Donation of Bill’s big sheets to raise funds for Foundation

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BILL McLaren’s archives, chronicling 50 years of his broadcasting career, have been donated to the charity founded in his memory.

And the Bill McLaren Foundation is hoping to use the legendary ‘big sheets’ – of which there are more than 600 – to help raise money for the charity

The extensive collection, which also includes hand written notes of his post-match thoughts, programmes and even copies of expenses, will soon take their place in the Heritage Hub for safe keeping, where they will be professionally collated.

The news comes on the first anniversary of the death of the Voice of Rugby.

Even his daughter, Linda Lawson, who is a director of the charity and has spent the last nine months cataloguing the archive, admitted she didn’t know the extent of his work.

She explained: “Dad spent around 40 hours preparing for each match and it was very interesting to begin the archive journey in the early 1950s when he started and seeing the way in which he developed his big sheets over the next 50 years to become the sought after works of art that they now are.”

The Foundation was set up last year in Bill’s name to support the development of rugby and its values.

Co-founder and former pupil of Bill’s, Brian Renwick, hoped the sheets would go on to play a major part in their fund-raising.

He said: “We are delighted to have the ability to reproduce copies of these sheets to generate funding for the development of rugby and provide other sporting opportunities for young people.”