Jim Shackleton

Jim Shackleton

Scottish Rugby is saddened to learn of the death last month of former Scotland centre Jim Shackleton. He was 82.

James Alexander Pirie Shackleton won seven caps for Scotland between 1959 and 1965.

He was born in Assam, India on 3 April 1940 and his family returned to the UK by boat post Second World War, where Shackleton began his senior education at Fettes College in Edinburgh.

In his first season at Fettes, he played stand-off but soon developed into an outstanding centre, winning Scottish Schools honours.

He won his first Scotland cap only days before his 19th birthday and in his first season in adult rugby, having moved south to join London Scottish.

His debut was against England at Twickenham and contemporary media reports praised his “courageous recoveries” when there was mis-handling in the Scotland midfield. The match ended in a 3-all draw.

Shackleton had to wait almost four years to return to Scotland selection – an 11-6 victory over France at the Stade Colombes in Paris in January 1963.

He went on to feature in the gutsy 0-0 draw with New Zealand the following year at Murrayfield and then, in 1965, in his final match for Scotland, he scored the decisive try in an 8-5 home win against South Africa.


Writing in the Glasgow Herald, correspondent John Downie, said: “Shackleton played by far his best game for Scotland.” Downie described his try: “(Frank) Laidlaw won his first strike against the head and (Davy) Chisholm hung up a high, diagonal kick, which dropped just short of the left-hand post.

“(South Africa’s full back) L G Wilson got his hands to it, but failed to grasp it and Shackleton, following  up fast, snatched a try, that Stewart Wilson converted.”

Shackleton was also a pivotal figure in the great London Scottish seven of the 1960s, winning the prestigious Middlesex tournament five times in six years from 1960.

He also made five appearances for the Barbarians, between 1964 and 1966, contributing nine points.

A consultant in construction, Shackleton was a director with the construction company, Higgs and Hill, responsible for many well-known buildings in London.

Shackleton was a member of the London Scottish Hall of Fame and was a keen golfer, loving the social side of the game as much as he did in rugby.

Scottish Rugby expresses its sincere condolences to his wife, Hilary, daughters Nicky and Kate, grandchildren, wider family and many friends.


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