Former England And Lions Back Duckham Dies Aged 76

Former England And Lions Back Duckham Dies Aged 76
Duckham starred during the Lions tour to New Zealand in 1971

Former England and British & Irish Lions back David Duckham has died at the age of 76.

Duckham made his international debut against Ireland in 1969 and won 36 England caps, with the last of those against Scotland in 1976.

He played at wing and centre and was part of the victorious 1971 British & Irish Lions tour to New Zealand.

Duckham finished the tour with 11 tries in 17 appearances, with six coming in a midweek game against West Coast/Buller.

“All at the Rugby Football Union are saddened to learn of the death of David Duckham MBE,” said a statement from England Rugby.external-link

“Duckham played 36 times for England, scoring 10 tries, and was also part of the revered Lions squad of 1971 that defeated New Zealand. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.”

RFU president Nigel Gillingham added: “David Duckham was not only one of the greatest and most talented of English players, but also a player so greatly admired around the world.”

The former Coventry player was part of the Barbarians side that earned a 23-11 victory over the All Blacks at Cardiff Arms Park in 1973, with one famed counter-attacking run helping to earn Duckham the nickname ‘Dai’ from Welsh fans.

“Coventry Rugby is incredibly sad to learn of the news that David Duckham, ex-Coventry, England and British and Irish Lions player, has died, aged 76,” read a statement from his former club.

“Donned as arguably the ‘greatest’ ever Coventry player, our thoughts go out to David’s family at this difficult time.

“The club will demonstrate a minute’s silence prior to kick-off at this Saturday’s match against Jersey and will be looking to organise a celebration of life for David, subject to conversations with the family. Rest in peace, David.”

Duckham made his England debut at centre alongside John Spencer.

“It was an honour to be David’s partner on the pitch,” said Spencer.

“He was one of the greatest ever players with ball in hand and a pivotal part of the Lions success in 1971, the only Lions tour that ever won in New Zealand.

“He was widely respected by players around the world and was a gentle, kind man, with a great sense of humour. David will be hugely missed by all who knew him.”