- Date of Birth26 Nov 1948
When Peter Wheeler’s career in the insurance industry took him to Leicester in 1969, he could not have known it would begin an association with the club stretching almost half a century.
An all-round footballer at the heart of the front row, Wheeler became a rugby legend while making 349 appearances for Leicester as well as playing for England and the Lions.
After phoning the club to see how he could join, he made his Tigers debut in the 1969/70 season and went on to score 589 points, including 66 tries, 61 conversions and 69 penalties, as well as leading Leicester to John Player Cup triumphs as captain in 1979, 1980 and 1981.
Wheeler famously captained two teams to victory over New Zealand in the space of just 10 days with the Midlands and then England, and also led the divisional side to a win against Australia.
He played in 41 Tests for England from 1975, captaining the national team in 1983/84, and played in seven Tests on British & Irish Lions tours to New Zealand in 1977 and South Africa in 1980. Many believed he should have led the tour in 1983 but was controversially omitted.
A true all-rounder, Wheeler scored a hat-trick of tries on his Barbarians debut and was a member of the Barbarians side which became the first northern-hemisphere winners of the Hong Kong Sevens.
A coach with Oxford University for two years, he also coached at Tigers when they won the first Courage Clubs Championship in 1987/88 and was President of the club when the game went professional in 1995.
He later became Tigers’ first Chief Executive and played a leading role in the development of the professional club game, serving on the Board of Premiership Rugby, European Rugby Cup, the RFU Management Board, RFU Council and Professional Game Board as well as receiving Life Membership at Leicester.