Rugby Union, Bath and England and manager of Shoeless Joe
Chemical engineering, Birmingham University
'I went to a boarding school in Devon and it was very much expected that we go to university. I'd done maths, physics and chemistry A-level and like most kids I didn't know what I wanted to do. I turned down a place for medicine, which was what my father was pushing me to do. Chemical engineering seemed the most attractive option and Birmingham the best place to do it but after about a week I decided there was no way I was going to be a chemical engineer. I did some work experience at Birds Eye Wall's and thought working in industry just wasn't dynamic enough, although I think it's changed now. I thought about changing to economics but decided to stick it out. I didn't have to do that much to get through, I was confident I would do all right. My main concern was getting hold of the notes from all the lectures I had missed.
"I played rugby for the university in the first year then for the local club but I got dropped for saying I'd rather go to a party than train. The partying develops your mind as well as the studying. University prepares you for whatever you go into; I'd recommend it. Although I never used my degree it wasn't a waste of time. You learn a way of dealing with things, solving problems and analysing things. That's what it really trains you for. And it gives you some form of discipline, although my biggest regret is that I should have partied harder. If that was possible! I'd taken a year out and bummed around in London before I went. I had always been independent - the ones who've come straight from home really do stick out. I shared a house with four other blokes, we used to cook sausage casserole, we called it "saus cass". One aspect I loved about university was the split lifestyle. You had the campus life and you could also go into town. I really enjoyed that contrast."Reuse content