Dave McDonald: Obituary

Dave McDonald: Obituary

Scottish Rugby is saddened to learn of the passing of Dave McDonald, former President of Aberdeen Grammar F.P.R.F.C and President of the Scottish and European Golden Oldies. He passed away on Sunday 15 April, aged 74.

Dave was a well-known all-round sportsman who had a passion for rugby, American football and judo, gaining black-belt status.

In his life outside of sport, in the 1970s Dave was a hotelier, running the now vanished Sullom Voe Hotel.

Whilst in Shetland Dave founded the Sullom Voe Wanderers RFC also known as ‘The Oil Blacks’, and there are players from this team who are still involved in rugby today.

Shetland was one of his favourite places and for those he met with, Dave would regularly recall tales of isles rugby with such stalwarts as Forbes Hogg, John Roy Nicolson and Mal Smith.

After his time in Shetland, before returning to Aberdeen, Dave spent some time in America where he picked up American football at the US Coastguard Base at Scatsta. Enjoying the sport, he founded the Granite City Oilers American football team whose first game was against the Shetland Red Eyes.

Whilst back in Aberdeen, Dave became involved in rugby at Aberdeen Grammar, serving as President between 1994 and 1997.

In 2000, Dave was unfortunate to be involved in a freak-accident which sadly led to a below-the-knee amputation. Undeterred by this, within six months of receiving his prosthetic limb, he was back to playing Golden Oldies rugby.

In the years since, Dave continued to be active in sport as President of the Scottish and European Golden Oldies and a representative on the world-wide organisation, travelling the world several times visiting places like Japan and South East Asia.

The Scottish Golden Oldies Festival was hosted earlier this month in its 11th year at McKane Park, Dunfermline, where Dave was involved as the event MC.

Speaking about Dave and his impact in rugby, Golden Oldies Festival organiser, Ryan Vidler, said: “I was so sad to hear of Dave’s passing. We were grateful to have had his backing of Dunfermline for the 2023 Golden Oldies Festival, which he dedicated countless years, time and energy into make happen, providing memories for grassroots players and communities across the world, which will last a lifetime.

“I have no doubt that Golden Oldies rugby will continue to be enjoyed for many years to come, and Dave’s memory will live on through this.”

Scottish Rugby extends its sincere condolences to Dave’s family and friends.

A funeral service for Dave will be held at the West Chapel at Aberdeen Crematorium, Hazlehead on Friday 28 April 2023 at 2.45pm.


Spread the word

Newsletter Sign-up

Sign-up for our newsletter today to receive the latest updates, content and releases from Scottish Rugby.


Principal Partners