TRIBUTES have been paid to Iain Brown, director of sport at George Watson’s College, who has died at the age of 55.
The former Scottish Rugby general committee member collapsed while attending a family event in London.
Friends and colleagues have praised the “much-loved” PE teacher, who spent 33 years at Watson’s, one of the Capital’s independent schools, and was well known for his work to promote rugby among pupils.
Jason White, the former Scotland captain and British Lion, said: “Broon, as we knew him affectionately, was a massive influence on my rugby career at the beginning because he was in charge of the boarding house when I first came on a scholarship to George Watson’s.
“He was a PE teacher and a key man within Scottish schools rugby but, above all, he was a great bloke who gave a lot of his time over a great many years to rugby at Watson’s, within schools and in general.
“It’s a real shock to everybody to hear of his death.”
Roy Mack, director of projects at Watson’s, said Mr Brown’s links to the Capital ran deep and that his father was a doctor who helped run student healthcare facilities at Edinburgh University.
Mr Brown attended Edinburgh’s Royal High – where he became an avid player of rugby, among other sports – and was a student at Jordanhill College in Glasgow before joining the PE staff at Watson’s.
Renowned for his coaching prowess, he led the under-15 and under-16 teams to three successes in the Brewin Dolphin Scottish Schools Cup competitions.
He was also a pivotal figure in the Scottish Schools Rugby Union, becoming the schools representative on the SRU general committee in the 2000-01 season until 2004-05.
Colleagues said he was passionately committed to the growth of sport at the school and praised him as a key figure in the recent drive to revamp its facilities.
Ally Donaldson, who works in the PE department, said: “We’ve just opened the new centre for sport at the school and that was Iain’s vision, his drive to get that project done.
“Every nut and bolt in that place was how he wanted it. He was so proud.”
Leaders at Watson’s also hailed Mr Brown’s contribution to the school and said they were “profoundly sad” at news of his death.
Principal Gareth Edwards said: “Iain was a good friend to all, and always worked tirelessly in the best interests of the innumerable young people with whom he came into contact over the course of an illustrious career.
“He will be profoundly missed.”
Scottish Rugby bosses said they were deeply saddened to hear of Mr Brown’s passing and extended their condolences to his wife, Shona, daughters Laura and Lisa, and other family and friends.