World Rugby Hall of Fame – Induction No.101 – Ronald Poulton-Palmer (Oxford University, Harlequins, Liverpool, East Midlands, London, England) 1889-1915
One of 25 legends inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame at Wembley Stadium, London, on 20 September, 2015.
Born: 12 September, 1889 in Headington, Oxford
Died: 5 May, 1915 in Ploegsteert, Belgium
A fine all-round sportsman in his school days, Ronald Poulton-Palmer quickly developed into one of the finest – if not the finest – rugby player of his generation.
Easy on the eye both in terms of his good looks and playing style, the centre three-quarter is widely referred to as rugby’s first real superstar. Always self-effacing, Poulton-Palmer took the hype surrounding him from an early age in his long stride.
In just six seasons of senior rugby, as an international and with Oxford University, Harlequins, Liverpool and representative sides East Midlands and London, Poulton-Palmer broke countless individual records – some that survive to this day – and left a lasting impression on everyone who saw him play.
Sadly, only a year after captaining England to Four Nations glory Poulton-Palmer’s life was cut short when he was shot dead by a German sniper on the Western Front, in May 1915, aged just 25.