Micky Steele-Bodger dies aged 93

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Micky in his playing days at Cambridge University

All at OURFC are deeply saddened to learn of the death of a true rugby legend, Micky Steele-Bodger CBE, at the age of 93.

A flanker for Harlequins, England and the Barbarians, and long-standing President of the Barbarian Football Club, Micky played rugby from his schooldays at Rugby School and represented Cambridge in The Varsity Match in 1945 and 1946. Subsequently, he organised 71 successive years of a guest Steele-Bodger XV playing Cambridge University as a warm-up to The Varsity Match – the equivalent of our own Major Stanley’s Match. He went on to study at Edinburgh and to play for the Edinburgh University Club for two seasons, before becoming a veterinary surgeon.

His nine caps for England saw him play in all nine Tests in the post-war 1946-47 and 1947-8 seasons. Micky even took on the role of scrum half in his final Test against France when the England number nine was injured.

He captained the Barbarians twice and scored the first try in their inaugural match against Australia in January 1948.  Micky’s playing career was ended by injury in 1949 but his involvement with, and huge influence on, rugby union continued up to the present day, Micky serving as an England and British & Irish Lions selector, RFU President, and Chairman of the International Rugby Board (now World Rugby).

A redoubtable personality and the epitome of rugby camaraderie and friendship, Micky was widely loved and appointed a CBE in the 1990 New Year Honours for services to rugby union.

Current RFU President Chris Kelly said: “Micky was a rugby man through and through and devoted much of his life and passion to the game. He was greatly respected by all who knew him and will be hugely missed. We are all proud to have shared his enjoyment of our sport and are indebted to him for the many roles he served with such distinction and especially grateful to his wife, Muff, his children Guy, Duncan and Clair, his nine grandchildren and five great-grandchildren for sharing him with us.”

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