On this day in 2011: Leading scorer Chris Paterson hangs up Scotland boots

·2-min read

Scotland’s leading points scorer Chris Paterson announced his retirement from international rugby following a distinguished 12-year career, on this day 10 years ago.

The 33-year-old registered an unprecedented 809 points across 109 appearances and was the only Scot to have appeared at four Rugby World Cup tournaments.

He was also his country’s most-capped player at the time, a record broken by former team-mate Ross Ford in 2017.

Paterson, who captained Scotland on 12 occasions, had been hampered by a groin injury, impacting his world-renowned place-kicking.

“The big emotion is pride and happiness,” he said. “I was lucky enough to win a first cap, which was special, but to then play in a 50th and 100th is something that springs to mind as a highlight.

“It’s a terribly-hard decision to make and one you don’t want to have to make. When you do make it on your own terms, in your time, at the right time, it’s a lot easier.”

Paterson made his debut in the 1999 World Cup versus Spain before becoming a regular in the inaugural Six Nations in 2000.

He appeared at fly-half, wing and full-back and surpassed Gavin Hastings as Scotland’s leading points scorer and Scott Murray’s cap record on the 2008 tour to Argentina.

Chris Paterson, centre, made his final Scotland appearance in the 2011 World Cup defeat to England
Chris Paterson (centre) made his final Scotland appearance in the 2011 World Cup defeat to England (David Davies/PA)

His unrivalled points haul included 22 tries, 170 penalties, 90 conversions and three drop goals.

Paterson suffered a lacerated kidney on the occasion of his 100th cap – a 31-24 loss to Wales in 2010 – while his final appearance came in a 16-12 World Cup pool stage defeat to England at Eden Park in Auckland the following year.

His professional club career, which began at Glasgow and was followed by two spells with Edinburgh, either side of a short stint at Gloucester, ended in 2012.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting