INTERNATIONAL rugby star Phil ‘Raging Bull’ Vickery was in Bournemouth yesterday to chat with local players and youngsters.
The former England tighthead prop, and member of the 2003 World Cup winning squad, chatted with aspiring rugby stars of the future from Buckholme Towers School, and players from Bournemouth Rugby Club, East Dorset Rugby Club and Oakmeadians RFC.
Also famous in more recent years for his victorious appearance on the BBC’s Celebrity MasterChef in 2011, Phil was also joined by Bournemouth mayor Cllr Rod Cooper at the launch of his Raging Bull clothing range at House of Fraser in Old Christchurch Road.
“It is great to be here in this beautiful part of the world,” he said.
“Bournemouth is a small town, and there is a real sense of pride here which I understand, as a West Country boy myself.
“This is the part of the business I most look forward to, meeting local kids and all the great people in local rugby clubs.”
Buckholme Towers pupils Nell Robertson, Chloe Lambert, Rhys Lambert, George Farley, Alex Holborn and Toby Griffen were thrilled at the chance to meet the England captain in the 2007 World Cup.
All six play either for the Poole school’s own team or for Poole RFC and Wimborne Youth Team.
Headteacher Iain Robertson said: “The children were extremely excited about meeting the rugby legend and questioned Phil at length about his inspiration, his greatest moment and how many medals he has won.
“It is a huge boost to the children who love the sport already, but meeting one of their idols has geared them up even more.”
Phil started his Raging Bull clothing brand, including rugby and football kits and general wear, in 2003.
“I am very proud of it, it has been a lot of hard work,” he said.