Rugby internationalist and administrator

Born: March 20, 1928;

Died: November 20, 2015, aged 87

JIM Inglis, known across the land as "Basher", who has died aged 87, was one of the best-known figures in Scottish Rugby. Indeed, just a few months before his death, after a courageous and private battle against cancer, he and Mary, his devoted wife of 60 years, were presented with the Spirit of Rugby Award at the Scottish Club Rugby Awards 2014-15, at Murrayfield - a fitting reward for a lifetime of service to the game.

Jim Inglis was Selkirk to his very core. Born and raised in the town, he first donned the famous blue shirt as a 16-year-old at the end of the Second World War. He went on, as a player, to represent his beloved club, gain selection for the South of Scotland XV before becoming the third of the so-far 12 "Soutars" to have been capped by Scotland, when he won his solitary cap, at tight-head prop, in the Calcutta Cup match of 1952.

In this instance, his timing was unfortunate. The match was the seventh in Scotland's dismal run of 17 straight losses between 1951 and 1955. With the SRU selectors in full panic mode, there was seldom a second chance for newcomers. The match, which England won well, was the last of the 1952 campaign, and, while The Herald's rugby correspondent wrote in his match report: "Inglis was the best of the newcomers", he was never called upon again.

He owed his elevation, in part, to the ranks of the capped to a wonderful display for an outweighed South of Scotland pack which had, in January of 1952, given the much-vaunted touring Springboks, who had earlier in their tour thrashed Scotland 44-0, a rough ride at Hawick. The South lost 13-3, but this was the hardest challenge the tourists had faced in Scotland. Inglis was at loose-head in that match, the great Hughie McLeod of Hawick had been on the tight-head side.

If there were no further caps following his Calcutta Cup outing, Inglis had much to be pleased about in the 1952-53 season which followed, as the "Souters" achieved a rare double, winning the Border League and also the unofficial Newspaper Championship. This was a high point for the Philiphaugh club.

As is always the case around Philiphaugh, that Selkirk side was very much a home-grown outfit, playing "for the toon". If it had any real stars they were surely the formidable front row trio of skipper George Downie, "Basher" Inglis and hooker Jock King, who had followed Inglis into the Scotland XV.

Inglis continued to pull on a Selkirk jersey until 1957, before seamlessly switching to the committee room. During his playing career, he was chosen for Scotland's premier invitation XV, the Co-Optimists, as well as the Scottish Borderers, the South and the national team.

He was twice president of Selkirk, from 1987 to 1989 and again in 2001-02, while also filling other committee roles for the club. He also, as befits a man with a great passion for Borders rugby, had a spell as president of the Border League. He had also been a great supporter of the professional Border Reivers team, enjoying some great Friday nights watching their games at Netherdale.

He and Mary gave freely of their time for the club, indeed, at the time of his death, Mary was fixture secretary of Selkirk, while Inglis was referees secretary, looking after the officiating team at Philiphaugh each Saturday. He had held this position for 12 years and enjoyed the company of the match officials.

Jim Inglis began his working life when he was just 14 years old, leaving school on a Friday, and on the Monday beginning what was to be a lengthy career in the forestry industry, although later in his working life he moved to fresh pastures.

His service to Selkirk was interrupted by national service, and ike many Borderers he served in the King's Own Scottish Borderers, where, naturally he played for the fearsome KOSB regimental XV. His national service took him to Egypt, where he played representative games in the Canal Zone.

He was, however, almost tempted away from rugby, filling in as a goalkeeper for Selkirk FC, to such good effect, the football club officials tried, in vain, to tempt him away from Philiphaugh.

Away from rugby, he was a keen walker, particularly when it came to exercising his daughter's spaniels.

Jim Inglis is survived by Mary, daughters Sandra, Muriel and Laura; Lesley, the couple's third daughter, pre-deceased her father. There are also six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.