Sports Gazette

by sports journalism students at St Mary's University, London

Forever England: A Podcast on English Rugby and War

Posted on 29 March 2020 by Hal Fish
Forever England by Artist Shane Record

Centered around a painting named ‘Forever England’ (by artist Shane Record), this podcast tells the story of the men who went from representing their country on the rugby pitch to defending it in the trenches.

The painting recaptures a picture of England’s 1914 Grand Slam winning team in Paris on the eve of their final game. Shortly after their win, every man pictured would be fighting in World War One.

The most notable character, is England’s captain Ronnie Poulton (sitting middle row, centre). Not only was Poulton one of rugby’s greatest players at the time, he had also recently inherited the Huntley and Palmer biscuit company.

With input from World Rugby Museum curator Phil McGowan, the podcast retells the tale of Poulton, his teammates, and the many other English rugby players who put their lives at risk to go and fight for their country.

Listen here to find out more: