Sad News – Former Heriot’s Player Gordon Fisken

We are saddened to hear that former Heriot’s Rugby player Gordon Fisken passed away on 19th April, aged 75. He was in hospital and contracted COVID-19 when in there and despite giving it a good fight he unfortunately couldn¹t beat it.

Gordon, formerly a surveyor, played second row for Heriot’s 1st XV in the late 1960s and early 1970s.  He was a well-liked player also known as Primo Fisken.

Gordon was a very keen fisherman and was one of the founders of the Heriot’s FP Angling Club – Rusky section.

Gordon’s family have asked that rather than flowers that those who knew him may wish to make a donation in his name to “My Name’5 Doddie Foundation”and they would be delighted to hear any stories you may have.  Stories and comments can be left in the comments section at the foot of this post.

The thoughts of the Heriot’s Community are with Gordon’s family at this difficult time.

13 thoughts on “Sad News – Former Heriot’s Player Gordon Fisken”

  1. So sorry to hear the very sad news of Primo passing away.
    Had the pleasure of playing a couple of seasons with him in the early seventies. A real gentleman and good company and a very staunch Herioter.
    Thoughts with his family at this very sad time.

    Andy Irvine

  2. I recall Gordon being red carded in a game against Gala at Goldenacre I think, for over enthusiastic footwork at a ruck. This was ironic because this was the Gala team of Jim Aitken, Gordon Dickson and Johnny Brown who were no shrinking violets. Interestingly it was a great talking point that Gordon came into the club house after the game, convention at that time apparently being that if you were sent off, the disgrace prevented post match mixing, you were expected to slink off home.

    A great guy who went on to play in the early days of junior rugby in NE Scotland for , I think, Buchan and Formartine.
    John Mackie

  3. GORDON also known as PRIMO but had another name “RUDKIN” This name arose during the PRESIDENCY of BRIGADIER JIMMY GREENSHIELDS. who could never remember his real name and continualy called him “rudkin” which stuck. Great bloke a sad loss. NOone left to buy my dummy at touch rugby. HAMISH K MORE

  4. Dad,

    For the introduction to rugby, fishing, the odd beer, the support & advice and for sending me to George Watson’s College, thank you.

    You were one of a kind, I love you dearly Gaffer.


  5. Andrew Khaleeli

    I knew Gordon through his son Keith as I am also a Watsonian , always a sore point with Gordon! What a man , he really grabbed life and lived . He was a fantastic raconteur, excellent company and he was always interested in how our lives were going . It was a privilege knowing him .
    Gandhi ( as you always called me Gordon )

  6. Robert( Bert) Craig

    Aa a touch judge for Heriots in the 60’s when your only role was to inform the referee if the ball was out of play I took great delight in following a strange hand that used to magically and dare I say illegally produce the ball back on our side. Yes, it was Gordon 90% of the time. Just as well today’s technology is around as Gordon may have found several coloured cards come his way. I was in his class throughout our time at school and I was deeply saddened by the news of his passing.. There are a few of his classmates who meet up for lunch 4 times a year but the numbers I am afraid are reducing far too quickly. May I pass on my and the groups condolences to his family and finish with one of his phrases. ‘ it wasnae me ref!’.

  7. Graeme Crawford

    When he couldn’t think of an excuse not to, Gordon used to join Robin Smith, Bill Michie and me doing extra training runs in the dark at Goldenacre, up and down the length of Ferry Road, on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Those endless, knackering ‘Ferry Road Runs’ weren’t Gordon’s favourite – but he did them ‘in the interests of science’ and Heriot’s. Fast forward (which he wasn’t!) to September 2017, and Gordon was in a (very) small Heriot’s choir lustily singing a Golden Wedding tribute to the tune of ‘While Gratitude Fills Ev’ry Breast’. Last saw Gordon in Kent in 2018, in superb form. Great chap. Great loss. My heartfelt sympathy to his loved ones.
    Graeme Crawford

  8. Colin (Wally) Hesp

    I played with a Primo several times as a fellow second row. While a gentleman off the pitch he was not slow in joining in any opportunity to ‘sort it out’ on the pitch. I was right behind him (usually 10 yards at least, further if no one noticed) on these occasions and quickly realised why he had the nickname’Primo’. If you play in the second row you join another club within ‘The Club’ and an affinity grows with the guy you play with. I’m proud to say Primo and I were in that club. Sincerest sympathy to all his family.

  9. I knew Gordon for nearly 60 years. From when as a tall lanky lad he joined our Surveyors office. He soon “filled out” and I persuaded him to come to training at Goldenacre. Not his favourite pastime but he was the only player I can remember who played every match in a season. A fine line out disrupter and solid anchor in the second row he was an asset to any team.
    We kept in touch and when I visited London on business we’d meet up for a quiet evening in the elegant Ennismore Gardens, at the end of which he would pour me into a taxi. Recently he was up in Edinburgh for our Golden Wedding at the Botanics and he generously invited a crowd of us back to his Club.
    Typical of the man, he gave a lot and will be sadly missed.

    Robin Smith.

  10. I first met Gordon after his Heriots playing days when we worked together in Aberdeen in the 70s then by pure coincidence in similar circumstances in Trinidad in the 80s when I occasionally scaled the heights as his second row (junior) partner. I have been blessed by his friendship and sporting company since then and enjoyed the privilege of extending that to his wonderful family. I’ll miss you Gordon my good man.
    Fergus Collie

  11. David E. Anderson

    I also knew Gordon through his son and my old school friend, Keith. From our first meeting (which must have been close to 35 years ago), Gordon’s open generosity and warm, welcoming character were always present. I will always have memories of parties, celebrations and various get-togethers in Edinburgh and London where Gordon’s generous spirit (and equal generosity with the Champagne !) made the time spent with him incredibly memorable. I’m so glad to have had the opportunity to meet and know you, Gordon.

    Few hearts like his, with virtue warm’d,
    Few heads with knowledge so inform’d:
    If there’s another world, he lives in bliss;
    If there is none, he made the best of this.

    David E. Anderson

  12. Heather Guler

    My brothers and sister thank you all for these great stories about our Dad. He was always good fun, always positive, always a gentleman and taught us all some very important life values. He was loved by so many and will be remembered always, so dearly.

    Thank you

    Kind regards


  13. I worked in the same office as dear Gordon in the latter part of his working life, a great pleasure.
    What a lovely man, kind ,warm, helpful & entertaining, I have so many fond memories which I shall cherish.
    I send my deepest condolences to his close, loving family ,of which he spoke often.
    He will be greatly missed by all who knew him. May he Rest in Peace.

    Kindest regards,
    Mary Smith

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *