Barbarian F.C. has announced John Spencer as the next President of the world-famous invitational Club. 

Previously the Chairman of the Club, Spencer fills the position left absent after the death of previous President Micky Steele-Bodger in May 2019 and becomes only the seventh President in the Club’s history.

Spencer has a long history with the Barbarians, having played for the Club 23 times between 1969 and 1977.

Born in Grassington in North Yorkshire, he played his club rugby for Wharfedale and Headingley, going onto win three Blues for Cambridge University and later 14 caps for England, whom he captained four times. 

His experience in rugby covers not only playing for the Barbarians, England and the British and Irish Lions, but working with each organisation on the administrative side. 

He comes to the Presidency with a wealth of experience in the game. He has held the role of Chairman of the Barbarians since 2014, as well as serving as the 2017 Lions Tour Manager, 2017-2018 President of the RFU, on the Six Nations Council and the World Rugby Board.

Spencer said: “Having been a Barbarian for the best part of 50 years and Chairman of this wonderful Club, it is a huge honour and responsibility to be named President. I am delighted to be able to continue the Club’s development and progress.

“This Club’s values are rooted in flair, courage, spirit and passion and as we move forward, integrity, friendship and enjoyment are equally important. We have many opportunities every year to increase the number of Barbarians and take our brand of rugby, and values of our Club, around the world. 

“With the women’s team now firmly installed and playing fixtures alongside the men, there are more opportunities than ever to showcase our unique playing style and bring the excitement of the Barbarians to fans everywhere.

“Alongside this, I believe we have a great responsibility to support the growth of the game around the world through both our teams and our Charity. With the women playing the Club’s 24thinternational side in the USA in April and the men playing the 25thinternational side in Brazil last month, we are proud to be expanding our global community. 

“The Charity has also been able to contribute financially to rugby projects around the world, most recently in Brazil’s capital Sao Paulo, and we will look to continue building on this and help develop rugby internationally. 

“I am looking forward to seeing what differences the Barbarians Rugby Charitable Trust can make to rugby programmes the world over and seeing the game flourish and thrive. 

“I know I have big shoes to fill as Micky was such a giant of this Club and I want to pay tribute to everything he did for the Barbarians in his 31-year tenure. In his memory, and for the continued success of the Club, I look forward to seeing the Club move into a bright future.”