Obituary: Fraser Henderson, 75

Fraser Henderson, a former depute director of education for Lothian region and adviser on PE to the former Edinburgh Corporation, whose great passion was rugby, has died aged 75.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 17th May 2012, 1:00 pm

A former captain, coach and president of the Boroughmuir rugby club, his contributions also extended to the re-development of their Meggetland ground into one of the best in Scotland.

Eric Milligan, Boroughmuir’s honorary president and ex-convenor of Lothian Region, recalls: “I would occasionally go to Meggetland with my father to watch a Boroughmuir team in which Fraser stood out alongside Ken Ross, the club’s first internationalist.

“I got to know Fraser when he was a PE teacher at Forrester School and later he climbed the education tree in Inverness, Edinburgh and West Lothian.

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“Fraser exemplified the best of rugby ethics from the amateur era, enjoying the fun while playing seriously.”

Ken Ross added: “Fraser was a tremendous enthusiast who put 100 per cent into everything he approached and we became firm friends, starting with hill walking expeditions while at Boroughmuir School, where he was talented academically as well as a very useful athlete and rugby player.”

Another of the club’s Scotland caps, Norrie Rowan, was captain during Fraser’s presidency.

Norrie said: “Fraser was Mr Enthusiasm. If ever there was a can-do character it was Fraser, typified by the way he made a local authority sponsored exchange of young players between Edinburgh and South Africa happen for a spell.”

Former president Allan Mackay knew Fraser well and noted: “Fraser always had the interests of Boroughmuir at heart. He never let the grass grow under his feet and the club really benefitted from that.”

Harry Pincott, an ex-team mate of the one-time flanker and hooker added: “Fraser was a tremendous motivator who could make fellow players feel ten feet tall and play accordingly.” Married to Barbara (nee Anderson) for 46 years, the couple had two children, Grant and Lesley, as well as grandchildren Jamie, 13, and Nunu, 11.

Although they met in Carrbridge when Barbara was on a skiing trip, she was soon introduced to Boroughmuir rugby club and enjoys telling how the family bakery business eventually benefited from supplying the pies for match teas.

Through his love of education, Fraser, until his death, was a member of the board of governors at George Heriot’s. Although Boroughmuir and Heriot’s are friendly rivals on the rugby field it was a measure of the huge respect in which Fraser was held that every member of the board attended the recent funeral service.

Mrs Henderson said: “Fraser loved many sports but among these rugby was always number one.”