Carpmael and Barbarians in Hall of Fame
The International Rugby Board has inducted the Barbarian FC and its visionary founder William Percy Carpmael into the International Rugby Board Hall of Fame.
IRB Vice Chairman and former Barbarian FC great Bill Beaumont presented the commemorative cap and gold pin to Barbarians FC President Micky Steele-Bodger and Chairman John Spencer at half time of the England versus Barbarians match at Twickenham on Sunday.
The Barbarian Football Club is unique in Rugby terms. It is a club without a ground, a clubhouse or retained players and membership is by invitation only.
Yet the Barbarians is one of the world’s most recognisable institutions and a club that has done so much to take Rugby to new audiences thanks to its ethos of attacking, running Rugby and star players.
“It is a great honour to be inducting the Barbarians, one of the most recognisable teams in the Game, into the IRB Hall of Fame along with its founder William Percy Carpmael,” said Beaumont, a Barbarian 15 times between 1975 and 1981.
“I had the huge privilege of playing for the Barbarians alongside some of the greats of the Game. It was a special experience and I have many wonderful memories, and made friends for life through the club.”
“It is especially pleasing to see that the values that this club was founded on, values of fair play, camaraderie and fellowship, are as central to the Barbarians now as they were when William Percy Carpmael turned a dream into a reality.”
Carpmael, a stalwart of Blackheath RFC and a Cambridge Blue, had a dream of spreading Rugby’s values of fellowship and camaraderie amongst players throughout England.
His vehicle was to form his own very unique club. The Barbarian FC made its debut against Hartlepool Rovers on December 27, 1890. Since then the Barbarians have played over 750 matches and some of the greatest players in the Game have pulled on the famous jersey.
"Everyone who is invited to play for the Barbarians is aware of the club's history and ideals. We are honoured that the IRB has recognised the role of Percy Carpmael in the founding of the Barbarians over 120 years ago," said Spencer.
The IRB Induction Panel, chaired by IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset, comprises prominent Rugby historian Henri Garcia, Wales and Lions legend and IRB Council Member Gerald Davies, former England scrum half and TV commentator Nigel Starmer-Smith, well known New Zealand journalist and author Don Cameron, former Scotland hooker, writer and author Norman Mair and leading Argentine journalist, historian and broadcaster Pablo Mamone, with the IRB’s Chris Thau as Secretary.
The IRB Hall of Fame was launched in 2006 with the induction of Rugby School and William Webb Ellis. Since then the following legends have been inducted: Baron Pierre de Coubertin, Dr Danie Craven, Sir Wilson Whineray, Gareth Edwards, John Eales, The 1888 Natives Team and Joseph Warbrick, Ned Haig and the Melrose club, Dr Jack Kyle, Philippe Sella, Hugo Porta, William Maclagan, Barry Heatlie, Bennie Osler, Cliff Morgan, Sir Anthony O’Reilly, Frik du Preez, Dr. Syd Millar, Willie John McBride, Sir Ian McGeechan, Jean Prat, Lucien Mias, Andre and Guy Boniface, Serge Blanco, Harry Vassall and Alan Rotherham, Cardiff RFC and Frank Hancock, Mike Gibson and Barbarian FC and WP Carpmael.