson
Hawick Rugby Football Club
Mansfield Park

Forthcoming meetings

Details of the 2019 meetings can be seen here









Hawick RFC Rugby Memories Club


The inaugural game of walking rugby, organised by the Hawick Rugby Memories Club, took place at the Auld Baths on Thursday 20 September. Many of the players, who had not touched a rugby ball for over forty years, quickly re-discovered old skills and all of the women, who had never played rugby before, quickly became adept at this new non-contact version of the game.

Everyone admitted afterwards that walking rugby was more fun than they imagined, as well as providing a good work out. Bottled water, generously donated by Morrisons made a welcome change from the old half-time oranges and provided much-needed rehydration.

The inspiration for walking rugby came from the popularity of walking football. Walking rugby is largely played by people in their forties and fifties. The Hawick version of the game, however, has been developed for the sixty plus generation of both sexes and even caters for players in wheelchairs. The next game will take place in the Auld Baths on Thursday 18 October at 14.30 for an hour. New players are most welcome, fun, camaraderie and rewarding exercise are guaranteed.


Hawick Rugby Memories in association with Alzheimer Scotland runs monthly meetings for anyyone interested in rugby from the 1950s to the present day. The sessions are particularly beneficial for those with memory problems, their carers, people living on their own, indeed all rugby fans.

Meetings take place on the first Thursday of the month during the rugby season from 14:30 until 16:00. The venue is Mansfield Park. Meetings are usually kicked of with a short journey down memory lane in the company of a weel kent rugby character sharing memories from yesteryear. We then have tea, with time to persuse a wide range of memorabilia and old photos before showing a video of a game from the era when a try was only worth three or four points. Every meeting is accompanied by much laughter, banter, fun and enjoyment.

Previous guest speakers have included Gerald Adams, Gary Alexander, Ian Barnes, Finlay Calder, Vern Cotter, Alastair Cranston, David Ferguson, George Keown, Linda and Alan Lawson, Jim Renwick, Tony Stanger, Jim Telfer and Gregor Townsend


Iain, The Bear, Milne was the special guest at the October gathering of the Hawick Rugby Memories Club. Iain talked with passion about his love for the game, his affinity to Hawick and Borders rugby, along with some amusing tales of his first Scottish cap in 1979. According to Iain, in those days SRU officials would provide champagne for the players after the game if they won and only beer if they lost. The officials had a real dilemma after Iain’s first international when Scotland drew with Ireland! The meeting closed with four cracking videos of international matches involving Iain.

Scotland’s leading points scorer, Chris Paterson, kicked off the fifth season of the Hawick Rugby Memories Club by recalling the emotions of his first, fiftieth and hundredth caps. Chris was joined by the SRU’s Graham Law who brought along the Calcutta Cup for members to be photographed alongside. One of those in the audience was former Heriot’s scrum half, Alan Lawson, who like Chris belongs to a very rare group of players who had won the Calcutta Cup three times. The next meeting is the inaugural walking rugby session in the Old Baths at 14.30 on Thursday 20 September followed by guest speaker Iain Milne on Thursday 4 October back at Mansfield Park.

Major new Rugby Visitor Centre being considered for Hawick

Plans that include a range of ideas for important memorabilia in Hawick are being considered in a 12,500 feasability study. A collection of some 20,000 historic rugby artefacts belonging to Hawick Rugby Club and the Bill McLaren Foundation, many of which have been in storage for years, have been examined and catalogued over the past year.

Funding from SSE and Clyde Windfarms Ltd has enabled Hawick Rugby Club to appoint award winning consultants, Alan Jones Associates from Inverness, to conduct a feasability study and appraisal.

Hawick Rugby Club members Murray Watson and Ross Cameron have asked that five options to preserve, store and display this rich and unique collection of rugby memorabilia be studied by the consultants. The options to be assessed range from simply digitising and archiving the material right up to the creation of a new visitor centre with modern facilities situated somewhere in the town.

John Thorburn, the Hawick Rugby Club President said, "the prospect of securing and sharing Hawick's rugby heritage and that of the Voice of Rugby is exciting for the club, the town and rugby supporters everywhere." Linda Lawson, Bill McLaren's daughter added, "Dad would have been very pleased and proud of these plans. He was an invetorate collector and rarely threw anything away. We have fantastic memories from his schooldays right up to the time he hung up his microphone."

Lindsay Dougan, SSE Comunity Investment Manager said "SSE and Clyde Wind Farm Ltd are delighted to support this fantastic project. The Bill McLaren collection provides a unique insight into the heritage of rugby in both the Scottish Borders and across all of Scotland."

Amongst the thousands of artefacts in the collection are international caps dating from 1896, international jerseys, souvenirs from the British Lions tour, one of the largest collections of club and international programmes, autographed balls, hundreds of rugby photographs, trophies, Bill McLaren's extensive research material, his big sheets, videos, commentaries and a lot more.


Playing time

Two halves of ten minutes each way.
Game starts with a pass off from centre spot.


Length 25m to 30m, width 12m to 15m approx. Markings required, two goal lines, two touchlines and a halfway line centre spot, e.g. a netball court.


Five or seven aside on field.
Unlimited substitutions.
Teams may be mixed gender.


Suitable clothing for exercise. Bibs will be provided.


Use size five or size four ball.


Only at normal walking pace.
Ball can only be passed, not kicked.
No player allowed within one metre of any opposition player.
Penalty, free pass from point of infringement - the opposition cannot try to interfere with a penalty pass. Pass count restarts (see 3 below).
Pass cannot be scored from free pass directly.

There should always be 2 (3) members of a team in each half

Penalty, free pass from centre spot.
Pass count restarts (see 3 below).


A try, worth one point, is scored by catching the ball over the goal line.
No defender allowed over the goal line.
Penalty, free pass from centre spot.
Pass count restarts (see 3 below).

Possession changes when:

1- A try is scored.
Play restarts from centre spot.
2 - Ball not passed within five seconds.
Play restarts from where play is stopped.
3 - Eight passes have been completed.
Play restarts from where play is stopped.
4 - Ball is dropped or touches ground.
Play restarts from where ball is dropped.
5 - Ball is touched by opposition (it does not have to be caught).
Play restarts from where ball is touched.
6 - The game must be played within the confines of the pitch except when scoring tries.
Play restarts where the ball crossed the line.


A referee plus one official from each side to assist the referee (e.g. to count passes and make substitutions).

Important notice

Playing is at participants’ own risk and after seeking any necessary medical advice.