RUGBY fans everywhere were saddened to learn of the death this week of former Kelso hooker, captain and president and Scotland team manager, Arthur Hastie at the age of 87.

Arthur managed Scotland to their last Championship success, the ultimate Five Nations Championship in 1999.

Scotland head coach, Gregor Townsend, who was a pivotal member of that team, said: “Arthur was a well-liked and successful team manager. As a player, I always enjoyed good banter with him.”

Peeblesshire News: Gregor Townsend Picture Steve Welsh PA WireGregor Townsend Picture Steve Welsh PA Wire

Arthur cheerfully gave a life-time of service to rugby. He started as a ball-boy at the Kelso club and as a teenager he helped to flatten the pitch.

Like his brother Ian – who was capped six times for Scotland as a prop between 1955 and 1959 – Arthur was a front-row forward.

Rugby was very much in the family blood as his cousin, Eck Hastie, was capped 18 times for Scotland as a scrum-half in the 1960s.

Arthur was hooker and captain of the Kelso club and during his National Service also played for the Combined Services as well as representing the South.

Outwith the rugby season, Arthur was a keen cricketer.He opened the batting and also kept wicket for the Kelso club.

An apprentice baker in his youth, Arthur’s career path took him into sales and, ultimately, he became a sales director at Lynch McQueen.

When he stepped down from playing, he continued to serve the Kelso club in diverse roles from groundsman to coach to President and Director of Rugby.

He clearly loved Kelso, writing the club’s centenary history: “100 Years in Black and White” in 1977.

Between 1991 and 1996, Arthur served as one of South’s District Representatives on the Scottish Rugby Union General Committee.

Having been a selector for both the South and Scotland teams, he soon progressed, firstly to manager of the Scotland sevens team and then to manager of the Scotland team in August 1996.

A statement on the Scottish Rugby website reads: “Scottish Rugby extends its sincere condolences to all Arthur’s family and many friends.

“Once we have funeral details, we will update this story.”