The list of inaugural inductees to the Leicester Tigers Hall of Fame is now complete, with six men who have made a huge contribution to the club’s 140-year history on and off the field.
Over the past six weeks, the Tigers website has profiled each of these six great men.
They account for a combined 1,700 first-team appearances and 160-plus years of service to the Tigers and, between them, they have filled almost every senior position at the club.
But more than the games, the finals and the medals, they are the men who have helped to make the Tigers, from unpaid administrators of the amateur era to visionary coaches and world-class players, they have helped to make the club what it is.
Some were at the peak before many of today’s supporters were born, but their legend lives on in the part they played in the club’s 140-year history.
The inaugural inductees are:
A giant of the game in all senses, the second-rower spent his entire professional club career at Tigers, winning every prize in rugby, on his way to becoming England’s only Rugby World Cup-winning captain and twice leader of the Lions.
“The legends’ legend”, “the heart and soul of the club” and “the greatest of Tigers” are all descriptions attached to the club’s record appearance holder in recognition of a 65-year association with Welford Road as player, captain, coach, president, director and life member.
Legends are born and made at Welford Road, and few are bigger than the talismanic back-rower in more than 300 games in club colours and as a standout performer with England and the Lions.
Although he did not make a playing appearance for the club, the Welshman was an extremely popular figure with players, officials and supporters alike and a central figure in the team behind the scenes, giving stalwart service while expecting no reward in return.
A world-class player before becoming the Tigers’ first chief executive at the dawn of the professional game and President of the RFU in a Rugby World Cup year, the captain of the treble-winning team of the 1970s/80s, the former hooker is rightly regarded as rugby aristocracy on and off the field.
“Generally regarded as the best coach England never had,” says the Tigers History Book of the former scrum-half who became the visionary force behind a team that irrevocably put the club on the map.
Coming soon: New section of the club website dedicated to the Hall of Fame and its members.