Full name Edward Brian Pope
Born June 29, 1911, Barnet
Died August 19, 2011 (aged 100 years 51 days)
Major teams England
|Test debut||England v Wales at Twickenham, Jan 17, 1931 match details|
|Last Test||France v England at Colombes, Apr 6, 1931 match details|
|Test Statsguru||Main menu | Career summary | Match list | Tournament list|
Edward Brian Pope was born in Barnet in Hertfordshire in 1911 and attended Uppingham School where he captained the rugby team in winter and the hockey team in the Easter term. Going up to Cambridge, at Clare College, he won his rugby blue in 1932, playing in the 8-3 defeat by Oxford at Twickenham, where Oxford included Vivian Jenkins at centre and Tuppy Owen-Smith, later an England fullback.
Pope was already an England international by then, having played at scrum-half in 1931 against Wales. Pope went onto play against Scotland at Murrayfield on March 21, 1931 in what transpired to be an extraordinary 10-try affair, ending 28-19 to Scotland.
On Easter Monday, 1931, Pope and England travelled to France for what would turn out to be France's last Championship match before 1947, due to arguments over professionalism. England led three times and scored three tries to two in the 14-13 defeat (under modern scoring values they would have been 19-16 winners).
Pope, whose club was Blackheath FC, later served in the RAF in World War II, and was an underwriting company director, working on the Lloyds Insurance market.
Though unable to get along to Twickenham Stadium to watch matches in person in his latter years, Pope was fit enough to play golf into his 90s, achieving a hole-in-one-on the famous Maiden hole at Royal St George's in Sandwich, aged 92. It was here that he used to swap sporting stories with EW Swanton, the late rugby and cricket writer and commentator, and fellow resident of Sandwich.
In June 2011, the Rugby Football Union marked his 100th birthday by presenting him with an engraved silver salver and the England Rugby Internationals Club gave him a framed picture and match report from his England playing days. He died peacefully a couple of months later.