When I was younger I had the
privilege of watching Chris Oti play for Nottingham. That Nottingham side also
included the England players Brian Moore, Gary Rees, Rob Andrew, and Simon
Hodgkinson. He is perhaps the fastest winger I have seen.
Internationals at Nottingham (L-R) Brian Moore, Gary Rees, Chris Oti
Born on 16th June 1965
in Paddington, London. He had a privileged education at Millfield School
(former school of the present England captain Chris Robshaw), Durham University
and Cambridge University. He was a Cambridge Rugby Blue in 1986
When selected to play for England
in 1988 he became only the 2nd coloured player to play for England
since James Peters in 1908, a staggering 80 years.
In the final game of the 1988 Championship Oti scored a hat trick of tries
against Ireland. The first hat-trick by an English player at Twickenham
since1924. As Oti scored his final try,
a group from the Benedictine school Douai began singing 'Swing Low, Sweet
Chariot', in honor of Oti. Other sections of the crowd joined in and the negro
spiritual song has since become an unofficial anthem of the national side. The
song itself originated in the USA in the 1850s and was written by Wallace
Willis, a slave in Oklahoma.
He had switched to play for Wasps in 1988 after one season playing for
He suffered recurring knee
injuries and as a result never got back the speed from those early days.
Oti played in 1991 World Cup and had a disastrous match against New
Zealand, which was the opening match of the tournament. For the next match
against Italy he switched wings with Rory Underwood but it wasn’t a success and
it was his last game for England.
He won 13 England caps, scoring 8 tries. He played on the 1989 Lions tour
of Australia but never played in a test. A career that started in such a blaze
of glory, but ended after such a short period of time.
Above Chris Oti at Wasps
He left Wasps in 1993. He qualified as a surveyor but his present
whereabouts are unknown