On Saturday 16th November Raeburn Christie Clark & Wallace will be the lead sponsor at the Aberdeen Grammar Rugby match against Gala.
RCCW have supported the club over many years, but hold a special position amongst current sponsors in having provided several first team players, including three club captains, as well as contributing financial support to the club.
The Club’s connection with the firm goes back to the 1940s and 50s when Eric Buthlay starred in one of the most famous teams in the Club’s history, which won the “unofficial” Scottish Club Championship in season 1947/48. Buthlay, a hooker, who many felt should have played for Scotland, went on to captain the club. He was a founding partner of the firm of Christie, Buthlay and Rutherford, one of the predecessors of the current business.
Eric died in 1980, the same year that law graduate Callum McDonald joined the firm (by then known as Raeburn Christie) as an apprentice solicitor. Callum played for FPs for the next 17 seasons, captaining the team in the mid 1980s, and later serving as Club Secretary. His playing days behind him, he is now head of Raeburn Christie Clark & Wallace’s commercial property department.
During the 1980s, another Raeburn lawyer featured in the first XV. Peter Littlejohn, a hard tackling centre and flying winger, played, along with Callum, in the team that won promotion to the old National Division 2 in 1983 (at that time, the Club’s highest standing since the National Leagues were set up in 1973.) Peter is now a respected solicitor-advocate, who serves on the Lord President’s Advisory Committee.
Callum, in his role as Club secretary, helped the club through the transition to the professional game in the mid 1990s, and with that came the opportunity to improve the squad by acquiring professional players. One of the highest profile players to join FPs was a young Australian hooker – with Scottish roots - called Robbie Russell, who was assisted during his time in Aberdeen by Raeburn Christie where he was employed in the firm’s cash room. Rob quickly established himself as one of the best hookers in Scotland, and ultimately won 17 international caps, famously scoring Scotland’s only try against Australia in the quarter-finals of the 2003 World Cup. Rob is now back working in Australia, where he runs a trucking company.
Murray Done joined FPs as a law student in the 1990s and went on to play in every position in the pack (bar hooker) during a decade long association with the club which included the season when the team eventually made it to Premier One. After graduating, Murray was offered a traineeship with the firm (purely on his academic abilities, not his rugby connections!) and after qualifying as a lawyer he worked for the Raeburn Christie’s Commercial Department before deciding on a move in-house. Murray is now Associate General Counsel for Shell International, based in The Hague.
Finally, and bringing the story up to date, is Colin McCaul, who worked as a commercial property lawyer with the then newly merged firm of Raeburn Christie Clark & Wallace for many years, acquiring associate status in the firm before leaving Scotland in 2012 to continue his career in Darwin, in the Northern Territory of Australia. Colin was a popular player during his time at FPs, and played with Murray in the team which achieved promotion to Premier One. Colin was Club Captain in his final season before his move “down-under”.
RCCW look forward to continuing their association with Aberdeen Grammar Rugby Club, both on and off the field.