Chris Paterson announced an end to his international career in December and he represented Scotland for the last time in their World Cup defeat at the hands of England at the World Cup.
He was awarded an MBE by the Queen in the New Year’s honours list. It is a fitting tribute to Scotland’s record cap holder and highest points scorer.
Scotland fans will have the chance to pay their own tribute to their legendary hero in their opening match of the Betfair Six Nations 2012, also to be played against England, this time at Murrayfield.
Paterson will be present at the game to present the match ball to the referee prior to kick off. He has said of the opportunity “I’ve always treasured the support I’ve had throughout my career” he also talks of “getting goose-bumps with some of the cheers I’ve had at Murrayfield.”
As well as a being a chance for the Scotland fans to bid a fond farewell to one of their all time greatest players Paterson is relishing the chance to not only return the farewell, but to give a massive thank you to the supporters who were with him throughout his career. He has maintained that his main reason for being at the match though, is not a sentimental one. He says he will be there “firstly as a supporter, and secondly to say thanks.”
The Scotland crowd and players are no doubt likely to be eager to cause an upset against England and gain some sort of revenge for their World Cup exit. In the last two encounters at Murrayfield, the supposedly dominant England have failed to defeat the Scots. The Rugby Union Betting markets suggest England have the upper hand in this battle though.
The presence of Paterson will no doubt make the atmosphere that extra bit special and they will no doubt do all they can to triumph over the Auld enemy and reclaim the Calcutta Cup.