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Ronald Poulton Palmer (1889 - 1915)

THE SWERVER PAR EXCELLENCE

Considered to be the "finest three-quarter" of his generation, Ronald Palmer was a skilful centre renowned for his elusiveness and glamourous style of play. Having earned his college stripes representing Balliol College (Oxford University RFC) he went on to feature for Harlequins and Liverpool FC respectively at club level. His university record was outstanding, creating an "unequalled partnership" with Billy Green that would later bloom into an international pairing, setting a still unbroken record of scoring five tries in a single Varsity Match and forcing himself into consideration for the national fifteen.

Player stats

Ronald Poulton Palmer profile image

position CENTRE (12)

height 5FT 11”

weight 11ST 7LB

debut ENGLAND V FRANCE TWICKENHAM 30TH JAN 1909

appearances 17

The very mention of swerving sends one's thoughts to the late Ronald Poulton, the swerver par excellence ... swerving and Poulton are almost synonymous terms.

Earning his England call-up in January of 1909 against France, ‘Ronnie’ went on to establish an international career that would see him earn a further sixteen caps before the outbreak of World War 1. This saw Poulton appointed captain in 1914, leading the team for all four matches of the ‘Five Nations Championship’ – a second, successive grand-slam (though the term had not yet been coined). Also this year, Poulton set a record for tries scored in an international match. It remained an unparalleled achievement for nearly a century until 2011 when Chris Ashton equalled his tally, putting four tries on the board in a fixture.

An image of Ronald Poulton Palmer
An image of Ronald Poulton Palmer

Ironically the War would provide him with his final game of rugby in the Spring of 1915 where he would captain a South Midland division (Forty-Eighth) vs. Fourth Division side. Sadly, shortly after, whilst supervising engineering works in a trench north of Ploegsteert Wood in Belgium, he was shot by a sniper. His last words were reputed to be “I shall never play at Twickenham again.”

Five other players from Poulton’s England team were also killed in the First World War: James, Watson, Dingle, Oakley, and Harrison.

He remains as one of the all-time greats, remembered for his quick-witted ‘rugby brain’, master of misdirection and embodying “the swerver par excellence”

The greatest player I ever came in contact with. It was as much a pleasure to play against him as with him for he was always the same fascinating figure.DICKIE LLOYD

An image of Ronald Poulton Palmer

The Palmer

A vintage reproduction of the classic 1914 international England rugby shirt

Each jersey starts as a spool of raw cotton. This is loomed into jersey fabric by local craftsmen, ensuring we control the quality at every stage of the manufacturing process for a truly authentic retro-styled garment.

Details of this classic England shirt include stunning embroidery of England’s rose emblem on the chest and also featuring an appliqué patch documenting Poulton Palmer’s player statistics. Additionally, beneath the turned collar hides a beautiful nape embroidery detail commemorating the player’s debut.

The result is a unique retro jersey tailored for a contemporary audience.

100% British made in our manufacturing facility here in the Midlands, with yarn spun in the same building.

Limited Edition range with only 250 jerseys available!

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£155.00