The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)

North clubs mark Nixon’s mile­stone birth­day

- Sports · Rugby · Scottish Premier League · Soccer · Aberdeenshire · Scotland · Aberdeen Grammar School · Caithness · Dundee · Sutherland · Fraserburgh

North rugby correspond­ent Jack Nixon ad­mit­ted he was stunned when many of the clubs in the Cale­do­nia area came to­gether to mark his 80th birth­day.

Nixon, who has writ­ten for The Press and Jour­nal since 1996, re­ceived a sur­prise pre­sen­ta­tion in his home­town of El­lon and given an en­graved wine de­canter and a cus­tom-made card to mark the mile­stone.

The so­cially-dis­tanced pre­sen­ta­tion was made by Aberdeen Gram­mar’s im­me­di­ate past-pres­i­dent Jim Rae, who said: “Jack’s ded­i­ca­tion and sup­port for the club game is a bea­con in an era when pro­fes­sional rugby, mar­ket­ing and money have come to dom­i­nate. Week af­ter week he trav­els to games in the district from Caith­ness to Dundee.

“It was great to have all the clubs come to­gether like this to ap­pre­ci­ate one of its great ser­vants. It shows the spirit and ethos of rugby in the Cale­do­nia area.”

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Aberdeen­shire, Ross Suther­land, Gar­i­och, Caith­ness, High­land, Mackie and Fraser­burgh along with many oth­ers sent mes­sages to mark the spe­cial oc­ca­sion.

Nixon said: “I was in ab­so­lute shock and very over­whelmed.

“It was very nice of the clubs to come to­gether like that.

“I have thor­oughly en­joyed cov­er­ing rugby for the past 24 years.

“I have al­ways tried to pro­mote lo­cal rugby and I’m very for­tu­nate to have so many good clubs to deal with.

“I was con­tem­plat­ing hang­ing up the notepad and pen at the end of the 2019-20 sea­son once I had turned 80 but with the sea­son be­ing cut short un­ex­pect­edly I would like to see it through to the next stage and maybe try to make it to 25 years of re­port­ing.”

A po­ten­tial restart date for club rugby in Scot­land re­mains un­clear but Nixon is op­ti­mistic games will be played be­fore the end of the year.

He added: “We are in an un­prece­dented sit­u­a­tion but it is mak­ing peo­ple re­alise how im­por­tant sport is in their lives.

“I have a feel­ing there may be a resur­gence in the am­a­teur game once we have re­turned to some sort of nor­mal­ity.

“I’m hope­ful we will have club rugby games back by au­tumn and the game may re­turn stronger for it.”

 ??  ?? Stal­wart: Jack Nixon will not hang up his pen yet
Stal­wart: Jack Nixon will not hang up his pen yet

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