Richard Eric Gautrey Jeeps, best known as Dickie, a former England rugby captain and one of the country’s finest scrum-halves, has died at the age of 84.
Dickie started his rugby career at Bedford Modern School (BMS) as a full-back however former BMS master of rugby, Mr PJ King, soon convinced him to play in the first XV as scrum-half and he never looked back.
Dickie was quite the sportsman during his time at BMS, in addition to playing rugby he captained the first IV rugby fives team, was vice-captain of the first XI cricket team and competed for the school at cross-country.
After finishing school Dickie played for Cambridge Rugby Union Football Club before moving to Northampton Saints where he played for 13 years and captained the club in 1958. He earned 24 caps as an England scrum-half, captaining his nation on 13 occasions.
Dickie also played for the British and Irish Lions 13 times, which was then a record, and toured South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
Following his retirement, at the early age of 44, Dickie became the youngest Rugby Football Union President from 1976-77.
In 1977 he was awarded a CBE and one year later was appointed Chairman of the Sports Council, a position he held for seven years.
Dickie is survived by his daughters Deborah, Caroline and Louise and 11 grandchildren.