Monday 26 September 2016

90-year-old Melrose Sevens super fan looks forward to 76th tournament

Published 28/03/2016 | 00:06

Rugby sevens super fan Jack Dun, 90, said he is looking forward to the event as much as ever since first attending the Melrose Sevens when he was eight years old
Rugby sevens super fan Jack Dun, 90, said he is looking forward to the event as much as ever since first attending the Melrose Sevens when he was eight years old

A rugby sevens super fan is preparing to attend his 76th tournament this year and said he is looking forward to the event as much as ever.

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Jack Dun, 90, first went to the Melrose Sevens when he was eight years old.

He has been involved in the annual tournament 75 times in a variety of different roles including spectator, referee and club president, but he insisted that even after all these years he still gets a match day buzz.

Speaking ahead of this year's competition, he said: " I think that everyone in Melrose gets excited around this time.

"I am proud to have such a long association and I intend to continue to be part of it for as long as I can.

"There is a real buzz of excitement throughout the whole town, and there could hardly be anyone in the area who does not have some sort of connection to the Melrose Sevens. It really brings the community together."

The retired agricultural seedsman first pulled on the black and yellow jersey of his home team in 1946 but he only managed three games before he was posted overseas with the army.

He added: "I never played in the Melrose Sevens: a very good sevens player who was my contemporary kept me out of the first 15.

"When my playing days were over, I decided to become a referee.

"I joined the Melrose Sevens committee about 40 years ago, and was put in charge of the referees for the tournament because of all the years of experience that I had, and now I'm second in command."

The Borders town of Melrose, which gave birth to the game of rugby sevens in 1883, is home to around 2,000 people - but its population swells to more than 10,000 during the tournament.

Teams from across the Borders and Scotland will face off against tough competition from Italy, France and Belgium in this year's Aberdeen Asset Management Melrose Sevens on April 9.

Club president Trevor Jackson paid tribute to Mr Dun's commitment and dedication.

He said: "There's no doubt that Jack has been truly devoted to the game of rugby over very many years and his service and dedication is a shining example to others."

Press Association

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