On Friday 28th November, 97 members and guests of The Farmers Club enjoyed the wonderful hospitality of RBS Gogarburn in Edinburgh to celebrate St Andrew's Day.
Our guest speaker was Gavin Hastings OBE, past captain of Scotland and the British and Irish Lions, and widely considered to be one of the best rugby players to come out of Scotland. He won 61 caps for Scotland, 20 as captain, and was a fine exponent of assertive attacking play, with great goal-kicking ability and undying commitment.
At Gogarburn Gavin showed himself to be not only an excellent speaker but also a quite delightful man too, talking easily with many of our members in the excellent surroundings of the RBS headquarters.
Club Chairman Jimmy McLean presented Gavin, a member of the Caledonian Club, with a fine pair of Farmers Club cufflinks, which he promised to wear when in his Club!
Former national coach Ian McGeechan has described Gavin as: " a big man in every sense of the word..... his greatest asset was to engender confidence in those around him and to lead by example when the opposition had to be taken on. In New Zealand, they considered him simply the best full-back in the world."
Born in Edinburgh Hastings played for Watsonians, London Scottish, Cambridge University, Scotland and the British and Irish Lions. As a schoolboy he was the first player to captain a Scottish schoolboy side to win in England. In 1985, he captained Cambridge University to victory in the Varsity Match. He was inducted into the International Rugby Hall of fame in 2003.
Making his debut in 1986 in the Five Nations against France, Hastings kicked six penalties as Scotland won 18-17. At the 1987 World Cup, his kicking in the group stage ensured Scotland’s passage to the quarter-finals.
Hastings played in all three of the Lions’ test matches on their successful tour of Australia in 1989. He was also pivotal to the 1990 Grand Slam victory, especially in the build-up to Tony Stanger’s winning try against England in the final match.