Sir Bill Beaumont details his lifelong love of rugby union

Sir Bill Beaumont returns to the Woodlands whenever possibleSir Bill Beaumont returns to the Woodlands whenever possible
Sir Bill Beaumont returns to the Woodlands whenever possible
In difficult times for rugby union and all sports, Sir Bill Beaumont has spelled out what the game means to him, particularly at club level with his beloved Fylde.

Now into his second term as chairman of World Rugby, the former England captain and one-club man still makes time to visit the Woodlands whenever possible.

In a column for the website about the importance of the community game, Beaumont wrote: “Last weekend (my wife) Hilary and I were down at Fylde watching our grandchildren Annie and Bertie enjoying mini-rugby.

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“Their dad Sam was captain for quite a few years, Josh started at Fylde before playing for Sale, and our eldest Daniel played there too.

“I posted on the family Whatsapp that it was the fifth generation of Beaumonts at the club.

“In my day, there was no mini-rugby so I started playing at school and joined Fylde at 16, taken along by my dad who played there, his dad having been a member at Fylde too.

“The club was where we all enjoyed ourselves, when Hilary and I were courting, when we were married. Every Sunday was rugby.

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“We were either at Fylde or Hilary was taking one of the lads to an away match, while I went to another.

“Hilary probably watched more matches than many a coach, both mine and the boys’ games.

“We all loved being part of the rugby family and, getting back to the club, you realise what’s been missing during recent tough times.

“We’d been saying what on earth are we going to do at the weekends and there we were back at Fylde.

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“The kids were having a great time, while learning discipline and respect. Rugby teaches you how to win and how to lose, how to accept success and failure and to keep going. It teaches you loyalty to your team-mates and your club.

“When I went down to Fylde for a pint last Saturday there were more than 50 volunteers involved in NatWest RugbyForce, doing the place up for rugby coming back.

“Everyone was desperate for rugby to be back and clubs are desperate to have people return.

“There’s nothing like being part of rugby and it’s fantastic knowing that wherever I go in the world I’ll always be at home in a rugby club.

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“It doesn’t matter whether you are prince or pauper, it makes no difference, you are always accepted.

“Seeing all the volunteers getting the club smartened up, you realise what an integral part they are of the community. It’s all about camaraderie and having fun.

“Wherever you are, whoever you’re with it’s, ‘Do you play?’ ‘What’s your club?’

“I was at the local golf club and there was a dad there from Leeds with his two lads. They said, ‘It’s Bill Beaumont, isn’t it?’

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“Whether it’s on the pitch or in the wider world, rugby teaches you confidence and how to deal with and get on with people.

“I’m hoping that our clubs get everyone back, pitching up for rugby, because they are vital community hubs but most of all where we all go to have fun.

“It’s great to have that back in our lives.”