Colin Mair awarded Scotland cap

On 23 February 2024, the eve of the Calcutta Cup, former Rector and 900 Campaign Chair, Colin Mair, was awarded his Scotland cap, number 1174, at a ceremony held at Scottish Gas Murrayfield.

This followed an announcement from Scottish Rugby in August last year that caps were to be presented to individuals who represented their country in matches between 1942 and 1998 which did not carry Test status.

Official photograph taken by Craig Williamson / SNS Group of all those who received caps on 23 February 2024, alongside the Scotland squad. Colin is pictured second row, second from right.

Scottish Rugby President, Colin Rigby, did the honours, bestowing the cap upon Colin (pictured top) who also enjoyed watching the current Scotland squad’s team run ahead of their (victorious) clash against England the next day. Colin was among 26 players to be awarded full cap status at this event, and was the final group of 75 players added to the list of Scotland internationalists in recent months.

Colin, whose career at the High School spanned almost 40 years, culminating with his tenure as Rector between 2004 and 2015, represented Scotland in a triumphant 74-9 win against Japan in Tokyo on 18 September 1977. The fullback contributed 30 points to the scoreboard (4 penalties and 9 conversions) and bagged himself a place in the record books, setting a Guinness Book of Records for the most points scored by an individual in a Rugby Union international match. He has since had his record broken by a few players, including twice by Gavin Hastings in 1995.

In September 1976, Colin began his career at the High School, which at the time was located at Ledcameroch Road, Bearsden, teaching Latin and coaching rugby. The aforementioned rugby tour overlapped with the start of the Autumn Term in 1977, which was a significant session in the High School’s history, marking the move to the new Senior School building at Old Anniesland. Eric Harle, the Rector, and the governors granted Colin leave of absence to take part in the Scotland tour and etch his name in rugby history. Luckily, a young Colin was able to make it back in time for the Formal Opening of the Senior School on 28 September 1977 by Lord Home of the Hirsel.

Colin had been tasked with organising a Select XV to play the school’s 1st XV in a rugby match to commemorate the opening of the Senior School and even managed to rope in some of his Scotland tour teammates to play on Old Anniesland’s hallowed turf.

Commenting on receiving his Scotland international cap, Colin said: “It is a real honour to be capped as a Scotland international. Whether it was playing for and captaining my club, West of Scotland FC, or playing for my country, rugby gave me endless enjoyment, forged lifelong friendships and created lasting memories. To be recognised in this way by Scottish Rugby is a true honour. I will treasure this cap and the experience of the ceremony for many years to come.”

This sentiment is certainly true, with Colin featured in the Scotland v Japan match day programme on 13 November 2004 reflecting on his test against Japan in 1977. He was quoted at the time as saying: “After the match, we were given a watch by Japanese officials. But I would happily have swapped mine for a Scotland cap.”

Despite being retired, Colin is a true linchpin of the communities in which he is a part of. Not only is he a Trustee of the Cricket Development Trust (Scotland) and Chairman of the West of Scotland Cricket Club, he is also chairing The High School of Glasgow’s 900 Campaign, a fundraising campaign launched in 2024, the school’s 900th anniversary year. The campaign aims to raise money to grow its Bursary Fund, to further develop START – a design thinking and entrepreneurship programme, and to ensure the Junior School and Senior School are sustainable campuses. To find out more about the 900 Campaign and to support it, please click here.

Colin was featured in the 2004 Scotland v Japan Match Day programme, reflecting on the 1977 match he was a part of.