Scotland’s most successful Commonwealth Games fencer, Alexander Leckie (known as Sandy) won two gold and two silver medals for Scotland over three successive Games. Born in Watford to two proud Scottish parents – his father from Hamilton and his mother from New Pitsligo in Aberdeenshire – he never felt anything other than Scottish. His brother George however opted to compete for England and the pair did not hold back when it came to international competition!
Sandy was a member of Scotland’s first full team of fencers at the Cardiff 1958, but it was four years later in Perth that he really made his mark. He had already made the first of his three Olympic appearances, as Great Britain’s youngest fencer at the Rome 1960 Games, by the time he took to the piste in Perth and he came into the Games as the favourite for the Men’s Individual Foil title. He delivered on that billing, winning Scotland’s first and only Fencing gold to date and taking the title ahead of 1959 World Foil champion Allan Jay to become the first fencer from outside England ever to win this event.
His hopes of retaining his Foil title were dashed however, when he sustained a bad gash on his knee during a preliminary round of the competition. Characteristically Leckie chose to ignore his wound and the following week, with stitches still in his knee and his leg heavily strapped, he competed in the individual Sabre event. His injury slowed him down badly, but remarkably he still managed to win silver to become the first Scottish fencer ever to take a second Commonwealth medal.
Chosen as Scotland’s Opening Ceremony flag bearer for the Edinburgh 1970 Games, he was determined to give a captain’s performance. He did just that, putting himself back on the top step of podium with gold in the Individual Sabre event. Having reached the final pool of six fencers, he showed his mastery of the sport by winning every single one of his contests to take overall victory.
He completed his medal haul with silver in the Sabre Team Event alongside Gordon Wiles and Anthony Mitchell. With two gold and two silver medals he is Scotland’s most successful Commonwealth Games fencer, contributing exactly half of the sport’s medal tally in its 20 year inclusion in the Games.
Eight times British Champion, with three titles in Foil and five in Sabre, Sandy competed in individual and team sabre at three consecutive Olympic Games: Rome in 1960; Tokyo in 1964 where he also contested individual and team foil; and Mexico City in 1968. His best result came in his last Games where he finished 7th in the Men’s Sabre Team Event.
Sandy’s involvement with the Commonwealth Games did not end with his competitive career. He was again part of the Games in Edinburgh in 1986 as part of the final stage of the Queen’s Baton Relay, running into the stadium behind baton bearer Allan Wells. Glasgow 2014 once again saw him carrying the Queen’s Baton, this time through Aberdeenshire where he spent part of his childhood.