Sir Bill Beaumont: In the first of our 150 reasons to celebrate Chorley, we focus on one of the town's most famous sporting sons

One of England's greatest-ever rugby players Sir Bill Beaumont was born in Chorley and he is a fitting start to our 150 countdown.

By Jon Townend
Tuesday, 8th June 2021, 9:00 pm
Sir Bill Beaumont
Sir Bill Beaumont

In November the Chorley Guardian marks 150 years since it was first published.

To mark that date, every day until November 4 we will publish a reason to be proud of the town.

Bill Beaumont CBE captained the British Lions and is now Chairman of World Rugby, perhaps the two highest honours the sport can bestow.

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Help us celebrate 150 years of being part of the community

When he was knighted in 2018, the great man confessed he was 'honoured and humbled' by the accolade.

Beaumont joined Sir Clive Woodward, Sir Ian McGeechan and Sir Gareth Edwards in an exclusive group of rugby knights.

He said: “I have always viewed my work in the sport as an administrator as that of a guardian, driven by a passion to do the very best I can for rugby and the people who give up their time every week on the touchlines at rugby clubs around the world to inspire new generations of players, supporters and volunteers."

The gentle giant (at least off the field) remains one of rugby's most popular heroes, largely because of his modesty and sense of humour.

Sir Bill Beaumont at Fylde Rugby Club

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Help us celebrate 150th anniversary by telling us why you're proud of Chorley

He can proudly claim that his finest moment was when he scored his only international try playing for a combined England/Wales team against Scotland/Ireland in 1980.

Ever modest, the proud Lancastrian says he was always lethal from one yard out.

After his enforced retirement, through injury, Beaumont became a much respected TV personality on the BBC and was a team captain on Question of Sport.

Sir Bill, right, with Ian Botham (left) and David Coleman and Bill Beaumont appear in Question of Sport

In a column for website in 2020, he spoke about the importance of the community game.

“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.

"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.

“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."

Sir Bill is well known for his public work with a host of charities in Lancashire, as well as being involved with the family textile firm in Chorley which he joined from school.

Sir Bill's son Daniel became the eighth generation involved in the business when he joined in 2011.

Please share your own reasons to be proud of Chorley.

Whether its a person, a place, an event, a sporting moment - we'd like to hear your reason to celebrate Chorley.

We want to publish an online story every day leading to our anniversary on November 4.

You will be able to see the latest round-up every week in the Chorley Guardian newspaper.

Email your suggestions to [email protected]

We'd love to hear from you.