David Campese in Lanark

David Campese battles for the ball with Rob Andrew during an England v Australia clash (Pic by Ian Rutherford)
David Campese battles for the ball with Rob Andrew during an England v Australia clash (Pic by Ian Rutherford)

Legendary Australian rugby union star David Campese was the star attraction at a dinner in Lanark Auction Market on Saturday evening.

Campo (53) entertained over 350 spectators by recounting his stellar career at a charity bash run jointly by Biggar and Lanark Rugby Clubs and the Bill McLaren Foundation.

Lanark Rugby Club president Iain Hughes said: “Campo was an excellent speaker and it was fascinating listening to him recounting his memories from all his games for Australia.

“He is involved in coaching youth rugby now and he said it was good that Lanark and Biggar Rugby Clubs both had strong youth systems as that was the foundation of any club.”

After speaking for 15 minutes about his stunning career with the Wallabies, Campese did an on stage question and answer session with compere Al Kellock, the former Glasgow Hawks and Scotland star.

Campo, who also took questions from the floor, had earlier that day attended Lanark Rugby Club’s final league match of the season, a home game against Loch Lomond.

Four Australia rugby tops personally signed by Campese were auctioned off on the night, as were two of Bill McLaren’s ‘big sheets’.

These were used respectively by the legendary commentator – who died in 2010 aged 86 –when he worked at the the Grand Slam decider between Scotland and England in 1990 and the 1991 World Cup final between Australia and New Zealand.

“Bill wrote all the intricate details imaginable on these bits of paper to help him with his commentaries,” Iain said.

“There were loads of details about the park and the history of the fixture.

“It was meticulous and had folk asking where he was getting all the information from.”

Organisers hope that the night could raise a total of around £15,000, to be split evenly between Lanark and Biggar Rugby Clubs and the Bill McLaren Foundation.

The Foundation, which was set up six years ago, aims to support individuals and organisations to actively promote and develop rugby union and its values, as personified by Bill McLaren, and to help provide opportunities for youngsters in sports.

Biggar Rugby Club president Alistair Stewart added: “The evening matched up to the pre­-event hype and went really smoothly.”