Mac Henderson

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James McLaren Henderson (1 May 1907 – 5 March 2009), better known as Mac Henderson was a Scottish international rugby union player and businessman, founding one of Edinburgh's most famous restaurants, Henderson's. His brother Ian was also an international rugby player.[1][2]

Henderson was born in 1907 in Elphinstone, near Tranent and attended Edinburgh Academy. He played club rugby mainly for Edinburgh Academy but also for Dunbar and Haddington before becoming a professional.[2]

His career in rugby came to an abrupt end after he received a serious ligament injury while on a tour with the Barbarians.[3]

In 1962, Henderson and his wife opened a farm shop in Edinburgh as an outlet for their produce. The following year, they opened a vegetarian restaurant, Henderson's in Hanover Street in the centre of Edinburgh, "which has long since established itself as an institution in the city."[1][2][4]

On the occasion of his 100th birthday in 2007, Scottish Rugby held a lunch in honour of Henderson at Murrayfield Stadium. He was the first of Scotland's international players to become a centenarian.[5]

He died on 5 March 2009 at the age of 101 as the longest-lived Test player in rugby union history.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Henderson met Janet Millar, while playing tennis at a friend's home at Gullane. Millar was an architect's daughter and in 1932 the couple married in a society wedding in Troon. His wife had been told she could not have children, but she believed that a healthy, vegetarian diet would make her fertile. The couple went on to have seven children; five sons named Andrew, John, Peter, Nicholas and Oliver; two daughters, Sara and Catherine. At his death Henderson had 14 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.[3]


  1. ^ a b ALASDAIR STEVEN (2009-03-18). "James 'Mac' Henderson - Obituaries". Retrieved 2012-01-29. 
  2. ^ a b c Alasdair Reid (2009-03-17). "Scottish rugby mourns death of Mac Henderson aged 101". Telegraph. Retrieved 2012-01-29. 
  3. ^ a b "City rugby star Mac Henderson made vegetarian food his game - News". 2009-03-17. Retrieved 2012-01-29. 
  4. ^ "Vegetarian Restaurant Edinburgh Scotland UK". Hendersons Of Edinburgh. Retrieved 2012-01-29. 
  5. ^ "About us - MAC HENDERSON". 2009-03-17. Retrieved 2012-01-29. 
  6. ^ "Ian Henderson | Rugby Union | Players and Officials | ESPN Scrum". Retrieved 2012-01-29. 

External links[edit]