Passport: Phil de Glanville - Rugby tours, ribaldry and a magical meeting with Mandela

Click to follow
Indy Lifestyle Online
Your papers please

Name: Phil de Glanville

Date of Birth: 1/10/68

Place of birth: Loughborough

Occupation: England rugby captain

Phil de Glanville and his wife Yolanda have passports with consecutive numbers, which must be unusual. They were issued by the British High Commission in Nairobi after their passports were stolen on a nightmare holiday in 1991. Phil explains: "Our holiday in Kenya and Egypt was a disaster. We got food poisoning on the plane going there. It kicked in while we were on safari which was pretty uncomfortable. Then our money, passports and travellers' cheques were stolen in Malindi. It was an idyllic place, but not for us. We waited five days for money and three more in Nairobi sorting out passports and tickets."

As they flew on to Egypt, Phil and Yolanda thought things couldn't get any worse. They did. "We were supposed to meet friends, but we didn't know they'd split up, and they didn't turn up. So we spent a day and a half walking around Cairo looking in every hostel trying to find them."

Phil has been playing rugby for Bath since 1990. The stamps in his passport remind him of various international rugby tours - Canada 1993, New Zealand 1992, South Africa 1994 and 1995 and Argentina 1997. "The South African trips were wonderful, particularly the World Cup in 1995. South Africa won and it was amazing to see how their team brought black and white together. We met Nelson Mandela in 1994 - that was a magical moment."

Touring is rigorous, but the players do manage some fun. Phil is reticent about the legendary rugby tour stories. "Most are unpublishable,' he says with a laugh. "In 1994 we were on the waterfront at Cape Town and Dewi Morris's passport got thrown into the water. Someone on a boat retrieved it. Dewi was a bit the worse for wear; if he'd gone in he probably would never have come out again."

8 'The Rugby Club', a six-part documentary about the year Bath Rugby Football Club became Bath plc, screens on BBC2 on Wednesdays.