Leading light in Scottish youth rugby development; Born November 3, 1949; Died January 14, 2008. ALAN CALDER, who has died aged 58, displayed commitment and verve in everything he tackled, on and off the park. He was and remains an example and inspiration to all who met him. His sudden passing marks the end of an era, but the beginning of a legacy for Scottish youth rugby.

A loving husband to Maggie, doting father to Lyn, Graham and Lesley and chartered quantity surveyor by profession, his talents embraced numerous areas of life. It was in the rugby arena, however, where he epitomised all that is crucial to the development of sport at the grass roots.

He was introduced to rugby at age 12 when he was in first year at Dalziel High School, Motherwell. In his teens and twenties he went on to club, county and district level, playing for Dalziel 1st XV at scrum half with his last game in the first team at age 40.

Calder was club captain twice, totalling four years, vice-president twice, totalling three years, and president for three years. He effortlessly adopted various other roles, including match convener, coach, youth convener, press reporter and kit washer.

Ironically, what was to be the jewel in the crown of his rugby career was gleaned as Calder lay in traction in Stonehouse Hospital in March 1990 with a serious back injury. His mind turned to rugby matters and the basis of the Dalziel Festival of Youth Rugby was created.

Calder's vision was to introduce youngsters to rugby, allow them to enjoy the game and to include everyone, win or lose, irrespective of their ability.

The first youth rugby festival was held one year later, in May 1991. Over the years it has grown in size and popularity and on the third Friday and Saturday of every April, 1000 young players from clubs across Scotland flock to Dalziel Park on the outskirts of Motherwell. As well as sustaining the lifeblood of Scottish rugby, the national event is a lasting tribute to Calder's commitment, leadership and organisational abilities.

Off the field, in 1976, Calder set up the firm of A B Calder and Davidson with his longstanding business associate, Tom Davidson. After 18 years of private QS practice he changed direction and worked in a senior capacity, first with Morris & Spottiswood, followed by JCM of Glasgow, before moving to Nimmo Builders in Wishaw. He was then approached by Gordon Cunningham, a former colleague, who appointed him head of small works at Clark Contracts in Paisley, placing him in charge of six companies.

Calder was also an elder in Motherwell South Church. In his early days he joined 16th Motherwell Boys' Brigade at Manse Road, where he became, at age 20, captain of the 16th Motherwell BB.

He was a long-standing member of Hamilton Golf Club and in recent years joined Hamilton Caledonia Choir.

Despite his commitments, Calder always found time to be with his wife and children and was a true family man.

Calder took great pleasure and pride in watching his son, Graham, playing in the Premier League with Heriots, Peebles, Currie and, currently, Stirling County.

Scott Duguid