Former England captain Perry dies aged 79

  • Perry won 15 caps for England
  • Captained England four times

The Rugby Football Union is saddened to learn of the death of former England captain David Perry, who has died aged 79.

He went to Clifton College as well as Christ’s College Cambridge and played number eight for Cambridge University, Bedford, Harlequins, Surrey, London Counties and England

Perry, who made his England debut in 1963, played 15 times for his country including four as captain in 1965 and contributed to the Championship winning season of 1963.

The number eight featured for Cambridge in the 1958 Varsity match, before going on to play for Bedford between 1962 and 1966.

He made 101 appearances and scored 115 points for Bedford and a club statement said: "The club extends its deepest sympathy to David's family."

Former RFU president Malcolm Phillips who played for England between 1958-1964 also paid tribute to Perry.

"David was just starting his England career as I was finishing mine," said Phillips, who was RFU president between 2004-5.

"We were fortunate to go on the very first England overseas rugby tour in 1963 to New Zealand. We played three Test matches in 10 days and lost them all."I was blessed to have played with him and had him as a friend."

"We had some memorable moments - such as playing Australia on the return journey at the Sydney Cricket Ground during a tropical storm in four inches of standing water. The score was irrelevant."

Perry was also a team mate of Budge Rogers for club as well as country and the former Bedford and England player said he was 'blessed' to have him as a friend.

Rogers added: "David was a big athletic man at 6ft 3 and 16 stone who possessed all the attributes of a fine number eight; winning ball at the lineout and ruck, making his tackles and bursting through defences and making the crucial pass (offload).

"As captain David showed tactical awareness and natural leadership and was a true sportsman who respected opponents and referees. I was blessed to have played with him and had him as a friend."