Funeral Details Update – Ian Harris Wright “Albie” 28 February 1956 – 05 May 2020

Albie (left) with Dr Henry Murray, Heriot’s Rugby Club Centenary Tour to Boston 1990
Many members have approached the family about funeral arrangements.  The funeral service is to be held at Warriston Crematorium on Wednesday 13 May at 12.00. At the present time the numbers are restricted to a maximum of 12 which means only family and a few close friends can attend.  However, at the suggestion of some members, the funeral cortege will travel along Inverleith Place from Fettes towards the Stand.  At the junction with Inverleith Row the cortege will turn left towards Ferry Road before proceeding to Warriston.  Those who otherwise would attend the funeral may wish to watch the hearse pass, by way of paying their respects.  The hearse is due to leave Blinkbonny Crescent at 11.40 and should drive along Inverleith Place at approximately 11.45. Clearly, social distancing must be observed.
Albie was a Nails legend.  He was instrumental in setting up the first overseas tour to California in 1982 and went on to have key roles in subsequent tours to Boston ’90, Canada ’92 and Bermuda ’97.  He was a prolific organizer helping to stage the renowned Goldie Discos, the Centenary Ball, Goldenacre International lunches, the Three Bears Dinner and many more.

Ian attended George Heriot’s School and was of the same vintage as the Bear, Peter Hewitt, the late Kenny Strachan, Graeme Wight and Stuart Dredge.  He and the Bear were protagonists in various commercial ventures which often ended in doubtful results!  He was a talented sportsman excelling in swimming, golf, cricket and rugby.  He played for first teams in both the latter sports.  It was a source of frustration to those close to him that he chose not to fulfil his potential as a rugby player.  He truly had exceptional ability playing at 10 or 12.  An elusive runner, a formidable tackler and a successful goal kicker.

Albie had a fierce stubborn determination and considerable courage which coupled with a highly tuned sense of humor made him popular throughout his extensive rugby and business contacts.  Arguably above all of these was his generosity of spirit which made him remarkable.  He brought all these qualities to bear when dealing with his illness which extended for the past 15 years and which he bore with fortitude.  Albie was a great Club man and a dear friend who will be much missed. 

Our condolences to his wife Val and son Chris and his wife Pam and his brother Gordon.

7 thoughts on “Funeral Details Update – Ian Harris Wright “Albie” 28 February 1956 – 05 May 2020”

  1. Grant Simpson

    I will miss Albie .
    He was a big part of my rugby life at Goldenacre during the great rugby years late 80s 90s.
    I toured with him to Boston , Canada and Bermuda highlights of my rugby career.
    A great Herioter, Nail and tourist.
    RIP

    Simmy

  2. Nails legend is exactly how he would have wanted to be remembered. For those that knew him, it is impossible to think of him without smiling. He was just one of those kind, big hearted guys who was so much fun to be around. Goldie has indeed lost a blue and white bloodied legend. Condolences to Val, Chris, Gordon and their families.

  3. Gordon Newlands

    Albie was captain of the school 1st XV in the 1973/74 season. In his end of season report in The Herioter in July 1974, Stuart Barnes said “Ian may be relatively small in body, but he is extremely big in heart, and his drive, courage and ‘never say die’ attitude were always evident on the field”. A fair summary of how Albie played his rugby and lived his life. As you say, a Heriot Rugby legend. RIP Albie and my condolences to Val and the family.
    Gordon

  4. Stewart Barnes

    Albie was a pleasure to have as Captain of the School 1st XV and, as Gordon has said, he gave a 100% to all aspects of his life. He was a classy and fearless stand off and I always enjoyed his chat and sense of humour. He will be greatly missed round Goldenacre and I was very pleased to have the chance to chat to him there last year. My sincere condolences go to his family and many friends.

  5. George Middlemiss

    Ian and I were very good friends at Heriots and lived nearby to each other. He in Viewforth, and me in Fountainbridge. We travelled different paths after school. We bumped into each other occasionally over the years. I had not seen him for a few years. I wish I had. His passing is really very, very sad. However, it did bring back very happy memories of a boy and man with a lust for life. I thought back to where the nickname “Albie” came from. I think Gordon, Ian’s older brother, had the middle name Albert. He was the original “Albie”. Then Ian became Wee Albie, then just Albie. Whenever I think of Ian, I smile. He made his mark during his life and brought fun. My thoughts are with Val and the family.

  6. Graeme Crawford

    Rest in peace now, Albie. You were one of a kind. I valued your friendship and hugely admired your courage. Deepest sympathy to Val and family.

  7. Hector MacQueen

    I’ve just heard this sad news via Robert More’s Cricket Club letter. It’s a bit of a shock, since Albie and I entered the gates of Heriots at the same time back in September 1961 and wended our way through the next 13 years together, both in Castle House. The photo above is an instant reminder of how he always seemed. He was our year’s star all-round sportsman and ultimately captain of rugby. I think he was a bit disappointed not also to be captain of cricket but he never let it show in his commitment to the team that I was lucky enough to skipper, and the advice he gave me as vice-captain. The story about the passage of his nickname from elder brother Gordon is true, although there was a time when Albie was known as Harris to distinguish him from his brother in a properly principled way. Gordon never lost his Albie, at least for the Heriots FP Second XI which he captained and where he kept wicket. The resemblance of the brothers to each other was amazing from Prep B onwards, where Gordon used to have to come to hand over his wee brother’s school fees at the beginning of each term, causing hubbub each time. Possibly the finest moment Ian and I had together was on a glorious summer’s afternoon at the end of our Sixth Year, when we took on Pete Hewitt and Dave Meekison at doubles on the tennis courts then marked out on the School front lawns. Although Pete and Dave were the School’s doubles team, we very part-time tennis players beat them in a fiercely contested match (can’t remember whether it stretched to more than one set); a great memory with which to leave School! I saw Ian only rarely after that, and I didn’t know that he had been ill; but I can believe he fought it to the end with humour and courage. I’m very sorry I didn’t get to pay my respects in person before his passing.

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