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24 August 2017




Arthur Ross

1926 - 2017

It is with deep regret that we announce the death of Boroughmuir Honorary Member, ex-president, influential coach and rugby stalwart, Arthur Ross.

Arthur exhibited unrivalled dedication to rugby in Scotland for over 70 years and he was formally recognised by the Scottish Rugby as recipient of its Spirit of Rugby Award in 2009. Read the SRU article here.

To meet Arthur was an experience. Passionate, informed and analytical he loved rugby and rugby people to their boots. He had time for everyone, coached coaches and mentored players. He was a rugby player’s president and a tireless and dedicated champion of grassroots rugby in Scotland. As a player or coach, even after you had passed through his tutelage, he would recognise your achievements with one of his famous hand-written letters arriving through your door, including motivational messages of support and even the odd pointer. Treasured letters indeed.

Arthur was at the vanguard when a formal coaching structure was first introduced in Scotland on the 1970s, and he was part of Scotland’s first ever coaching sub-committee alongside Jim Telfer. They were a group of dedicated school teachers (in the main) who organised coaching courses for club coaches both locally and nationally. The weekend national course at three different levels held at Murrayfield over a weekend in June drove the development of coaching in Scotland for over 20 years…. must have been good - we won two grand slams in that period. 

Arthur’s vision and persistence meant the introduction of a school’s cup competition in season 1983/84 and the schools cup remains very much the pinnacle of age-group rugby in Scotland.

His dedication to rugby is unsurpassed and he remains a shining example of someone giving so much back to a sport that played such a huge part in his life. The energy and professionalism that Arthur put in to his work is quite extraordinary and his enthusiasm puts many to shame. He was one of the real unsung heroes, someone that worked all year round for the benefit of others whilst not seeking any formal recognition for himself, maybe just the odd dram or two.

To read his rugby CV is incredible in its depth and breadth and it is no wonder Arthur had an astonishing network of friends around the country. He could walk into any clubhouse and he would be greeted warmly – a measure of his involvement in rugby and the high regard he was held.

Arthur is survived by Juliet his wife and three daughters Christine, Fiona and Joan and his Grandchildren Our sympathy goes out to them and also our heartfelt thanks for lending us such an extraordinary person.

Funeral arrangements will be published when known.


Stevie Douglas

Boroughmuir President and coached by Arthur in season 1979-80 and mentored every year since.


Playing Career

Percy Park (1942), York (1943), Edinburgh Wanderers (1946), Musselburgh (1950), Royal High FP (1956) and Public School Wanderers (until 1979, aged 45)


Club Coaching

Royal High FP (1956 to 68), Edinburgh District (1967 to 74), Boroughmuir RFC (1975 to 80), Edinburgh/Glasgow (combined cities) vs NZ and Australia, Enkoping RFC – Swedish champions (1985 to 86), Edinburgh University and Scottish University (1985 to 90), Scottish Students (1987 to 92) and British Students (1990)


Schools Representative Coaching

Midlothian Schools (1952 to 56), Edinburgh Schools (1972 to 86), Scottish Schools National XV (1973 to 82), Scottish Schools world cup sevens (1979), Edinburgh Schools U16&U18 (1988 to 93), Edinburgh State Schools (1992 to 2000) and after retirement coaching part time at Stewart’s Melville College, George Heriot’s School, George Watson’s School and SRU pathway U16.



Royal High FP secretary/treasurer (1967 to 70), SRU advisory Coaching Panel (1972 to 82). Committee member and president of Edinburgh Schools, Scottish Schools, Edinburgh University RFC, Scottish Universities and Scottish Students. Manager and Coach on tours to Zimbabwe, Brazil, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Singapore, Brest, Narbonne, Paris and Italy. And for Boroughmuir he has been President of Boroughmuir RFC, President and creator of Meggetland RFC, Honorary member, Honorary Vice President, and the original Boroughmuir Bear.

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