WHEN the Lancashire lock was handed the England captaincy in 1978 it was seen as a poisoned chalice following the team’s long period of decline.
Yet, within two years, Beaumont had led his country to a first Grand Slam in 23 years and went on to be one of the most popular captains to wear the red rose.
A powerful second-row with Lancashire-based side Fylde, for whom he played his entire club career, Beaumont made his England debut against Ireland in 1975 – aged just 22. He went on to earn a total of 34 Test caps – captaining his country 21 times and was an inspirational member of a mighty pack that was the bedrock of England’s Five Nations success in 1980. He also captained the British & Irish Lions on their 1980 tour of South Africa and played seven Lions Tests in total before injury curtailed his career in 1982. Further fame came as a captain on the BBC TV quiz show A Question of Sport while he held key roles in the domestic and global game before becoming chairman of the RFU in 2012.