An evening with cycling fanatic and ex rugby player, Roger Uttley
At our last networking event before the summer break, we were delighted to welcome ex-England rugby international, Roger Uttley to the magnificent venue Carlton House Terrace in St James’s. For those who don’t know, Roger has always been a cycling fanatic and it was his first sporting passion before the rugby selectors came knocking.
Roger shared stories of how, as a teenager, he spent his evenings riding the roads around Blackpool as a member of Fleetwood Road Club. In the audience we were very lucky to be joined by John Roberts (John Roberts Associates), who was at school with and rode with Roger. They hadn’t seen each other for 45 years, so it was great to hear them share memories of their rides together.
Roger’s early cycling career took off and he regaled us with stories of early races won and he “pinnacle” of his cycling career - an appearance at the national championships at Crystal Palace. Unfortunately that didn’t go to plan and ultimately resulted him getting a ‘DNF’ next to his name.
‘Last Thursday evening was excellent from the reception, to the introductions and question and answer session. It was in addition a pleasure myself to meet Roger after 45 years and I think this follows on from what Chris said on behalf of his part as the sponsor of the event. Cycling brings much interest in social networking via business and fitness that hopefully allows us all to remain in a better place.’ - John Roberts.
Alongside his cycling talent, Roger also played basketball but his head was turned when one of his coaches suggested his future might lie on the rugby field.
Roger shared many rugby stories (or at least the cleaner ones) - his pride of pulling on the England jersey and going on the British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa. He shared the highs and lows of his distinguished rugby career, both as player and coach. We then opened the floor to questions and Roger was pressed on his thoughts about the upcoming World Cup. If you’re looking for a tip, he thinks New Zealand are favourites but still fancies England’s chances, with France and Argentina the dark horses. Interestingly Ireland didn’t get a mention! We look forward to seeing how things unfold in Japan.
It was also great to see a BDOVELO founder member, Rachael Elliott in the audience and hear that she is back on her bike and smashing records again following a stroke last year. We look forward to seeing her at future rides and events.
Thank you to everyone who joined us on the night. We wish you all a fantastic summer break and hope the weather holds for some good cycling.
Our next ride will be on Saturday 17 August at Denbies wine estate.