Investec Executive Director Murray Mackay remembers watching Andy Irvine play for Heriot’s Rugby Club 1st XV at Goldenacre when he was at school in the 70s.
After retiring from playing himself, Murray has continued to contribute to the club and is now as Non-Executive Director on the Heriot’s Rugby Club Board and a member of the club’s Investment Committee.
He was key in establishing the partnership with Investec Wealth & Investment in 2015 when the Barbarian FC were hosted at Goldenacre to celebrate the 125th anniversaries of both clubs.
Investec’s connection to Heriot’s Rugby Club is not only through Murray but colleagues and former players, Gordon ‘Poser’ Lawrie and John ‘Robbo’ Robertson.
The investment firm is the main sponsor of Heriot’s Rugby Club. Investec are no strangers to sport sponsorship and rugby in particular. Murray says, ‘‘We feel that Heriot’s mission of producing exceptional performance both on the pitch and throughout the club harness values that are at the heart of Investec’s culture.’’
Murray believes that sponsorship of community organisations like Heriot’s Rugby Club make good commercial sense and provide a good return for local businesses.
‘‘They are, in reality, a semi-professional club and if you don’t have sponsorship you don’t develop the sport,’’ he said.
A George Heriot’s School alumni, Murray played for Heriot’s Rugby Club for an impressive 21 seasons, eventually hanging up his boots when he was 38 years old.
Murray now watches his three sons play whenever possible, including his youngest who plays with the North Edinburgh Vikings, a combined Heriot’s Rugby Club and Stewart’s Melville RFC youth development team.
‘‘My youngest in particular was desperate to get back on the field.’’
Quoting his late friend Mike ‘Sumo’ Livingstone, Murray believes, ‘‘You can never spend enough time at Goldenacre.’’
‘‘You realise how much a place is part of people’s lives,’’ he said.
‘‘I had so much fun with pals, whether you are great or not there is rugby for everyone at Heriot’s.’’
Caption: Murray (right) presenting Player of the Match award to Barbarian and former Heriot’s and Scotland player Gordon Ross in 2015.