Tommy Bedford

Last updated

Tommy Bedford
Birth nameThomas Pleydell Bedford
Date of birth (1942-02-08) 8 February 1942 (age 79)
Place of birth Bloemfontein, South Africa
Height1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Weight85 kg (13 st 5 lb)
University University of Natal
Rugby union career
Position(s) Number 8
Provincial / State sides
YearsTeamApps(Points)
1961–1976 Natal 119 ()
National team(s)
YearsTeamApps(Points)
1963–1971 South Africa 25 (3)

Thomas Pleydell Bedford (born 8 February 1942 in Bloemfontein, South Africa) is a South African former rugby union player who represented the national team, the Springboks, 25 times, captaining the Springboks on 3 occasions. He became known for his opposition the racial segregation policy of apartheid, especially as it affected sports.

Career

Tommy Bedford was educated in Kimberley, Northern Cape at Christian Brothers College and in Durban at the University of Natal, where he studied architecture in the early 1960s and was captain of the university rugby team. At the university he held the relatively conservative attitudes typical of most white South African students at the time. [1] In 1965 Bedford won a Rhodes Scholarship to the University of Oxford, where his exposure to a more international environment made him a committed opponent of apartheid, especially as it affected South African rugby. [2]

Bedford played for and became captain of the Natal Province rugby team. His playing style was deeply influenced by the provincial coach Izak van Heerden, who, Bedford declared "..was streets ahead of his time. We had a genius for a coach...His teams played this instinctive, expressive, fantastic brand of rugby". [3]

Tommy Bedford won the first of his 25 caps against Australia as a flank forward on 13 July 1963. Though he appeared as a 21-year-old flank forward in six Test matches, it was the number 8 position that established him as a player of outstanding quality on the international scene.

As very athletic and dynamic number 8 he formed a remarkably efficient and complementary back-row partnership with Jan Ellis and Piet Greyling. He made his debut against the Lions in an historic Test at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria - the first ever international in which replacements were allowed for injury, though no more than four players per team could be replaced in a match at the time. He played number 8 in all four Tests against the 1968 Lions with South Africa winning the tightly-fought series 3-0, with one drawn, when in both the first and third Tests the winning margin was only five points. The young Durban architect also led his country three times, against Australia (twice) and Scotland on the 1969 tour to Britain and Ireland.

Despite his prowess as a player and captain, it is thought that his relentless and uncompromising criticism of the apartheid system and the rugby establishment contributed to a premature end of his playing career. He retired from international rugby after the drawn Test with France in Durban in 1971. [4] He thereafter practiced his profession as an architect.


Notes and references

  1. R.W. Johnson, Foreign Native: An African Journey. Johannesburg: Jonathan Ball Publishers, 2020.
  2. https://richardsonwbhs.wordpress.com/2017/07/15/tom-bedford-a-rare-breed/
  3. Edward Griffith, The Springbok Captains. Cape Town: Jonathan Ball, 2015
  4. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 13 July 2011. Retrieved 13 July 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Dawie de Villiers
Springbok Captain
1969
Succeeded by
Hannes Marais

Related Research Articles

South Africa national rugby union team National sports team

The South Africa national rugby union team, commonly known as the Springboks, is the country's national team governed by the South African Rugby Union. The Springboks play in green and gold jerseys with white shorts, and their emblem is the native antelope springbok. The team has been representing South Africa in international rugby union since 30 July 1891, when they played their first test match against a British Isles touring team.

Gary Hamilton Teichmann is a retired South African rugby union player. He played number eight and captained the South African national team, the Springboks, between 1995 and 1999.

Robert Brian Skinstad is a rugby union player who has represented the South African national team, the Springboks. He played in the positions of flanker and number eight.

In 1974, the British Lions toured South Africa, with matches in South West Africa and Rhodesia. Under the leadership of Willie John McBride, the Lions would go through the tour undefeated, winning 21 of their 22 matches and being held to a draw in the final match, albeit in controversial circumstances. The 1974 squad would become regarded in history as 'The Invincibles' and the greatest ever rugby tour in history.

Sharks (Currie Cup) South African rugby team

The Sharks are a South African rugby union team that participates in the annual Currie Cup tournament. The Sharks' home stadium is Kings Park Stadium. They draw most of their players from the KwaZulu-Natal Province. The Sharks are the current representative team of the KwaZulu-Natal Rugby Union, founded in 1890. The team is the fourth most successful provincial union in the country, having won the Currie Cup title eight times.

Morné du Plessis OIS is a former South African rugby union player often described as one of the Springboks' most successful captains. During the five years from 1975 to 1980 that he served as captain, the Springboks won 13 of 15 matches, giving Du Plessis an 86.66% success rate as captain.

This article describes the history of South African cricket from the end of the Second World War in 1945 to the start of South Africa's cricket isolation in 1970.

Bennie Osler Rugby player

Benjamin Louwrens Osler was a rugby union footballer who played internationally for South Africa. Osler played mainly at fly-half for both South Africa, and his provincial team of Western Province.

Wynand Claassen is a former South African rugby player and Springbok captain.

Izak van Heerden was a South African rugby union coach, and player, remembered for his successes with the Argentina national team and the Natal Province team for his unconventional, fast-moving style. His tactical innovations have had lasting influence on the game of rugby.

Jan Hendrik Ellis was a South African rugby union player who represented the Springboks in 38 tests, which at his retirement in 1976 was a record. His 7 test tries equalled Ferdie Bergh's record for forwards and were only surpassed in 1997 by Mark Andrews' 12 tries. Playing on the flank, Ellis was instantly recognisable on the field due to his red hair and uncompromising playing style. Among three Springboks invited to participate in the first unofficial rugby sevens world cup in 1973, he was ranked in 2003 as the 12th greatest Springbok of all time.

Stephen Fry (rugby union) Rugby player

Stephen Perry Fry was a South African rugby union player, most often playing as a flanker. Fry played rugby for his home town of Somerset West and provincial rugby for Western Province. He won 13 caps for the South African national team, and captained the country in four matches against the British Lions.

Eben Etzebeth Rugby player

Eben Etzebeth is a South African professional rugby player who currently plays for the South Africa national team and Toulon in the Top 14 in France. His regular playing position is as a number 4 lock.

In June 2012, the England national rugby union team went on a three-test tour against the South Africa national rugby union team, known colloquially and referred to hereafter as the Springboks. This was one of a series of mid-year tours in 2012 by northern teams to be hosted by southern hemisphere nations.

Robert James Louw is a South African rugby footballer who represented South Africa 19 times in international test rugby union. He also played in the Western Province teams that won the Currie Cup five consecutive times. South African rugby chief Danie Craven rated Louw as "one of the best Springboks ever to represent South Africa", "fast enough to play among the backs", and a "superb ambassador for South Africa" due to "his friendly manner and attractive personality". Louw was nominated as South African Rugby Player of the Year in 1979 and in 1984.

Keith Oxlee Rugby player

Keith Oxlee was a Springbok rugby union player who represented South Africa in 19 tests between 1960 and 1965. He amassed 88 career test points, breaking Gerry Brand's 27-year-old South African record and setting one that stood for 20 years until it was surpassed by Naas Botha.

Hanyani Masana Shimange is a former rugby union player. His position of choice was hooker, but he played one game for the Springboks at flank.

The History of the South Africa national rugby union team dates back to 1891, when the British Lions first toured South Africa where they played against South African representative sides. The South Africa national rugby union team played few international matches during a period of international sanctions due to apartheid. Since the end of apartheid in 1990–91, South Africa has once again fully participated in international rugby.

Cecil "Bill" Payn was born in Harding, Natal, South Africa on 9 August 1893. He was a Springbok rugby player. He matriculated at Maritzburg College in Pietermaritzburg, Natal, South Africa. He played as a flanker. He was more commonly known as "Bill". He died on 31 October 1959, in Durban, Natal, South Africa

Kevin Brian Henry de Klerk is a former South African rugby union player.