Our Trustee Simon Scott on his life in rugby and his role with Sporting Memories
In the first part of our feature with Trustee Simon Scott, we discussed how he had been awarded a full international cap with Scotland earlier this year after playing for the Saltire in 1986. In this part, we discuss Simon’s life-long friendships with the Calder brothers and his role as a Trustee.
Simon attended Stewart’s Melville College, which is based in Edinburgh and has a long and illustrious history of producing Scottish rugby players, alongside Jim and Fin Calder, who both eventually ended up playing for Scotland and the British and Irish Lions.
Simon detailed his relationship with the Calder brothers which is still strong to this day.
“I’m one of four brothers and we all played for Stewart’s Melville during our schooling, and my brother Julian also played in the game against France (in Tarbes 1986) with me. The Calder brothers are also in a family of four boys as well, so we have that very close connection to each other. The families are still very close to each other now.
“We played a lot of our rugby together - I was in the same school and eventual school team as the Calder brothers in Edinburgh. Me, Fin and Jim were actually selected for the Scottish schools XV together when we were in our final year of school. They both certainly helped me with my career, and I’d like to think I also helped them along the way as we all tried to be the best we could be.
“The first people to call me when the announcement of my cap was made public were Jim and Fin. I must also mention another great friend in Alex Brewster, who was also capped by Scotland several times, he was also part of our group from Stewart’s Melville and he was always driving me to try and get to that level.
“We played our first game together at the age of 9 and we all played our last games together at the age of 32, so to not only play with each other for over 20 years but to still have those close friendships with them now is wonderful.”
Away from rugby, Simon has had a successful career as a chartered accountant and his first interaction with Sporting Memories involved supporting us during our early years to become financially prudent. Simon detailed how his role eventually changed with us from being a financial advisor to being asked to join the board as a Trustee of Sporting Memories Foundation Scotland.
“Over the years Sporting Memories has been very successful in securing funding and making sure it can operate – so my role advising diminished over the years until they started to seek independent Trustees to help with the governance of the organisation.
“That’s when they (Sporting Memories team) asked me to become a Trustee of Sporting Memories Foundation Scotland and I was happy to do so because I was interested in bringing my skillset to the board, but I was also interested in what the charity does and how it supports older people across Scotland.
“Even though I’ve been connected with Sporting Memories for a long time, I’m still really proud of what the organisation does, not just in Scotland but all over Great Britain. Whenever I’m in a Trustees meeting, I’m always in awe of Chris (Wilkins, CEO and Co-Founder) and all the work that is going on across the network of clubs – and the breadth of activity which is happening with a wide range of people is just incredible.”
Simon has a strong connection with sport through his family as well, with his father-in-law, Jimmy McColl, playing football for Great Britain in the 1948 Olympics.
“My in-laws lived with dementia. My father-in-law (Jimmy Mccoll) was a professional footballer and represented Great Britain in the 1948 Olympics, and even when he was living with dementia the best conversations we had always involved football.
“Even towards the end of his life as his health deteriorated he would look back fondly and vividly at his time at the Olympics – and that hit home to me how important memories, particularly those of sport, can be to people. He had a blazer from the Olympics, which he wore right up until the end of his life when he went out the house. His sporting memories took him to the end and I hope mine do the same for me as well.”
Finally, we couldn’t end our feature with Simon without asking about how the Scotland team of today will fare in the tournament – and he was hopeful alongside referencing another family connection to the team.
“We’re in the group of death – so the mountain has been huge to climb from the outset. My son-in-law is actually the team manager of the Scotland Men’s Rugby Team – which I’m very proud of despite the fact he is Irish!
“I believe this is the strongest team we’ve had at a Rugby World Cup so I think they’ve got a chance. I genuinely think they have the ability to create history because they’ve got world class talent jotted around the team. Being a Scot and being a lover of sport is not usually a good mix because you’re usually destined for disappointment and tears, so we’re far from confident, but certainly hopeful.”