Born on 9th of March 1952
(full name and title: William Blackledge Beaumont, CBE)
Born: March 9, 1952
Bill Beaumont is a former rugby union player and captain of the England rugby union team. Whilst some lament the decline of the England team following the 2003 World Cup victory, they should spare a thought for Beaumont who took over as captain in 1978 of an England team that would have been thankful to have been as competitive as the modern team.
Beaumont first played for England in 1975 and had been considered unlucky not to have been selected for the British Lions tour of New Zealand in 1977. An unfortunate injury during the tour to Nigel Horton provided a place for Beaumont with three tests remaining and he made a big impact. Although the Lions only won one out of four games on the tour, it was not for lack of ball winning by Beaumont and the rest of the Lions forwards.
Beaumont managed, with his thoughtful approach to the game, to inspire England to an unlikely Grand Slam in 1980. This followed a period in which the England team had almost become accustomed to struggling in the then Five Nations competition. The finale at Twickenham was a thrilling encounter in which England won 9 – 8. Many left the stadium that day talking of 'England's best front row for years'; unfortunately, they were talking about streaker Erica Rowe, who had made a brief, but infamous, naked appearance on the hallowed turf.
In all Beaumont achieved 34 caps for England, 21 of them as the captain. Sadly injury cruelly truncated his Rugby career. Following this he became one of the country's best-loved captains at a different game. This time it was on the long running television game show 'A Question of Sport'.
During his time as a player, the sport of rugby union was strictly amateur. Beaumont had to work for the family textile business, which he now owns. He is vice chairman of the International Rugby Board and a director of Rugby World Cup. He was awarded the OBE in 1982 and this was upgraded to CBE in 2008.
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