Could you write a brief pen portrait about yourself and your career?
My career has taken quite a change of direction in the last few years. Upon completing my A levels at Bolton School, I moved down to Gloucester and began a professional rugby career whilst studying a degree in agriculture at Hartpury College. I enjoyed six years of Premiership and European rugby for both Sale and Gloucester, picking up England Saxons caps along the way, but suffered a career-ending neck injury in 2011. Since then I have returned to the family farm where we rear organic cattle and sheep and retail them to the public via our on-farm butchers shop.
What is your connection to Bolton School? Were any other members of your family here?
I attended Bolton School from Year 7 through to Year 13 and was made School Captain in my final year. My family had no previous connection to the School, but after looking round several other alternatives, Bolton impressed the most.
What is your fondest Bolton School memory?
My fondest memory of Bolton School, apart from of course meeting my now wife Danielle, was running out onto the Levels with my best friends by my side playing rugby. I also looked forward to the numerous Patterdale Hall trips.
Did any member of teaching staff particularly inspire you while you were at School?
Mr Joseph was probably my biggest inspiration at School, and is still to this day a friend. As well as being First XV rugby coach, he was my Head of Year and History teacher. He was always there to give advice when you needed it, and treated everyone with respect whilst maintaining a humorous side.
What do you feel your experience at Bolton School has given to you personally?
I was never the most academically gifted pupil to attend the School, but I feel that Bolton got the absolute best out of me, whilst also helping me to mature into a confident young man.
What is the best career advice you can give to Bolton School pupils today?
From my own experience, although it is an unusual set of circumstances, I would say make sure you have a back-up plan by working hard and giving yourself options. I didn’t expect to be retired from rugby by the age of 24, but, despite being a full-time professional rugby player, I managed to complete a degree, which gives me options should anything happen to the family business.
What do you think about Bolton School’s 100 Campaign aim to re-establish genuine open access through its bursary fund?
I think it is a very good idea, not only for the potential beneficiary, but for the School itself. There are many talented young people out there who deserve the chance, and who will enrich the School, but who may not otherwise be able to attend due to their financial background.