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Making it Happen in Melrose: Jack Dun

Scotland’s most devoted sports fan?

 

Could a nonagenarian super-fan from Melrose be bordering on a record book entry?

 

At 91 years of age, pensioner Jack Dun is all set to attend his 77th Aberdeen Asset Management Melrose Sevens and can’t wait for the tournament to come round on Saturday, April 8.

 

Little wonder that he’s regarded as rugby’s most loyal, devoted and committed fan in his home town of Melrose - where they also think he could earn the title of Scotland’s most dedicated sports fan.

 

Jack has attended the Melrose Sevens an incredible 76 times in a variety of different roles, including spectator, referee and Club President.

 

And even after all these years the proud pensioner says he still gets a real match day buzz.

 

Jack says: “I’m looking forward to attending my 77th Melrose Sevens as much as ever. I think that everyone in Melrose gets excited around this time.

 

“All the hotels and boarding houses will be full over the weekend. We have family coming here from England with a footballing background but they come because they enjoy the sevens. It crosses sporting divides.

 

“I am proud to have such a long association and I intend to continue to be part of it for as long as I can. There is a real buzz of excitement throughout the whole town, and there could hardly be anyone in the area who does not have some sort of connection to the Melrose Sevens. It really brings the community together.”

 

Jack makes the short journey from his home to the Greenyards ground which is home to the Melrose Sevens most days, and he is still involved in an official capacity.

 

Jack got hooked on the sport after attending his first tournament at the age of eight.

 

The retired agricultural seedsman pulled on the black and yellow jersey of his beloved team for the first time in 1946. However he only managed three games before he was posted overseas with the army: he was sent to India with the 2nd Border Regiment in Bombay.

 

Jack continues: “As soon as I got back home I wanted to get back playing for Melrose. It was different in those days. There weren’t trials or talent scouts – you just turned up for training and if you were good enough you got picked.

 

“I played at scrum-half, and played eight seasons for Melrose, as captain in my last season. We had a good team: we won what was known as the unofficial championship in 1952 – now known as the Scottish League Championship - and we won the Borders League twice.

 

“I never played in the Melrose Sevens: a very good sevens player who was my contemporary kept me out of the first 15.

 

“When my playing days were over, I decided to become a referee. I joined the Melrose Sevens committee about 40 years ago, and was put in charge of the referees for the tournament because of all the years of experience that I had, and now I’m second in command.”




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