Former Scotland and Lions player Ken Scotland dies aged 86

The Scottish Rugby Union confirmed the passing of the former international full-back.

Former Scotland and British and Irish Lions player Ken Scotland dies aged 86 SNS Group

Former Scotland and British and Irish Lions full-back Ken Scotland has died at the age of 86.

Scotland made his international debut against France in the 1957 Five Nations championship , the first of 27 caps for his country over the next eight years.

He also starred for Leicester Tigers, who named him in their ‘Team of the Century’ in 1999.

He was regarded as an innovator, helping to develop his position from being defensive to counter-attacking.

A sporting star from his early days at George Heriot’s school, where he played several sports, Scotland also went on to be an international cricket player.

Former Scotland international Andy Irvine paid tribute to Scotland, saying his contribution as a coach was significant.

“Ken was undoubtably one of the greatest players ever to grace the rugby field and was one of the nicest chaps you could ever meet,” he said.

“As a schoolboy at George Heriots, he was my ultimate hero and when I played senior rugby in the FP side, I was so fortunate to receive personal coaching on full back play from Ken.

“He had a brilliant rugby brain and such a lovely manner in how he would explain his thoughts and ideas to assist players. Not only a great player but equally great coach.”

Scotland Hall of Fame player Chris Paterson said: “I never saw Ken play but I was well aware of his ability and influence, not only on what he achieved on the playing field, but by steering the very future of the game.

“He was absolutely a pioneer. I really enjoyed any opportunity we had to speak and I would be in awe of his sharp, analytical mind and his opinions on the modern game.

“Ken was a true gent who inspired and helped me in equal measure.”

Scottish Rugby said it was “immensely saddened” by Scotland’s death, describing him as “a player ahead of his time, a true trailblazer.”