Sir Bill Beaumont CBE DL

Born in Preston in 1952, Sir Bill first pulled on a Fylde jersey in 1970 when he was full back for the sixth team - two years later he was a forward in the first team.

It is as a great leader and captain that he will always be remembered. His triumphs in 1980 will never be forgotten - he led England to their first Grand Slam since 1957 and was captain of the British Lions.

Sir Billís international career started in 1975 against Ireland and he played for England 34 times. His first involvement with the British Lions was in 1977 when he was flown out to New Zealand as a replacement. He played three games but the greatest honour of his career was when he was invited to captain the Lions in South Africa in 1980. The association continued when Sir Bill was appointed manager of the 2005 touring party to New Zealand.

Sadly a head injury, while playing for Lancashire in the 1982 County Championship final, prematurely ended his career. However he is just as well known these days for his television and media work - Sir Bill was the longest serving team captain on BBC Televisionís A Question of Sport with over 300 appearances in 13 years and has been a studio analyst and expert summariser for the BBC and Sky Sports. He has represented England on the Council and Executive Committee of the International Rugby Board, was Chairman of the Rugby Football Union and Chairman of the Six Nations Council and in May 2016 was elected Chairman of World Rugby.

In 1982 Sir Bill published his autobiography Thanks To Rugby which he updated in 2003.

Sir Bill is married with three sons and is managing director of the family textile business which was founded by his grandfather in Chorley, Lancashire. He was awarded the OBE in 1982 for services to rugby, the CBE in 2008 for services to rugby and charity, was knighted in 2019 for services to rugby union football and in 2024 was appointed Knight Grand Cross.

 

April 2024