It was with great sadness Bath Rugby learned this week of the passing of past Captain and Blue, Black and White legend Phil Hall.
Phil died peacefully on 16 August 2020 with his wife Ceri, daughters and beloved Dalmatians by his side. Today, we share our heartfelt tribute, with consent from his loving family.
Making his mark as captain of England Schoolboys U15s, Phil joined the Club as a front row playing for Bath 3rds aged 15. He later moved to back row, making his debut for the 1st XV against Torquay on Christmas Eve 1960. He went onto make an astounding 580 appearances – still the record for the most appearances – his final game being against Nottingham on 1 May 1976.
He was appointed Club Captain for the 1972-73 and 1974-75 seasons.
As a dairy farmer, Phil was gifted with natural strength that he augmented with dedicated training sessions, making him one of the fittest players of the time.
He was a superb leader and tough opponent on the pitch, deeply trusted by his teammates. On his 500th appearance – fittingly against Bristol on 3 March 1974 – he was presented with a commemorative silver plate.
Off the pitch, animals were a significant part of his life. He was a life-long lover of Dalmatians and horses, a love he passed onto his daughters who excelled as competitive riders.
He was well-loved and a true legend of the Club, in recent years helping run the Bath Past Players Golf Society and an active member of Bath’s Past Players activities.
As part of the Club’s 150th anniversary celebrations, he was on the winning team at the Past Players 150th Anniversary Golf Day alongside Chris Cook, Chris Neal and Colin Brint.
Club Chief Executive Tarquin McDonald said: “I was immensely saddened to hear of Phil’s passing. His name will long be remembered at the Club for his love of the Blue, Black and White, his association with the Bath Past Players and, of course, his record number of appearances. Our deepest condolences go to his family and friends.”
In an interview with the Bath Chronicle in 2017, Phil said: “Joining Bath changed my life.”
He will be greatly missed by friends, family and the Club.
The family has asked, instead of flowers, for donations to be made to the Dalmatians Rescue Society.