Former Scotland rugby captain and Olympic basketball player Born March 17, 1939.

Died April 24, 2009.

Pringle Fisher, who has died aged 70, played basketball for both Scotland and Great Britain but is best remembered as an elegant rugby union flanker who captained Scotland in the 1960s.

He won 25 caps, the first and last of them against England - at Twickenham on March 16, 1963, and at Murrayfield on exactly the same date five years later - both ending in two-point defeats.

In between, he played in two Calcutta Cup-winning sides, beating England 15-6 in 1964, the year Scotland shared the Five Nations title with Wales, and defeating the auld enemy again, by 6-3, in 1966, both times at Murrayfield. That first year, 1964, he also played a major part in the side that held the mighty All Blacks to a scoreless but memorable draw before a delighted Scottish home crowd.

Fisher was first named captain against Australia in 1966 and led the national side out eight more times until he retired in 1968. He was also picked for the Barbarians and captained the Combined Services side (the best of the army, Royal Navy and RAF teams) on several occasions. Team-mates said his basketball experience made him a great handler of the ball and a strong jumper at lineouts.

During his international rugby career, Fisher became a successful and much-loved dentist, at first, from 1964, with the Royal Army Dental Corps (RADC) in London, where he turned out regularly for London Scottish as well as the national side. Still with the RADC, he was posted to Singapore and Germany, which curtailed his international rugby career.

On his return to the UK, he first started a private dental clinic in Wokingham, Berkshire, but returned to his home city of Edinburgh in the 1970s with a practice on Great Stuart Street in the New Town. He died after a short illness linked to rheumatoid arthritis.

Born in Edinburgh in 1939, James Pringle Fisher went to the capital's historic Royal High School, where he was an all-round athlete, before studying dentistry at Edinburgh University. He played rugby and cricket for the school but, at the time, basketball was his passion. He had started playing the sport with the Canongate Kirk Boys' Club, then Royal High, and later turned out for Edinburgh in inter-city tournaments. He was in his first year as a dental student in 1960 when he played for Scotland in a home countries' international tournament at the Kirknewton US Air Force base, West Lothian. The Scots won and were sent to represent Great Britain at the pre-Olympic tournament in Bologna, Italy, in August, 1960, before the Rome Olympics. They stood little chance against the bigger basketball powers and failed to reach the last 16.

After hearing of his lifelong friend's death, one of his team-mates in that 1960s Olympics side, former Scotland basketball coach Ken Johnston, said: "He was potentially a really great basketball player." Another friend who played basketball alongside Fisher for Scotland, Danny Kaye, added: "If he had been a basketball player in the United States, he would no doubt have been famous."

When Fisher returned from Italy, however, although he represented Britain seven more times at basketball, he dedicated himself to getting his BDS, a bachelor's degree in dental surgery (1964), and switched his sporting focus to rugby.

"Pringle was a very modest, very quiet and thoughtful man," said former fullback Stewart Wilson, who played alongside Fisher for Scotland in the 1960s. "He was also an outstanding athlete. He wasn't very big or fast, but he was a tremendous jumper and had great hands, because of his background in basketball, and he covered the ground wonderfully."

Fisher also plunged himself into various Edinburgh causes and charities. He was a volunteer for St Columba's palliative care hospice on Boswall Road, which he helped to develop over the years. And he was deeply involved, along with Sir Sean Connery, among others, in the campaign to protect the future of his old school, Royal High, beneath Calton Hill. He and Sir Sean supported the on-off plan to set up a Scottish National Photographic Centre in the former school.

In his later years, Fisher was also co-proprietor of the The Bank pub on the Bridges, Edinburgh.

Pringle Fisher is survived by his wife of 45 years, Liz, sons Roddy and Simon, and daughter Mandy. By PHIL DAVISON