Born: December 29, 1925;

Died September 17, 2020.

TOM McGLASHAN, who has died aged 94, was briefly Scotland’s oldest rugby internationalist following the recent death of Logie Bruce-Lockhart. A redoubtable prop forward who earned eight caps between 1947 and 1954, he also represented the Barbarians, the Co-Optimists and Edinburgh District.

At club level he played for Royal High School FPs for more than 20 seasons, notching up 249 games while helping the team finish runners-up in the old unofficial championship in 1951/2, as well as a Jedforest ‘sevens’ success in 1947.

McGlashan was the epitome of the highly valued, loyal, popular club man who made an outstanding contribution on and off the field, serving three terms as president and appointed honorary vice-president in recognition of his services. He was also honorary president of the Co-Optimists, which he accompanied on trips to Zimbabwe and Hong Kong in the 1980s.

For many years he was the highly regarded honorary dentist to the Scottish Rugby Union, regularly treating players in his surgery and was one of the pioneers of the use of gum-shields in addition to advocating their role in reducing the effects of concussion.

He was also an accomplished heavyweight boxer and field events athlete.

His talents first shone at Royal High School, where he was vice- captain of an outstanding 1st XV that won 18 of 19 matches, while in the athletics arena he was credited with a Scottish Schools shot putt record. During wartime he played for the school in the morning and FPs in the afternoon, making his senior debut in 1942/3 aged 17 and bowing out with a final appearance aged 38 in 1964, against Penarth, although he continued playing in Old Crocks tournaments.

A strong, durable scrummager, he first achieved international recognition aged 19 playing for Scotland in two wartime Services’ internationals against England in 1945 and earned his first full cap against France in Paris on Ne’erday 1947.

This was the first full post-war international and the trip was an unforgettable experience. The party travelled by train and was housed in the palatial grandeur of the Hotel Lutetia, which had previously been Gestapo HQ. The French won but the Scots were consoled with post-match champagne, a visit to the Folies Bergeres and a banquet in the Eiffel Tower.

Another two caps were followed by selection for the Barbarians, much to his delight, playing in victories against Penarth, Newport and East Midlands.

Selectorial inconsistency meant a wait for more caps until 1954, when the highlight of his career came against New Zealand. An unfancied Scots team lost narrowly by only a penalty, with the outweighed home pack excelling itself.

In the boxing ring he trained with Leith Victoria before joining Edinburgh University’s team, with whom he won the Scottish Universities’ heavyweight title and his Blue in the city’s McEwan Hall in 1950. A laid-back character, apparently he had to be awoken from a nap in the changing room before contesting the final. He also competed successfully at shot putt for his FP athletics team, even figuring in the Scottish ranking lists at age 34.

Thomas Perry Lang McGlashan was born in Edinburgh, the younger son of James, a solicitor and Eliza nee Lang. Older brother Peter also played rugby for Royal High School FPs at prop. The family lived in Durham Square and as a youngster McGlashan enjoyed summers in Pitlochry, where his grandfather had been blacksmith.

He enlisted for the war as soon as he could and joined the Marines, where he first tried boxing. Much of his service was spent in Sri Lanka, a country whose culture he found fascinating, as illustrated in his letters home.

Once demobbed he matriculated at Edinburgh University to study dentistry and in 1947 married Doris Young, a Glasgow University science student, in the University Chapel. She was an athlete who won a Blue for hurdling and they met at an athletics meeting in Fife when she offered to help carry trophies he had won.

The couple set up home initially in Comely Bank, Edinburgh, while Doris taught at Broughton High School before their children Shona, Morag, Jean and Hamish were born.

After graduation he practised in Musselburgh before setting up his own surgery in the family’s home, then in Willowbrae area. Next he practised in the west end and latterly in a surgery in the family home in Great Stuart Street. A highly regarded practitioner, he was assiduous in performing his duties as painlessly as possible. He and Doris enjoyed a happy and fulfilling marriage until she died in 1985.

He was a sociable individual and “well-kent” figure around Edinburgh, who was often to be seen in his kilt. Although associated with demanding physical sport, he also had a creative artistic side and drew, painted and sculpted. He was a member of the Royal Society Of Scottish Artists, who exhibited his portrait of Doris. A car enthusiast who, when younger, had various Rolls-Royces, he also enjoyed spending time at his second home in Gullane.

His daughter Shona said: “He was a very kind, sociable and compassionate person, interested in others and their experiences.” His club’s 1968 centenary booklet remarked: “He was a bastion of the front line, unassumingly effective and peacefully powerful except when roused.”

He is survived by his children, grandchildren Thomas, Sara and Shimona, and nine great grandchildren.