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A good man and a fine player above all

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It is a sad day for rugby with the announcement that George Chuter has played his last game.

Any supporter will know that Chutes is a top bloke, a friendly and warm character, a witty programme columnist and media interviewee, a great laugh and a popular guy with all of the supporters.

But for all that is good about him as a person, let’s not allow that to overshadow his achievements as a player on the rugby field.

Seven Premiership Finals, nearly 300 games at the top level for the biggest club in the country, a part in the run to four European Finals, an appearance in a World Cup Final, the first man to 250 Premiership appearances and a league record holder until this last weekend. That is a catalogue of success.

Look around at the guys he has come up against, and the size and weight advantage he has given away to many of them. Look at the competition he has faced at Leicester – from Cockerill and West to Kayser and Davies to Youngs and Hawkins to name a few.

Chutes admits he faced a challenge every day of his Leicester career. And he faced it head on. He never shirked a thing, his technique and guts got him to the very top level, and he stayed there for a heck of a long time.

And didn’t we love the skills with ball in hand out in open field, eyes glancing one way, little push pass the opposite. Great stuff.

Any man would be proud to be remembered for being a decent human being, and there’s no one thinks more of Chutes than The Tig. But let’s also remember George’s performances on the pitch as much as anything of it. And that includes the weekly swipes at Salvi and Waldrom in the programme!

Well done George, and thanks.