GP and rugby official

Born: October 10, 1924;

Died: August 2, 2017

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DR IAIN Todd, who has died aged 92, was a respected Glasgow general practitioner and one of the outstanding Scottish rugby officials of his era.

He was very much a West End boy, born in Clouston Street, and he and his only brother, David, were both educated at Hillhead High School, with Iain going on to show a life-long commitment to the school and its alumni.

He left school in the depths of the war in 1942, and immediately transferred to Glasgow University to begin his medical studies. However, he did his bit for the war effort with service in the Home Guard, before, following his graduation in 1948, he did his mandatory two years of real army duty, via national service, in the Royal Army Medical Corps which included a spell in Burma as part of the Burma Mission.

His time in Burma left a strong impression on him, not least because it was while there that he became “a rugby internationalist”, representing Burma in a match against a British Forces XV.

Returning to Scotland, he completed his medical residency at the Western Infirmary, before entering general practice in Govan, alongside the well-known former swimmer Dr Mirrlees Chassels.

He had maintained his interest in rugby, by playing for Glasgow University and Hillhead HSFP, but, when the demands of general practice became onerous, he retired, but became the club's 1st XV touch judge, then beginning a lengthy stint on the committee at Hughenden, where he filled numerous roles.

In time, he was persuaded onto the Glasgow District committee and, by the 1970s Glasgow rugby was to a large extent under the “benevolent dictatorship” of a Hughenden “mafia”: Iain Todd and other Hughenden old boys, Iain MacGregor, Minto Butters and later, former international referee Allan Hosie. These four, and the other Glasgow officials of the time worked tirelessly for the game in the West of Scotland and were rewarded by the fact Scotland's feared “Mean Machine” forwards pack of the time was very much a Glasgow-led unit – Lions Ian McLauchlan, Sandy Carmichael and Gordon Brown were joined over the decade and into the next by other internationalists such as Quinton Dunlop, Alistair McHarg, David Gray, John Beattie, Bill Cuthbertson and Gordon Strachan – all of whom owed much to the support and encouragement of Iain Todd.

Former British Lion John Beattie, now a trenchant commentator and BBC Scotland personality, particularly remembers how Iain Todd went beyond the call of duty in helping him home one night.

Beattie recalls: “It was my career-ending ligament injury. Iain's daughter lived round the corner from our top floor flat in Broomhill and Iain was very generous in wanting to help. I had a pin through my knee and kept yelping as he pushed me up the stairs grunting :'Just a few more steps...' he was a truly lovely man and a huge part of my early life. Old fashioned and honest.”

Iain Todd's long service to rugby administration was capped in 1995 – the year the game went professional, when he was president of the SRU. Even after he stepped down, he continued to support Hillhead, now Hillhead-Jordanhill, Glasgow and Scotland. Indeed, he was still giving sound advice to journalists covering Glasgow Warriors' matches in his later years.

Rugby was not his only passion – he loved sailing, particularly on Loch Lomond, a love nurtured over a life-time's membership of the Loch Lomond Sailing Club. As with rugby, he was a stickler for standards – the correct flags flying and so on, while he was an expert on the rise and fall, the ebb and flow of the tricky waters of the loch and he never missed a chance to visit the club.

Another huge passion was the Kintyre peninsula, planted by annual summer holidays at his grandparents' house in Campbeltown, working on the farm and fishing for salmon and lobster with the locals. He truly loved that part of the world.

In 1955 he married Isobel and the couple settled in Pollokshields, where their daughters Helen, Anne and Mora were born. On retiring from general practice, he and Isobel relocated to Drymen.

His wife Isobel sadly suffered a stroke in 2003 and was admitted to full time nursing care at Buchanan House in Bearsden. When Dr Todd latterly spent a couple of spells in hospital, he decided to move into Buchanan House Nursing Home too, where he embraced life in a way which could not have been anticipated. He enjoyed the care from the wonderful staff. It was also fitting that he could spend more time over the past few months with Isobel, to whom he was devoted and who survives him, along with their daughters and eight grandchildren – Mark, Claire and Emma. Gordon and Stewart who are in the US – and Imogen, Gregor and Michael, plus great-grand-daughter Skye.

Iain was never late: his watch was always 10 minutes ahead of time – yet he never believed it! As a result, he arrived for everything 20 minutes early – very frequently before the doors were actually open.

MATT VALLANCE