Norman Mair

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

Sporting career[edit]

He was educated at Merchiston Castle School (1942-1947) and the University of Edinburgh where he played for Edinburgh University RFC.[3] 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.[5] He also played for the Scotland national cricket team.[3]

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."[6]

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"[7]

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."[8]

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. ^
  6. ^ McLaren, p94
  7. ^ Ella, Mark & Smith, Terry (1987) Path to Victory, ABC Books, p54
  8. ^ Massie, p54