GHA is extremely saddened to learn of the passing of Honorary member and long time former Club Secretary Bill McMurtrie at the age of 85. There are few who have made a greater contribution to the game in Scotland than Bill.

As a rugby correspondent for the Herald, Bill provided leading coverage for both the club and international game. He was influential in the establishment of the national league competition structure and traveled extensively as the Herald’s correspondent with the Scotland National team, as well as the British & Irish Lions. He was notorious for his encyclopedic knowledge of the game as well as his ability to recall in a moment almost any incident from any match that he covered.

Bill’s love for the game did not stop at his dedication as a correspondent. His skills as an administrator and statistician were put to good use for many years in his role in annually producing the Scottish Rugby Record. Bill served as honorary secretary of the Glasgow District Rugby Union from 1995 and fulfilled this role through the Districts early iterations as a professional side, before it became the Glasgow Warriors that we know today.

He served on the Committee at GHA, primarily as Club Secretary, through most of the first two decades following the 2002 amalgamation, having previously served on the Committee for Clarkston/Glasgow Southern. He was elected to the Scottish Rugby Council in 2009, he served on the Scottish Rugby Championship Committee and also served on the SRU Board.

Rangi Jericevich, who served with Bill on the club committee from 2010 recalls:

With Bill’s election to the SRU Council in 2009, he felt it necessary to step down as our Club Secretary in 2010 to avoid any conflict of interest and he pulled me aside in the changing room corridor at Braidholm and persuaded me to run for the post.

Had I known then the size of the shoes I was expected to fill I may never have agreed to it, however I am forever grateful to have had the privilege to work alongside and be mentored by Bill for the next 8 years. He was a man of the highest integrity whose principles were non-negotiable.  He was quietly effective and universally respected. Most of all, he was a wonderfully generous person and a pleasure to be around.

I will never forget the role he played in successfully defeating a controversial SRU tabled Motion at the 2017 SRU AGM. With the vote seemingly on a knife edge he delivered a perfectly crafted address to the room of around 400 club delegates and SRU officials that won the day.

Bill will be much missed by all of those who had the pleasure of knowing him.

The club would like to extend it’s sincere condolences to Bill’s family at this difficult time.

  • The funeral service for Bill will be held at The Hurlet Crematorium on Friday 26th July at 11am, followed by the Redhurst Hotel.


Photo: Colin Robinson

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