Dickie Jeeps: Tributes for former England scrum-half

  • Jeeps won 24 caps for his country
  • England scrum-half also played 13 times for the Lions

RFU President Peter Baines has paid tribute to former England and British & Irish Lions star Dickie Jeeps who passed away over the weekend, aged 84.

Jeeps, who earned 24 caps as England scrum half, playing in all four matches of England’s 1957 Grand Slam, and captained his nation 13 times, died on Friday 7 October.

His first match for England was in 1956, his last in 1962, and his 24 caps remained a record for an England scrum half for 20 years.

“Dickie was a true rugby legend and an iconic player," said Baines.

"He was the finest scrum half of his day, led his country, and went on to become both RFU President and Sports Council Chairman. He was a figure that everyone looked up to, and he leaves a great legacy for rugby and for sport in general.”

Northampton's most capped Lion

Jeeps toured with the Lions to South Africa in 1955 and is one of a select group of players capped for them before playing for his country. He played in all four Tests of the drawn series.

He went on to be selected for the 1959 Lions tour to Australia and New Zealand and the 1962 Lions tour to South Africa. His 13 Lions test appearances created a record only overtaken since by Willie John McBride.

Educated at Bedford Modern School, Jeeps played for  Cambridge RUFC, before his  13-year career at Franklin's Gardens, which  included 273 appearances and 48 tries. He captained the club in 1958 and remains Northampton Saints' most capped British and Irish Lion.

Jeeps went on to become a respected sports administrator.  He was President of the Rugby Football Union in 1976-77 and Chairman of the Sports Council  for seven years  He was awarded the CBE  in 1977, and is survived by his daughters Deborah, Caroline and Louise, and 11 grandchildren.

The rugby world mourns the loss of a true character of the game with British & Irish Lions 2017 tour manager John Spencer among those to remember Jeeps.

“Like, I suspect, many others, I will remember Dickie with a smile on my face too for his practical jokes and mischievous sense of humour,” said Spencer. “He was an immense character and will be very sadly missed.”