William Wavell Wakefield - Played Rugby for England

Discussion in 'Sportsmen & women' started by liverpool annie, Jun 21, 2009.

  1. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    Wavell Wakefield

    William Wavell Wakefield, later Baron Wakefield of Kendal was born on 10th March 1898 in Beckenham, Kent. He went to Sedbergh school in Cumbria, where he proved to be a good all round sportsman.

    He left school during the First World War and joined the Royal Naval Air Service. After the War he became the captain of the RAF rugby team and also joined Quins.

    Wakefield was a flanker, but he could play in any of the back five positions in the scrum. If Stoop was credited with changing back play, Wakefield did the same for the forwards. Beforehand they used to concentrate on set pieces and were fairly static, but Wakefield developed loose forward play. He also created the tactic of using flankers to put pressure on the opposition fly-half.

    On October 11th 1919, Wakefield made his debut for Quins against Richmond and he continued to play for the club for the next 10 years, although there were periods of absence when his work took him to other parts of the country. He did occasionally turn out for other clubs during this time (on one occasion he played for the RAF against Harlequins), but his main allegiance was always with Quins.

    During his career with Quins, he appeared a total of 136 times (82 as captain) and he made his final appearance on the 25th January 1930 against Cambridge University. He scored 51 tries for the club, along with 1 penalty and 14 conversions. He was club captain in the following seasons: 1920/21, 1924/25 and 1927/28 to 1929/30.

    The Middlesex Sevens competition was first held in April 1926, and was won by a Harlequins team which featured six internationals, including Wakefield.

    In 1920, Wakefield made his England debut against Wales and in 1921 he was sent to Cambridge by the RAF on a two year course. He captained the university team in 1922. He was also the universities 440 yard champion.

    In total, Wakefield appeared for England 31 times and was captain on 13 occasions. Both of these were records, and he was not overtaken as captain until the 1980's by Bill Beaumont. He led England to back to back Five Nations Grand Slams, the only captain to achieve the feat until Will Carling in the 1990's. His final appearance for England was against France in April 1927.

    In addition to captaining Quins, England, The RAF and Cambridge University, Wakefield had also captained his school, Middlesex and The Barbarians during his playing days.

    Outside of Rugby, Wakefield was an all round sportsman who also played cricket and squash. He was an excellent swimmer and runner. Had he dedicated his time to it, would probably have become an Olympic standard runner over quarter of a mile. In addition, he was a skier, both on snow and water and became the president of the Ski Club of Great Britain, the British Sub Aqua Club and the British Water Ski Federation.

    In 1935, Wakefield moved into politics, becoming MP for Swindon and then later St. Marylebone. He was knighted in 1944 and later became the first Baron Wakefield of Kendal. He was also still involved in Rugby and was the RFU president in 1950. From 1950 to 1980 he was president of Harlequins.

    Wakefield died on 12th August 1983 at the age of 85, but his name will live on forever in Rugby. In 1999 he was inducted as the first (and until this year, only) English member of the International Rugby Hall of Fame. There is also the Wavell Wakefield Rugby Union Youth Trust, a trust which is dedicated to “the provision of facilities to enable and encourage pupils of schools and universities to play rugby union football”. Finally, he is honoured by Wakefields, a restaurant in the East Stand at Twickenh
  2. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    Heres a picture ...

    Attached Files:

  3. Dolphin

    Dolphin New Member

    Wakefield, Lord William Wavell (‘Wakers’) played for England

    Internationals: 31 : 1920 W- F+ I+ (1t) S+ ; 1921 W+ I+ S+ F+ ; 1922 W- I+ F= S+ ; 1923 W+ I+ S+ F+ (1t) ; 1924 W+ I+ F= S+ (1t) ; 1925 NZ- W+ I= S- (1t) F+ (1t) ; 1926 W= (1t) I- F+ S- ; 1926 S- F-

    William Wakefield was born on 10 March 1898 at Beckenham.

    Played as a Flanker/lock/No 8 for: Craig Preparatory School, Sedburgh School, Cambridge University (Blue 1921-1922), Royal Air Force, Leicester, Harlequins, Middlesex

    Profession: Royal Air Force/politician/company director

    War service: Royal Naval Air Service, then Royal Air Force; Captain, Mentioned in Despatches. He was an Acting Flight Lieutenant on 22 October 1917, and was landing Sopwith Pup N6472 at Cranwell when the aeroplane was caught by a wind gust and the undercarriage collapsed. Capt Wakefield flew Beardmore WB III N6713 under the Forth Bridge on 22 August 1918. On 19 September 1918 he was flying Curtiss JN 4 8809, fitted with hydrovanes, when he was forced to land in the River Medway; the aircraft’s airbags leaked and it half sank before he was rescued. He retired as a Flight Lieutenant in 1923 and transferred to the Reserve.

    Remarks: Captained Cambridge University and RAF. Captained England 13 times; 29 consecutive internationals 1920-1926. Represented RAF on RFU 1922-1924. Played in the Centenary match at Rugby School 1923. Distinguished in many sports including athletics (RAF 440 yard champion 1920), cricket (MCC) and skiing. He won the first air race for RAF Reserve Officers in 1924. Chairman British Ski Racing Commission. President British Water Ski Federation. President British Sub Aqua Club. Conservative candidate for Swindon 1934; elected as a Member of Parliament in 1935. Served as an RAF pilot 1939-1945, posted to the Air Ministry in April 1940. Conservative MP for Marylebone 1945-1963.

    He was knighted in 1944. International Board member 1954-1961, President RFU 1950-1951. In 1960, he headed a group of railway enthusiasts who purchased the narrow gauge Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway in Cumbria. He was made First Baron Wakefield of Kendal in 1963; he died without a male heir, and the Barony became extinct.

    He died on 12 August 1983 at Kendal.
  4. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    Couple of pictures ...... ! :)

    Attached Files:

  5. Dolphin

    Dolphin New Member

    Thanks. He was an impressive-looking bloke, wasn't he?


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