Sir Ian is modesty personified

Ian McGeechan remained true to his reputation as one of the gamest nicest individuals when he became a knight last week. [more]

Sir Ian is modesty personified

Ian McGeechan remained true to his reputation as one of the gamest nicest individuals when he became a knight last week.

McGeechan may have been awarded the highest accolade in the New Year’s Honours List but the legendary Lions coach immediately deflected praise on to others.

Instead of focusing on the magnitude of his own achievements, the 63-year-old, who led the Lions on their summer trip to South Africa in what was his seventh tour with Britain and Ireland’s elite, was quick to highlight the help he has received from his family along the way. 

“This couldn’t have been achieved without the backing of my wife, Judy, and my children, Heather and Rob,” said McGeechan after he became Sir Ian. 

“It is their constant support that has provided such an inspiration to me. 

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‘I am very proud of my family and I want to dedicate this honour to them."

McGeechan is only the second Briton to receive a knighthood for ‘services to rugby’, following in the footsteps of fellow Lion Sir Clive Woodward, who led England to World Cup glory in 2003.

The 1974 and 1977 Lions Test starter admitted that the news was unexpected but gratefully received, although he again did all he could to talk about what rugby has given him rather than what he has given to rugby. 

"It was fantastic news. It’s been quite an exciting and humbling time," added McGeechan. 

"Rugby has been a huge part of my life for over 40 years and to have achieved everything I have with Scotland, in club rugby and with the Lions has been an immensely rewarding experience. 

"I have worked with some fantastic players and coaches in my career and it is a privilege to have worked with so many talented and dedicated people.”

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