Scotland rugby international

Scotland rugby international

Born: June 5, 1931 Died: October 19, 2014

JIMMY Docherty, who has died aged 84, will be remembered for his dropped goal in Scotland's magnificent 14-8 win over Wales, at Murrayfield, on 5 February, 1955.

This victory in "Arthur Smith's Match", was Scotland's first since they had beaten the Welsh 19-0 in 1951, and brought to an end the sorry four-year, 17-game losing streak.

Smith's iconic try, early in the second half, to level the game, is still recalled as one of the greatest Murrayfield moments - right up there with Tony Stanger's try, in the same corner, in 1990.

However, it was Docherty's dropped goal - a snap, left-footed effort - shortly after Smith's try, which put Scotland in front and kept the second-half momentum going.

The dropped goal, for Docherty's only points in his eight-game Scotland career, came in only his second cap. He had made his debut in the previous game, the first match of the 1955 Five Nations - a 0-15 loss to France in Paris.

Throughout his career, Docherty was troubled by knee injuries. A knock picked up in a Scotland run-out, a football match on a snow-covered Myreside, meant he missed the next international, against Ireland at Murrayfield. His Old Anniesland colleague Angus Cameron moved up to ten and retained the jersey for the last international of the season, at Twickenham. Docherty was still on the "long list" for the Lions' 1955 tour to South Africa. But running the family business meant he had to decline the opportunity to tour.

He made just one appearance in 1956, at centre in the final match, the Calcutta Cup game at Murrayfield, which Scotland lost. That season, however, found Docherty more focused on events at Old Anniesland, as he captained GHSFP that season.

This was a period in which High School were flying. In addition to Docherty they had the services of Scotland regulars Angus Cameron and Hamish Kemp. Cameron's brother Donald and Bob Gemmell were other Old Anniesland regulars who were capped at that time, during which the club won three unofficial Scottish "newspaper" championships.

The Scotland selectors failed to avail themselves of Docherty's services throughout the 1957 campaign. But in 1958 he was brought back to form a sparkling centre combination with the great Geordie Stevenson of Hawick in all five internationals that season - the four Five Nations matches and the Murrayfield meeting with the touring Australians.

Scotland went through that season unbeaten at home, with the French and the Australians defeated and the Calcutta Cup match drawn. Sadly, the two away games, in Cardiff and Dublin, were lost.

In addition to playing with GHSFP, Docherty was a regular in the Glasgow District XV, and he was a Barbarian - invited to join the prestigious invitation-only club for what turned out to be an unbeaten Easter tour of Wales in 1955.

Rugby was, of course, strictly amateur back then, and even the top players - such as Docherty - had to work for a living. He hung up his boots to concentrate on running the family's tailoring manufacturing and agency business.

Docherty continued to be involved with his old school rugby club. He refereed - wearing the Wales international shirt he had swapped with the legendary Cliff Morgan after the 1955 match - having first unpicked the iconic number ten from the back.

He was due to captain High School in 1961 but was forced to quit playing through the knee injuries which blighted his career.

Instead, younger brother Ian - there is a third brother, Glen - took over. The SRU frowned on coaches back then, so Jimmy was "adviser to the captain" as he and Ian took the club to an unofficial championship in 1961-62, having won the inaugural Glasgow Knock-Out Cup in 1961.

Jimmy Docherty was a committee member and club president in 1980-81, before editing the club's centenary book Chocolate And Gold - which he described as "an excellent toilet reading book" - in 1984 and continuing to support from the sidelines. Even after the amalgamations with Kelvinside Accies to form GHK and the subsequent formation of Glasgow Hawks, he continued to support Old Anniesland rugby.

He had a sporting background. His father, James, who died tragically young, had played football for Rangers, Clyde and Ayr United and the Rutherglen-born Jimmy was an outstanding athlete when he attended the old Glasgow High School in Elmbank Street.

In 1949, his final year at Elmbank Street, he captained Bannerman House, served on the school council, was a prefect, skippered the rugby XV and cricket XI, was president of the art club and was sports champion and field events champion.

He was afforded a Scotland trial straight out of school, but, perhaps fortunately during the long period of consecutive defeats, he had to wait until 1955 for his cap.

Jimmy Docherty was one half of a "mixed marriage". He met former Hillhead High School pupil Pat when they were barely out of their teens. Pat survives him, with sons Craig - who maintains the Docherty connection with BT Murrayfield as the SRU's head of retail and product licensing - and Graham - who works in the golf business with uncle Ian - and four gra­ndchildren, Ben, Scott, Eilidh and Jenny.