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Bath Rugby godfather Jack Rowell passes away aged 87

BY Jack Tunney  ·  Wednesday Jul 3, 2024

Jack Rowell, one of the names most synonymous with amateur rugby in England, has passed away at the age of 87 on Monday the 1st of July.

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Described as a “visionary, astute strategist and inspirational coach“, Rowell guided Gosforth to the National Knock-out Cup in 1976, before collecting 13 trophies with Bath as he built a side that would become the envy of all of Europe towards the end of the century.

Known to be a tough leader, Rowell challenged his players in ways they wouldn’t have been before. His winning ways were instilled in the club long after he had left, with many claiming that his initial influence had still been imprinted on Bath’s European winning team in 1998.

“The most remarkable statistic from that pre-professional era is that Bath were drawn away from home at every one of ten cup semi-finals – and never lost. They won each of the finals at Twickenham too. That was the Rowell way.” – Bath Rugby website.

Rowell only left in 1994 to embark on a management journey with England, for which he won 21 out of his 29 matches, even guiding them to their famous 1995 World Cup semi-final clash with New Zealand.

The former Bath and England coach also studied at the Univerisity of Oxford where he completed an

According to his LinkedIn profile, Rowell was the Chairman of Ukrproduct Group Ltd, a member of the Bath University Management School Advisory Board and contributed as a SW ambassador to the Princes Trust charity, among many other activities.

A beautiful tribute to the former coach has been written on the Bath website.

Friends and supporters have left their tributes to the great man:

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Brian MooreRIP Jack Rowell – mastermind of Bath’s glorious reign in the 1980s and 1990s. A Grand Slam winning England coach and a truly original rugby thinker.”

Chris JonesJack Rowell is the reason all English rugby hacks are called Jack. Bath legend who gave me a death stare when after Jonah Lomu ran over @EnglandRugby at 1995 World Cup I asked” well Jack, what was your plan for Lomu?” RIP”

Newcastle Falcons – “Sad news indeed. Jack Rowell coached this club to huge success back in our Gosforth days, winning two national knockout cups in 1976 and 77. Rest in peace…”

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