President of the Barbarian Football Club and one of the greatest Rugby legends, Micky Steele Bodger takes a step back in time, as he speaks about when he made his official debut for England in 1947. Micky mentions the enthusiasm shown by Rugby supporters following the end of World War II. His international Rugby career was sadly cut short, as after achieving nine caps for England, Micky relives the day he suffered a career-ending knee injury and how he was lucky to escape having his leg amputated as a result.
An early end to Micky’s playing career by no means ended his passion for Rugby, as he went onto become the manager and selector for the England team, a selector for the British and Irish Lions, President of the Rugby Football Union and Chairman of the International Rugby Board. Micky admits that being a selector for England was the most difficult role to fulfill among all the esteemed positions he has held, as covering the country during the 1950’s to pick the best players for the national team was challenging.
Having spent so many decades involved in Rugby, Micky is immensely proud to see that the comradery and team spirit that exists among players has not disappeared over time. Micky is concerned though that injuries could become a regular occurrence as the professional era of Rugby evolves, due to the size of players ever increasing.
Micky has been President of the Barbarian Football Club since 1988 and he says that seeing how the players, who are selected from all over the world, come together and form a strong team bond within a matter of two practices together is the greatest quality of this prestigious club. Micky discusses his favourite moment with the Barbarians, which came when he was a player, and looks ahead to the game against the All Blacks at Twickenham on November 4th and the chance the Barbarians have of winning the encounter.
One of the values of Rugby Micky admires the most is how players give it their all on the field and never complain about the heavy tackles and knocks they receive, unlike many Football players he draws a comparison with. At 92 years old, Micky says he does not expect supporters of Rugby to remember him when he passes on, but hopes the sport will continue to unite players and fans alike across the globe for many years after he is gone.
“I think the remarkable thing about Rugby is the comradery that still exists. A lot of us were frightened when amateurism gave way to professionalism. The reaction of people and their behaviour is really just as it ever was and one gets immense pride to see the friendly spirit that still exists.” – Micky Steele Bodger (President of the Barbarian Football Club / Former England International)