Martin Archer

Martin Archer – an Appreciation

Martin was a massive fixture of and a towering presence in this club for nearly 50 years. He was a talented golfer at youth level but gave it up to concentrate on rugby. Unlike the constraints of today, it was no problem for Martin to play for the school team on a Saturday morning and then the Club in the afternoon.

A youthful Martin Archer is third from the right in the back row of this early Linlithgow Academy team

He was an integral part of the 11 man team which ventured off on the first club tour to Wales to play Pontyates in 1974 – a biennial fixture that lasted for the following 40 years. Travelling by mini-bus, Martin sat at the back of the bus and studied for an imminent college exam, actively encouraged by the more senior members of the group (aye right!!). Having been integrated at an early age to the player inner sanctum, he was a regular at the lock-ins in the “gang hut” at  the Cricket Club prior to the current Clubhouse being built. He is famed for refusing entry to two police officers who came knocking after hours. How was he to know they were “friendly”!

Martin was a member of the 1976-77 Squad – third from left in back row

Martin soon became a regular first team player throughout the seventies and early eighties moving, as he “developed”,  from the back row to tight head prop. He retired from playing in his late 20’s often joking (we think) that the dodgy club hookers were not worthy of his talent. His talent was swiftly moved to concentrate on the embryonic youth coaching section in the club. The rest is history.

Martin (seen here on the left) moved from back row to tight head prop

When his sons Andrew and Matthew came along, Martin was there to help coach them and he continued this from their Mini days to the school teams.

During his playing days for the Reds, Martin earned a twenty-game tie.  It was a source of great pride to him that, in their turn, both his sons, Andrew and Matthew, earned the same distinction.  Three twenty-game ties in one family must be a unique distinction in the annals of Linlithgow Rugby Club.

The Reds won the VII Division in 1983 – Martin can be seen in the back row second from the right