Jimmy Peters was a five-cap England Rugby International, and the first-ever black rugby union player to play for England, having made his debut for the nation in 1906. Ahead of the World Rugby Museum's new exhibition dedicated to Jimmy, which is due to be revealed this October, we have had a look back at his life, and his famous rugby career.
From The Vaults
Jimmy Peters was a fast, elusive English half-back who rose to prominence firstly with Bristol and then Plymouth and Devon in the opening decade of the 20th Century. Abandoned as a child Peters was raised firstly at Fegan's Orphanage, Southwalk Street London and then the 'Little Wanderers' Orphanage in Greenwich. A naturally sporty child he captained the home's cricket and rugby teams and in their 1894 sport's day won the 100 yards sprint, 1 mile race, long jump, high jump and walking race.
He left the home in 1898 and found work as a carpenter in Bristol. After playing for 'Dings' in the Temple Meads area, he played for Bristol FC for the first time in 1900. In 1902 he resisted the opportunity to turn professional and instead moved to Plymouth where he played for Plymouth RFC and then Devon. In 1906 he was selected to play at half-back for England alongside Adrian Stoop. The duo helped England to defeat Scotland for the first time in four seasons. In his next match he scored a try whilst helping his side to a win in the first ever England-France international test-match. He earned five caps for England in total.
This October, a new exhibition at the World Rugby Museum will tell Jimmy's remarkable story, from his childhood in the circus to his England call-up in 1906, celebrating his life and career achievements. Learn more about Jimmy's story, and experience our new exhibition yourself, by booking a visit to the World Rugby Museum.
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