- Advertisement -

Tom Ilube, rugby’s first black chair, escaped being shot by tyrant Idi Amin after horror hostage situation as a kid


ENGLAND RUGBY’S first ever black chairman escaped being shot by Idi Amin as a kid – now he has his sights on bringing the World Cup again to Twickenham.

Tom Ilube, the son of a Nigerian father and English mom, spent a part of his teenage years in war-torn Uganda the place he survived a horrifying hostage situation through the brutal rule of despot Amin.

Tom Ilube, the RFU’s first ever black chairman escaped being shot by Idi Amin as a kid
Ilube played at fly half and on the wing growing up
Ilube performed at fly half and on the wing rising up

Ilube and his household then got here again to London the place he carved-out a profitable profession within the City earlier than touchdown the highest job on the dwelling of rugby.

The 58-year-old tech entrepreneur, voted Britain’s most-powerful black individual in 2016 forward of Lewis Hamilton and Mo Farah, mentioned: “My dad was from Nigeria initially and my mom’s English from up the highway. 

“And we went to East Africa – into Uganda on the time dictator Idi Amin took over. . . which was fairly full of life.

“And at one point I was tied up and nearly shot by security guys for some random reason. But eventually, we got out and got back to England.”

Ilube simply began his job on the RFU final month and has already set the bar excessive as he confirmed he’ll bid for the 2031 Rugby World Cup.

However, he additionally feared that the present system is just not producing sufficient superstars for Eddie Jones’ 2019 runners-up to dominate the sport.

But that, twinned with the nightmare 2015 dwelling event, hasn’t put Ilube off attempting to stage the worldwide showpiece right here in 10 years time.

“We would like to bid for the 2031 World Cup,” he confirmed.

“That could be actually thrilling to have it right here and you could possibly think about what it could be like and I feel that basically offers us a focus as effectively.

“So we are going to see what occurs, will probably be fascinating. It is one thing that we’re actually inquisitive about discussing and fascinating with the method.

“But I feel the folks that shall be within the England group in 2031, who’re 12, 13, 14, 15-year-olds at the moment – I actually need to have a sense of what journey they’re going on and whether or not we’re going to produce a entire technology of world class gamers.

“I am not certain that our system at the moment continuously generates those absolutely world class players.

“And I feel that if we’re going to be at our rightful place, England ought to persistently be ranked one and two on the planet.

“Year after year after year we should be there and to do that we need that cohort of absolutely world class players and something about the system needs to generate them.”

Rugby may very well be doing a entire lot extra.

Tom Ilube

Ilube plans to make use of his place and voice to encourage extra black and ethnic minorities to participate within the sport.

After chatting with main black gamers about enjoying the sport he mentioned “They actually love the sport, they love what the sport has carried out for them. 

“Everyone has totally different views, however folks really feel that the sport might do extra.

“I used to be speaking to a senior black ex-Army man who performed rugby in his day and he was saying that the management qualities and ethos you get in rugby, we ought to be promoting these.

“Because even when folks don’t need to play rugby, if they will take in these pushed, team-focused, win, bounce-back qualities, that can have an effect on their lives anyway. I see that throughout the gamers that I’ve spoken to. 

“They are saying that they themselves have enjoyed and loved the game, they’ve had issues here or there and they’ve dealt with them, but rugby could be doing a whole lot more.”


And he additionally rejected claims that rugby was a sport only for toffs from personal colleges.

He added: “In the sport, it’s not practically as very like that as is a few folks’s notion. 

“When I used to be at Tabard RFC the opposite day, it wasn’t posh, it was simply folks.

“There’s this notion in some folks’s minds and that doesn’t fairly marry up with the truth so there’s something in regards to the communication that we have to have a look at over time. 

“I’m not posh, I don’t come from a posh background. I’m a state faculty educated, foster care form of man and I’m chair of the RFU. 

“I think we can change perceptions over time. It doesn’t change overnight.”

- Advertisement -