Andrew ‘Jock’ Wemyss

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Date and place of birth: Galashiels, 22 May 1893

International rugby player Jock Wemyss was a successful journalist and BBC radio commentator and co-founder of the famous Co-Optimists invitational rugby club (1924).

A promising Gala forward (who also played for Haddington and Edinburgh Wanderers), he made his Scotland test debut versus Wales in Cardiff in 1914. 

Scottish rugby suffered severely during the First World War and Wemyss – who lost an eye – was one of the few players who bridged that period, earning a total of seven caps.

On 1 January 1920, Wemyss played in what was said to be one of the most remarkable matches in the history of international rugby between France and Scotland in Paris.

The fixture, known as “Le match des borgnes” (the match of the blind), was so-called because five of the 30 players had lost an eye during the war.  

Legend has it that Wemyss was not issued with a Scotland jersey in the dressing room before the match on the basis that he should still have his top from 1914. When he lined up ready to run out on to the pitch bare-chested, the committee relented and gave him a new one. He went on to earn a further four caps.

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