Bill McLaren was born in Hawick in 1923. He was on the verge of a full international cap when he contracted tuberculosis and spent nineteen months in a sanitarium.
It was through his junior reporting with the Hawick Express tha the launched himself into a career of commentary, making his national debut for BBC Radio in 1953. The switch to television came six years later. Recognition of his services came in November 2001 when he became the first non-international to be inducted into the International Rugby Hall of Fame.