Rugby fanatic honoured after attending 80th Melrose Sevens tournament

Jack Dun began attending the famous rugby sevens competition at the age of eight in 1934.

Jack Dun, 96, inducted into Melrose Sevens hall of fame after attending 80 tournaments Email

A rugby fanatic has been inducted into the Melrose Sevens hall of fame after attending his 80th tournament. 

Jack Dun first attended the famous rugby sevens competition in the Scottish Borders in 1934 at the age of eight.

Since then, the 96-year-old has only missed two tournaments while he was serving with the British Army in India in 1947 and 1948.

He was presented with his honours cap by former Scotland player John Jeffrey alongside grandson Matthew.

Jack said: “It came as a total shock to be inducted into the hall of fame, but a surprise I am absolutely thrilled about.

“Melrose Sevens has played such an important role in my life and is the bedrock of bringing the local community together.

“I am extremely grateful for this tremendous honour the rugby club has bestowed on me.”

Jack was introduced to the Melrose Sevens by his mother, who took him to watch the final in 1934.

After playing in the tournament for a number of years, and racking up 176 appearances for the first 15, Jack joined the ranks of match officials, and was later on the Scottish Rugby Union’s referee selection panel for many years.

Jack, who is a resident of St Johns care home in Melrose, said he has seen many players grace the turf at The Greenyards, but believes one particular player shone brighter than most.

He said: “The greatest player I recall was the magnificent Eddie Oxley. He should have been the first black player to be capped by Scotland, but society at the time prevented this from happening.

“He was terrific, and a natural leader. He played when I was a young boy and seeing him on the pitch certainly inspired me to get involved in the sport. One of the best players I’ve had the privilege of seeing.”

The Melrose Rugby Sevens is the oldest competition of its type in the world dating back to its inaugural tournament in 1883.

Teams from as far afield as Japan and South Africa have travelled to the town in the Borders to compete in the rugby sevens competition.

St John’s care home manager, Alison Grant, said: “This is a tremendous accolade for Jack, he has always talked about his enthusiasm for the Melrose Sevens, and for him to receive hall of fame status is a momentous occasion for him.”

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