The Times newspaper today carries an obituary of Brian Boobbyer, who died on January 17, 2011. The headline reads; 'England rugby union international who left professional sport to join Moral Re-Armament'.
The article states that 'Brian Boobbyer was an outstanding all-round sportsman who played nine times for the England rugby union team with conspicuous success in the early 1950s and opened the batting in cricket for Oxford University.
'However, at the age of 24 he turned his back on a high-profile sporting career to devote the rest of his life to Moral Re-Armament (MRA).'
The obituary goes on to describe Boobbyer's rugby career and ends, 'At the end of the 1951-52 season, Boobbyer was in the Oxford side on a tour of Japan. But when the tour ended, he elected to stay in Japan to join Moral Re-Armament in their work of postwar reconciliation. Boobbyer had encountered MRA, founded by the American Lutheran minister Frank Buchman, at Oxford.
'He joined a number of other sportsmen who were attracted to Buchman’s work, including the former England rugby captain Peter Howard, Conrad Hunte, the West Indies opening batsman, Dickie Dodds, the Essex cricketer, and Bunny Austin, one of the world’s leading tennis players.
'Boobbyer’s work with MRA took him to the Philippines, India and America where he married Juliet Rodd, daughter of Lord Rennell of Rodd, in 1957. Boobbyer never lost his love of sport. “The ball hitting the right part of the bat on a green field, freshly mown, and blackbirds singing, is a good picture of heaven!” he wrote.'