Norman Mair

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Norman Mair
Full name Norman George Robertson Mair
Date of birth (1928-10-07)7 October 1928
Place of birth Edinburgh, Scotland
Date of death 7 December 2014(2014-12-07) (aged 86)
Place of death Edinburgh, Scotland
School Edinburgh Academy
Merchiston Castle School
University University of Edinburgh
Rugby union career
Position(s) Hooker
Amateur team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
- Edinburgh University RFC ()
Provincial / State sides
Years Team Apps (Points)
- Edinburgh District ()
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
1951 Scotland 4 (0)

Norman George Robertson Mair (7 October 1928 – 7 December 2014)[1][2] was a Scottish international rugby union and cricket player.[3] He later became a journalist for The Scotsman on rugby and golf.,[4] and also wrote for Rugby World


Rugby Union[edit]

He was educated at Merchiston Castle School (1942-1947) and the University of Edinburgh where he played for Edinburgh University RFC.[3]

He was selected for the provincial Edinburgh District side and played in the Scottish Inter-District Championship. He won the title with Edinburgh in the inaugural 1953-54 season and was the championship's top points scorer of that season.[5]

He won four caps for the Scotland national rugby union team in 1951.[3]

He was inducted to the Scottish Rugby Hall of Fame in 2013.[6]


He also played for the Scotland national cricket team.[3]

Mair played for Scotland in 1952.[7] He was capped only once, playing against Worcestershire. He scored four not out in his only innings.[8]

Sports journalism[edit]

Bill McLaren rated Mair as one of the best rugby journalists that Scotland produced:

"I always have had a high regard for the coverage by Norman Mair, formerly of The Scotsman.
"Norman never was persona grata with all members of the Scottish Rugby Union because he wrote what he felt and had the ear of some very influential people in the game. There have been times when I have had to read one of Norman's sentences two or three times over in order to get the gist, but he has been one of the most perceptive of analysts and his articles have been both enlightening and enjoyable - especially the little humorous stories that were so often his punchlines."[9]

Writing of the Australian player Mark Ella, he once said: "Ella has hands so adhesive that when he fumbled a ball against Scotland (in 1984) you would not have been surprised to see those Australians of the appropriate religious persuasion cross themselves"[10]

Mair was always outspoken in his opinions. In the early fifties, for example, criticising the large number of new caps in each game in 1953 and 1954, he said that he consider the "inhabitants of lunatic asylums... had a fair grievance while the S.R.U. selectors walked around free and uncertified."[11]


His daughter is Suzi Mair, who produces STV News at Six.

Selected publications[edit]


  • Bath, Richard (ed.) The Scotland Rugby Miscellany (Vision Sports Publishing Ltd, 2007 ISBN 1-905326-24-6)
  • McLaren, Bill Talking of Rugby (1991, Stanley Paul, London ISBN 0-09-173875-X)
  • Massie, Allan A Portrait of Scottish Rugby (Polygon, Edinburgh; ISBN 0-904919-84-6)


  1. ^ "Norman Mair". Retrieved 8 December 2013. 
  2. ^ Hannan, Martin (7 December 2014). "Obituary: Norman George Robertson Mair". The Scotsman. Retrieved 9 December 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d Bath, p105
  4. ^ McLaren, p88
  5. ^ "The Glasgow Herald - Google News Archive Search". 
  6. ^ "Scottish Rugby Hall of Fame: Ten legends inducted". 
  7. ^ "Norman Mair". 
  8. ^ "Norman Mair - obituary". 
  9. ^ McLaren, p94
  10. ^ Ella, Mark & Smith, Terry (1987) Path to Victory, ABC Books, p54
  11. ^ Massie, p54

External links[edit]