Headmaster, rugby administrator – member of the Legion d'Honneur

Born: 12 January, 1925;

Died: 31 May, 2019

IAIN Cameron, who has died in his 95th year, was the overlooked member of a famous Glasgow sporting family. Younger brothers Angus – a Scotland rugby captain and vice-captain of the 1955 British and Irish Lions in South Africa, and Donald, who also played rugby for Scotland, may be better-known; but, it can be argued: Iain has had a more-lasting effect on Scottish Rugby.

As a club official with Jordanhill School FP and administrator, he came up with the notion of official merit-based Scottish rugby leagues, to replace the unofficial “newspaper” championship. His initial approach to Murrayfield brought the normal SRU response – they said no. He tried again, and again Murrayfield did what they always did – thought about it, but still said no.

Undeterred, Cameron marshalled support, put together a plan and, at the third time of his asking, Murrayfield agreed, and, in 1973, Scotland introduced the world's first competitive club leagues in Rugby Union. That is his lasting legacy.

However, this was just one facet of a long life, well lived. Born the fourth of 8 children, his father ran a successful licensed grocers in Dumbarton Road. However, following her husband's death, his mother took over and made the firm even more successful. The first five children, including Iain, went to Jordanhill College School, the two youngest – one of the Cameron siblings died in childhood – Angus and Donald went to the High School of Glasgow.

Iain played rugby at Jordanhill, the start of a life-long association with the school and FP club, going on, in 1942 to Glasgow University, to read Scottish history. However, after his first year, he was called-up and after basic training he was posted to the Royal West Surrey Regiment, part of the Seventh Armoured Division, the legendary “Desert Rats.”

Bad weather in the channel meant he missed D-Day, landing in France some days later. He was wounded and listed as “missing in action” during the Battle of Normandy, before being hospitalised back to the UK. He rejoined his regiment for the push into Belgium, but, the West Surreys had been so-decimated, he was transferred to the Queen's Royal Regiment for the taking of Ghent.

He was then wounded again, on the assault on Eindhoven, but, after convalescence in Scotland, he was given a desk job until the Armistice.

Returning to Glasgow he went back to Gilmorehill, where he rose to captain the University XV before graduating and joining the Longman's publishing house. He became sales manager for Scotland and Ireland, a post which necessitated lengthy travel across his patch, and saw wife Marie, whom he married in 1952, having to bring-up their four-strong brood largely on his own.

After university, he continued to play rugby for Jordanhill School FP, but, his business trips to London saw him also playing regularly for London Scottish. Indeed, it is said, had he played for a more-fashionable club than Jordanhill, he could well have emulated his younger brothers and worn the thistle.

Aged 40, with the publishing industry changing, Iain opted for a career change, returning to Jordanhill, to the college, to retrain as a primary school teacher. This suited his children, who were assured of a lift to school in Dad's car.

On gaining his “parchment”, he became deputy headteacher at Milngavie Primary, then headteacher at Westerton PS, before his final teaching post, as head at John Logie Baird Primary in Helensburgh.

On hanging up his boots from rugby, he became a well-respected administrator. He was the guiding hand behind Jordanhill's acquisition of the Kilmardinny site, before playing a major role in the amalgamation of the Jordanhill FP and Jordanhill College rugby clubs.

He later was involved in Jordanhill's second amalgamation, to form Hillhead-Jordanhill, and he was a vice president of that club. However, he was not simply a “rugger b****r,” he had other interests.

Iain was a committed Christian, for over 30 years an Elder at Bearsden South Parish Church. He also golfed at Buchanan Castle, a seven-handicap at his best, he was for many years a member of the club teams. Indeed, playing in a Seniors match, at Beith Golf Club, he achieved his only hole-in-one, to much rejoicing.

Perhaps his favourite course, however, was Carradale, and he was for many years a country member of the club there.

He also set-up and ran the Thursday Walking Group of Buchanan Castle members, who enjoyed walks all over Scotland, outings which always seemed to end at a good pub. His notes on these walks, produced in the group's newsletters were eagerly anticipated by the members and their families, for the banter therein. More seriously, the group raised a lot of money for their favoured charities.

In 2016 he was one of the surviving Normandy veterans who were invested with membership of the Legion d'Honneur by the French Consul – a proud moment for Iain and his family.

He is survived by Marie and their children Alison, Shelagh, Iain Junior and Rhona and his nine grandchildren. Iain was also survived by elder brother Willie, but, sadly, Willie passed 17 days after his younger brother, aged 95, leaving sister Ann, who is 92, as the last surviving Cameron sibling.

Iain Cameron might not be as lauded as Angus and Donald, however, he certainly made a considerable impact in several fields, not least via his successful battle to get the Scottish Rugby Union Leagues formed.