Goodbye ‘Slippery’ – Ian Maclean

Firstly, I would like to inform you that Alasdair Maclean (Ian’s Son) has passed on his and the family’s thanks to every OW who attended his father’s funeral. As he said, Ian would have been most upset missing the party held for him! Also, he sends a big thank you to everyone who donated towards the RNLI and the Wooden Spoon Charity (Surrey). The donation raised a total of £1420, which is fantastic.

Ian was an irreplaceable Old Dub. He was one of the very few who represented , those who were evacuated to The Firs In Woking in the 1940’s and who went on to Cambridge as an undergaduate. He was born on the 26th of November, 1940 and died on the 3rd of July 2018. His funeral brought over 200 family and friends together to mark his importance to our lives

‘Ian and the Old Boys’: This is to be read as Ian said it when interviewed by Tony Watts daughter Halina. They are his words:

“I didn’t join the old boys full time until 1958 when I came back to London. I had spent a couple of years in Buckinghamshire. I was working in London but living in Buckinghamshire because my wife at that time was a speech therapist in High Wycombe. We were out there all the time and I played for one of the local teams there, Thames Valley. I used to come back for the Old Boys dances and so on. And when I came back to London I re-joined the Old Boys.

It’s always been a very social club. I wasn’t one of the drinking mob. That was down Chris Munton, they had initiations and had to drink amazing concoctions. Heavy drinking was never my pattern so avoided it.

Wing forward was my position until I was told if you want to stay in the first team you have to go to prop. Then I got injured in 1962 and was out for a year and I never came back to the first team. I captained the bottom side for 10 years, so I had a wonderful relationship with the old ones. It provided the opportunity to organise a team the way you wanted it, to play good rugby within you limitations.

I played my last game for the Old Boys in 1996. I did get carded when I was 70 but Ian Plumber wouldn’t let me play. He was concerned about my safety that I would drop dead on the pitch. I stopped playing fully in 1991.

The rugby tours were interesting. We always started by saying this is going to be an enjoyable trip and we are going to play rugby just for fun, but by the end after a couple of defeats in the earlier games, the emphasis was always about winning the last game. Each tour has its different character

When we went to Blackpool we had some great fun going around the amusement park. The Isle of Wight we all went ice skating, so you mixed things up according to the pattern.

Derek Finch was one of the top characters. Derek was always one of the Boys Own heroes. We had a very good 8-80 runner at school called Jones. The 880 yards was a special race because there was a cup given for it by one of the mothers who lost one of her sons during the war-Shapcot. And the 880 that year, it was Derek’s last year and Jones was the hot favourite but somehow Derek managed to win it. You could see every muscle strained in his face. He was ahead of me, so I always looked up to him.

I remember Lewis, who was incredibly good at attracting girls and he had a motor bike.

John Totham is two years younger than me but he was his present size at that age, or seemed to be. We stood in this ring and we just didn’t move. We threw punches at each other. I threw everything I could at him but I didn’t seem to dent him at all. Luckily he must have been pulling his punches because he didn’t seem to knock me down. He was always a top class rugby player.

One person who absolutely embodied the Old Boys rugby was Chris Munton. He is larger than life and incredibly good fun. He walks into a room and he is immediately the centre of attention. If Chris is at a party you know its going to be a winner.

Top rugby players from the Old Boys over the years has got to be Derek Finch, John Totham, Dave Horner, and Stu England who was an outstanding player. Your father Tony Watts was pretty good, was one of those anchormen for his side, any team would be glad to have Tony in it. Dave Millen was one of the fastest sprinters you’ll ever see, and watching him score a try in Twickenham during the Sevens was incredibly exciting”.


Ian will be missed by all who knew him. His open door policy for his world renowned parties being a vital component in the strength of our rugby club and The Old Wandsworthians of modern times

We will miss his smile and his advice spoken with patronic style

Dick Moody

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