Ken Scotland

Foreword by Allan Massie

'one of rugby’s greatest game-changers . . . a wonderfully readable account of a life well-lived and games well-played' – Alasdair Reid, The Times

'engrossing' – Mark Palmer, The Sunday Times

'A rugby book for the ages. A beguiling, intimate chronicle of a lost world' – Hugh MacDonald

'The mere mention of his name brings a smile to the faces of those who watched him in his pomp . . . This is the story of one of Scotland’s greatest players in rugby’s amateur heyday' – The Scotsman 

‘I have never seen a more complete full back than Ken Scotland. He played classical rugby with a romantic touch . . . an unusual as well as fascinating book’ – Allan Massie

‘compelling . . . enjoyment and joie de vivre permeate the reminiscences of one of international rugby’s most legendary characters . . . an evocative reminder of sport at its best’ – Neil Drysdale, The Press and Journal

'One of the greatest of all time' – Rugby World

‘rich and powerful . . . as fascinating as it is evocative of a time and a game long past, and is a must-read for rugby fans of all generations’ – David Barnes, The Offside Line


About the Book

Ken Scotland was born on 29 August 1936 within sight of Heriot’s Goldenacre ground, which he would go onto grace with great panache and skill several years later. 

A prodigious talent at fly-half while at school, he was converted into a full-back during the international trials of 1957 and was capped in that position against France at Colombes just a few weeks later, scoring all of his country’s points as the Scots recorded their first win on French soil since 1949. 

Having joined the army after leaving school, Scotland then attended Cambridge University and it was from there that he was selected for the 1959 British & Irish Lions tour to Australia and New Zealand. During this epic four-month tour he won plaudits far and wide as one of the superstars of the Lions’ team. Using entries from the dairy he kept during this tour, Scotland brings to life one of the great Lions expeditions, taking us right into the heart of the changing rooms, hotels, bars and in the heat of battle on the field.

Scotland played in five Tests for the Lions and won a total of twenty-seven caps for his country before retiring in 1965 with a reputation as one of the finest players ever to play for Scotland well established. He would continue to play club rugby for several years afterwards while enjoying a successful business career. 

At eighty-three he has finally decided to tell his life story and has created a rich and powerful testimony to his life and rugby career, throwing new light on his own achievements as well as providing fresh insight into the great players of his era. With a foreword by Allan Massie, the doyen of Scottish rugby journalism, this is an autobiography that is as fascinating as it is evocative of a time and a game long past, and is a must-read for rugby fans of all generations.


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