Bill Beaumont CBE

Former English Rugby Player

Bill Beaumont is a former captain of the English national rugby team, as well as the British Lions. Bill’s passion did not end with his playing career; he’s a vice chairman of The International Rugby Board and a Director of Rugby World Cup. He was awarded an OBE in 1982 and a CBE in 2008 for services to Rugby.

In business, his career has taken him from sales representative to director of his family textile business, J Blackledge & Sons, in 1985. At that time the company specialised in wax fabric for the clothing trade, and gained the Queen’s Award for Export in 1996. In an amicable arrangement, in 1998 he bought the business from the family. Recognising the decline in UK and European clothing manufacturing, he took the company in a different direction and established Bill Beaumont Textiles, devoting all its expertise and energies to furnishing fabrics.

He works with his wife Hilary, whose feel for design is indispensable to the firm. She oversees the purchase and development of all fabric designs, while Bill heads the firm as managing director. The business has gone from strength to strength and is one of the leading companies in this sector. In summary, the textile business and the sport of rugby have together been Bill’s lifelong pursuits and he says he still derives great enjoyment from both!

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