Friday, September 21, 2007
Herbert Victor "Chalkie" White (16 January 1929 — 24 January 2005) was an English rugby union player and later coach, instrumental in the success of Leicester Tigers.
White was born in Carlisle and served in the Royal Navy before becoming a schoolteacher. He played scrum-half for Old Creightonians, Penzance-Newlyn, Camborne and Leicester Tigers before his career was ended after he caught Ménière's disease and lost his sense of balance.
He thus turned to coaching Leicester, whilst teaching at Nottingham High School. At this time the game was still amateur, and coaching frowned upon as "cheating", but White installed a professional attitude at Leicester. This took the Tigers to John Player Cup wins in 1979, 1980 and 1981, and losing finalists in 1978 and 1983 (at the time the cup was the only organised competition). The Leicester team including such luminaries as Paul Dodge, Peter Wheeler and Clive Woodward. Woodward would later coach England to victory in the 2003 World Cup.
White was never appointed England coach, England preferring instead Mike Davis, probably because of White's outspoken views. Instead he became divisional technical administrator to the South West region, based in Taunton.
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