Scottish Rugby’s Dee Bradbury awarded OBE

A trail-blazing member of the Scottish rugby community has been recognised in the New Year’s Honours’ list.

Scottish Rugby’s immediate Past President, Dee Bradbury, is awarded the OBE for services to our sport.

Dee (Oban Lorne), who served as President in the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons, was the first woman to fulfil that role not simply for Scottish Rugby but for any Tier 1 rugby union in the world. 

“I was absolutely over the moon when I heard I was being awarded the OBE,” she said.

“At first, I thought it might be a scam or a wind-up but once the family had checked it all over – and they didn’t believe it at first either – then I’d spoken to a member of staff, I was convinced it was legitimate!” she explained.

“I see it very much as recognition for our rugby community in Scotland. You know, standing on touchlines on wet and windy nights, driving my sons to training and matches, washing the mini-rugby strips.

“That’s all been part of the journey and is very much the ethos of rugby in Scotland, where the sport is about so much more than just the 15 men or 15 women on the park.

“I was immensely proud to become the first female president of a Tier 1 union and to represent Scotland on Rugby Europe,” she added.

Dee’s inclusion on the New Year’s honours’ list has come as a tremendous fillip at the end of a dreadful year.

“It feels just now like one of the only positive things to come out of 2020,” she said. 

Earlier in the year, she suffered a cardiac arrest and it was only down to the life-saving CPR applied by her husband, Nick, and a neighbour in Oban, Lindsay Vare, that she survived.

She had to undergo subsequent surgery but is continuing to make a good recovery, having spent Christmas Day with Nick and sons Magnus, the Edinburgh and Scotland back-row forward, and Fergus, the former Scotland age-grade forward.

“I don’t know yet when the investiture will take place, as, like so many other things that’s dependent on the easing of the pandemic, but it’s something that I’m very much looking forward to in 2021,” she declared.

Scottish Rugby’s Chief Executive, Mark Dodson, said: “From myself and everyone at Scottish Rugby we are delighted for Dee, who was a fantastic ambassador for Scottish Rugby. After what has been a challenging year this is a very welcome acknowledgment for her role within rugby in Scotland over many years.”

Meanwhile, congratulations also to Damian Hopley, a theology graduate from St Andrews University who played for Scottish Universities and went on to represent Wasps and England as a centre/wing, who has been made an MBE in the New Year’s Honours’ list. Hopley is now Chief Executive of the Rugby Players Association in England.

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