TRIBUTES have been paid to the President of the Crosby Royal British Legion and former international rugby union player Mike Slemen who passed away on Monday, July 20 at the age of 69.
Mike Slemen was part of England's 1980 Grand Slam-winning side and toured South Africa with the Lions later that year.
He was also the President of the Crosby Royal British Legion, did a lot of charity work in the south Sefton area and taught rugby at Merchant Taylor’s School.
Jack Colbert, who knew him through the RBL, said: “The man is an absolute legend. He always gave a lot of time to veterans and was completely selfless.”
World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: “MIke was a great rugby player and a great all-round sportsman. He gave so much to the game in his playing days, as a club and England coach and as director of sport at Merchant Taylors' School.
“He will be very much missed as someone whose generous spirit and outstanding athleticism graced our sport. Our thoughts are with his wife, Eileen, and his family.”
Slemen, who was educated at St Edward's College, in Liverpool, made his England debut against Ireland at Twickenham in March 1976.
He was part of the Northern Division team who beat the All Blacks 21-9 at Otley in 1979 and then was influential as England ended a 23-year wait for Grand Slam glory in 1980.
Ten of England’s Grand Slam squad toured South Africa with the Lions that summer, and Slemen started the 26-22 first Test defeat in Cape Town.
Slemen’s final Test was against Scotland at Murrayfield in March 1984, at which time he was England’s most-capped wing with 31 appearances.
He retired in 1986 and went on to coach former club Liverpool, then known as Liverpool St Helens.