Scotland rugby player and artist; Born August 16, 1928; Died March 16, 2007 ADAM Robson won 22 caps for the Scotland rugby team between 1954 and 1960, and was president of the Scottish Rugby Union in 1984 when the national team won the Grand Slam. He was also a prolific and diverse artist, who sold more than 900 works, and the author of three books.

Robson, a tough-tackling blindside flanker for Hawick, made his debut against France in 1954, at a time when Scottish rugby was in disarray. The team lost 17 consecutive matches between February 1951 and February 1955, but 1954 signalled an upturn in fortunes. Forwards such as Robson, Hawick team-mate Hugh McLeod, Hamish Kemp and Ernie Michie won first caps, and would form the backbone of the pack for the next six years.

Robson was one of the key figures in Scotland's transformation into a respected side in the latter half of the 1950s, when they won as many games as they lost. In 1955, Scotland beat a strong Wales side and were denied a Triple Crown by three points at Twickenham, when prop Tom Elliot had a try controversially disallowed. Robson, who as a player was more destructive than creative, typified a team which relied on a committed pack and a rock-solid defence to win games. He only missed one Five Nations game between the start of 1955 and the end of 1959.

For all his success, Robson never set out to have an international career and was propelled by a simple love of the game and its ability to bring people together. He played happily for Dalkeith and the Edinburgh College of Art team until a relative, Andrew Gordon, suggested he come and play for Hawick Linden in 1951.

When Gordon suggested he might make the step up to play for the full Hawick team, Robson looked askance at him: the "Greens" were the eminent team in Scottish rugby and Robson, wrongly, did not think he was good enough.

He made his Hawick debut in September 1952 and was virtually ever-present until 1961, during which time Hawick won the Scottish championship four times and went unbeaten in three seasons. Robson captained the team in the 1957/58 season. He played his last game for the Edinburgh Borderers against Dollar Academy, aged 57.

Robson played for the Barbarians 15 times, a club whose ethos of sportsmanship on and off the pitch chimed perfectly with his view of rugby as a gentleman's game. He went to Canada on the Baa-Baas' first overseas tour in 1957 when the team, which included a young Tony O'Reilly, won all six games. In 1985, he joined the Barbarians Committee, which he served for 20 years.

He held a series of administrative roles, including being the first president of the Scottish Schools Rugby Union in 1967, before he became vice-president of the SRU between 1981 and 1983. He was president in the 1983/1984 season, when a side captained by Jim Aitken won the first Grand Slam since 1925. Robson was dubbed the "players' president" and made 96 speeches during the year, only once delivering the same speech. Aitken, recalling that Grand Slam recently, remembered Robson as "probably the only gentleman in the game".

Robson was much more than a rugby man, though. He was born in Hawick in 1928, to a father from the Borders and a mother from Shetland, who would instil in her son a love of the place.

He attended Hawick High School, where he was inspired by his art teacher, James A Finlayson. After National Service in the UK, Egypt, Palestine and Tripolitania from 1946-48, he enrolled at Edinburgh College of Art, where he gained a scholarship and a distinction in life drawing.

After leaving art school in 1952, he became an art teacher at Kirkcaldy High School in 1953 and began to exhibit his paintings more widely.

He exhibited regularly with the Royal Scottish Academy and the Royal Scottish Watercolourists, and became a professional member of the Society of Scottish Artists in 1957.

He moved to Dollar Academy in 1956, where he was a boarding housemaster between 1963-69 and head of art from 1968 until he retired in 1988.

He was a passionate teacher who went beyond the traditional syllabus: he taught pupils about European and world art, and organised art groups and summer schools in Dollar.

He particularly loved teaching the younger children, for whom he created "Mr Primary", a character who spilled his paints to reveal secondary colours.

All the while he was painting and working in a range of mediums, particularly oils and watercolours. He had an affinity with the Scottish landscape, especially the bleak and rugged coasts of Shetland and the gentle hills of the Borders. As well as painting, he designed a number of stained-glass windows, most recently to commemorate local minister Tom Scott OBE in 1998.

A love of Shetland, where he owned a restored croft house, informed his two books on the Earl of Zetland ships, which ferried passengers from the mainland to the islands. He also wrote a history of the Edinburgh Borderers Rugby Football Club and contributed chapters to a number of books on Scottish rugby.

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about Robson is that his grace, humility and charm outshone even his own achievements. He was a fine raconteur, but an equally good listener, who was fascinated by everyone and never judged. Jim Greenwood, who played No 8 for Scotland in the 1950s, recalls a time in Paris when Robson saw some tramps sleeping on the steps of the Metro and tucked a few francs into each of their shirts.

Right until his death, he had a broad smile and the same crippling handshake he had all his life. He maintained his positive outlook and never complained during his illness. For those who knew him, these qualities transcend his exceptional and varied achievements.

He was predeceased by his wife, Netta Renwick, of Hawick, whom he married in 1954, and he is survived by two daughters, Shona and Judith.