This week’s memories are provided by Stephen White who started school at Melville College before the merger with Daniel Stewart’s College. He finished his school career at Stewart’s Melville College in 1977.
“When I reached S3 we were now all in the merged school, Stewart’s Melville College, and I finally made the top rugby team, the B1s – I was obviously improving from a low base and in the first team I kept out Malcolm Lowes who scored tries for fun in FP rugby, eventually at 1st XV level. I had come across David Johnston, the very fine Watsonian and eventually Scotland centre, before but had never normally played against him in the top team. As an aside I remember Ray Gravell, the hulking Welsh centre, thinking he could run through the slightly-built Edinburgh lad in 1982 in Cardiff. I always imagine Jim Renwick saying to David –‘ I think we know what he is going to do, just tackle him around the ankles again!’ – Scotland’s first win in Cardiff for ages 34-12 with that classic Jim Calder try – look it up on YouTube.
Anyway I finally faced David for the B1s on Pitch 1 at Ferryfield which was a huge pitch full of wide open spaces, me at full back and David Stephenson, our French teacher, who was the referee, manfully trying to keep up with play. The ball was whipped out to David Johnston at outside centre, he jinked around whoever we had there and was only left with me to beat. He chipped the ball over my head on the 25 yard line as it was then, gave me a few yards start and it was nip and tuck for the race backwards. I did well but David, who was as fast as the wind, narrowly got there first by a fingertip at which point referee David, still manfully trying to keep up and who had not seen what had happened, said the ball had been touched down by the Stewart’s Melville full back – 25 yard drop out.”