Vet and rugby legend dies aged 93
Micky Steele-Bodger, a veterinary surgeon and rugby legend has died at the age of 93, prompting an outpouring of tributes from the veterinary profession and rugby community alike.
Following in his father and brother’s footsteps, both of whom were past BVA presidents, Micky qualified as a vet from the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies.
His career as a rugby player was cut short after a knee injury at the age of 24, by which time he had already won nine caps in the back row for England, as well as representing Cambridge University, Edinburgh University, Harlequins and the Barbarians.
He joined the Barbarians committee in 1946, which marked the beginning of his 73-year association with the club. He was its president for 31 years and also went on to become a selector for England and the British and Irish Lions; president of the Rugby Football Union and chairman of the International Rugby Board.
In 1990, he was appointed a CBE for services to the sport.
Barbarians FC described him as “relentless and seemingly unstoppable… a lion-hearted rugby champion”.
Honorary secretary Chris Maidment said: “Everyone involved with the Barbarians will miss Micky greatly and the huge number of tributes being paid throughout the rugby world are a testament to his dedication to the game and the way it should be played.”
A spokesperson from the British Veterinary Association added: “We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of this well-loved vet and rugby legend. Micky and his family have made enormous contributions to the veterinary profession, and we are proud to have had a close association with them spanning eight decades.
“His father Harry and brother Alasdair are both BVA past presidents, and Micky was a Trustee of the Harry Steele-Bodger Memorial Scholarship set up in his father’s memory. Micky will be fondly remembered and greatly missed by all of us at BVA.”