Famous Fan | Dougie Donnelly
He’s one of Scotland’s most iconic sports broadcasters, but did you know the eminent Dougie Donnelly is also a long-serving member of the Warrior Nation? The man himself talks holidays with the Hastings family, giving stick to one of the world’s top golfers and his memories from years gone by…
How did you get into following the Warriors?
I’m a proud Glaswegian and a rugby fan, so there was only ever one team for me really! Back in my BBC days we were covering a lot of club rugby, so I was pretty heavily involved with that. I came from that and started going whenever I had a chance – this was back in the Hughenden days! I actually remember being interviewed by Andy Nicol at Hughenden once, when he was hosting the hospitality there. I’ve been a fan of the club ever since, really. I get to Scotstoun whenever I can – I don’t get along as often as I’d like due to travelling to cover golf, but I still enjoy coming to games.
You've been a fan since the club was founded - what have you made of the club's development over the years?
It’s just been staggering. We all remember the Hughenden era, and then the move to Firhill – it just never really happened for the club there, for some reason. To come to Scotstoun now and see it sell out week on week with the noise that the crowd makes, that’s testament to how far the club has come in the last few years. It’s been terrific to see.
What are your favourite memories from supporting the club over the years?
I remember the two Ulster matches back in 2015; I see Rory McIlroy quite often, and he’s a big Ulster fan! I gave him a fair bit of stick for that, and he obviously gives me that stick back on the occasions Ulster get the better of the Warriors. There’s always a bit of banter with Rory, because he’s massively into his rugby.
Unfortunately, I’ve not been able to get to the two ‘big’ games if you like – ironically, I missed the final we won in Belfast in 2015 because I was working at the Irish Open golf at Royal County Down! That’s one I’d have loved to have been at. I couldn’t make the final at Celtic Park last year either, which was frustrating. Getting to another final is on agenda, and I’d love to see the club make the final of the Heineken Champions Cup – that would be really special.
How easy is it to follow the club when you're travelling for work?
Thank goodness for the internet! I’ll frequently check the club’s website and Twitter account, because the coverage on there is terrific. It can occasionally be a case of following the club at strange hours if I’m in China or somewhere for work, but it’s easy enough to follow.
It’s great to see Adam [Hastings] following in his old man’s footsteps, too. We’re quite pally with Gavin and Diane, and they joined us on holiday one year in La Manga – I was nearly drowned by a boisterous 12-year-old Adam, so it’s quite nice to see him taking it out on someone else as opposed to pals of his dad!