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Lanark Rugby Club pays tribute to Chris Campbell

Chris played a pivotal role at the club on and off the park for over 40 years

Lanark Rugby Club marked the passing of past player, captain and president Chris Campbell who was laid to rest last week.

Chris had a long connection to the club and instigated the marshalling of the Perambulation of the Marches during Lanimer Week.

He played rugby at Lanark for over four decades, learning the game from Charlie Rigg, Phil Leckie and, Malcolm Ellis at Lanark Grammar.

A slight figure with agile hands, a quick brain and an accurate boot, Chris started on the wing and graduated to scrum half as his reading of the game and intuition allowed him to help the Grammar 1st XV to League and Cup victories in the final years of rugby at the school.

His talent was identified also by then captain of Lanark Rugby Club 3rd XV, Willie Gardner, who poached Chris to turn out for the club on a Saturday afternoon, still caked in mud from his morning exertions for the Grammar.

A talented, fearless, exhilarating and exasperating player in equal measure, Chris had vision on the rugby field which often left his less talented team mates befuddled – let alone the opposition!

Playing at university and for Lismore in Edinburgh, Chris became a well-known figure coast to coast across league rugby in Scotland. He became a utility player towards the end of his career in the true sense of the word, equally happy to mix it in the front row or behind the scrum.

His vision and commitment extended beyond the field of play and as club captain at Lanark, he instituted bizarre sartorial style through tartan trews and he mustered teammates to marshal the Perambulation of the Marches during Lanimer Week, a tradition which continues to this day. He often 'borrowed' Tesco trolleys and trawled the streets on Lanimer Day itself, selling programmes and engaging with the crowd.

Chris was a peerless servant of Lanark Rugby Club and while he will be sadly missed, he will never be forgotten.