Philip John Vickery was born on 14th March 1976 to Cornish parents in Barnstaple, Devon and was always destined to be a farmer. Brought up on the family farm the young Vickery was set for a future as herdsman and cattle inseminator.
At Budehaven secondary school he was introduced to rugby and the Raging Bull was set on a different path. Phil’s physique and natural strength led him to the front row where he excelled and with exposure to the club game at Bude RFC he developed fast and was called up to England’s UI6 side.
Local rugby gave Phil a real belief in the comradeship and joy to be gained from team sport. At the age of 19, Phil joined Gloucester RFC where he played for II years and became a legend of the club.
At 21, Phil made his senior England debut against Wales in 1998 at Twickenham. With only 34 first team games for Gloucester it was a rapid rise for the young Cornishman and the start of an international career which saw him amass 73 caps for his country.
Phil’s nickname was bestowed on him by Sir Clive Woodward early in his playing career when during a game against Italy an Italian commentator called one of their props a ‘bull’ and Sir Clive responded with ‘we have a Raging Bull of our own – Phil Vickery’
At the 2003 World Cup, Vickery was part of that momentous victory in Sydney to lift the Webb Ellis trophy. He also captained England to the 2007 RWC final.
Phil was a legend of both world and club level rugby, with a glistening career that many players dream of emulating, he not only got to play with England’s finest all over the world, but he was also called up twice to play with the very best of the home nations as part of the British and Irish Lions. As one of the most prestigious honours a rugby player can be bestowed with, the opportunity to play twice for this world famous touring squad is a special place in the history books and testament to the talent that Phil had in the game.
Somewhat expectedly. Phil’s relentless rugby career eventually took its toll and a back injury forced Phil into early retirement at the age of 33, but has allowed him to devote more time to the clothing company he adores and his other natural love in life… food.
Phil was crowned ‘Celebrity Masterchef’ in 2011, showing a deft touch with the kitchen utensils in stark contrast to his usual physical approach to a competition.
In addition to his culinary skills, Phil is in high demand as television pundit, working for the likes of the BBC, Sky Sports and BT Sport and is also a sought after public speaker at many high profile events.
Phil currently lives in Gloucestershire with his wife Kate and two children, Megan and Harrison. He has been appointed Deputy Lieutenant of the county.
His passion for the countryside has led to his appointment as an ambassador for the Prince of Wales Countryside Trust which helps to support rural communities.
Phil is also a representative of the the rugby charity ‘Wooden Spoon’ which works on behalf of disadvantaged children and has distributed more than £126m to over 700 projects and helped more than a million children.