Paul Ackford

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Paul Ackford
Date of birth (1958-02-26) 26 February 1958 (age 56)
Place of birth Hanover, West Germany
Height 1.98 m (6 ft 6 in)
Weight 112 kg (247 lb)
Rugby union career
Playing career
Position Lock
National team(s)
Years Club / team Caps (points)
1988-1991  England 25 (4)

Paul Ackford (born 26 February 1958) is a former English rugby union international who played lock forward. He was formerly an inspector in the Metropolitan Police, and is now a columnist for The Telegraph.[1]

Ackford was born in Hanover, West Germany. Educated at Plymouth College and Cambridge University, he played lock for England B aged 21 and represented Cambridge in the 1979 Varsity Match, but did not make an impact until joining Harlequins and the Police in 1988. After impressing for the London Division against the touring Wallabies, he made his England debut on 5 November 1988 against Australia, aged 30.

Partnering Wade Dooley, Ackford became an important part of the new side captained by Will Carling. He went on the 1989 British Lions tour to Australia, where he played in all three tests.

In 1990 he was knocked unconscious when blindsided by the young Argentine front row forward Federico Mendez, which saw Mendez sent off. Mendez later claimed it was a case of mistaken identity, and that he had meant to hit Jeff Probyn, because he had "stamped on my goolies".[2] Ackford was part of the England side which won the Five Nations Grand Slam in 1991. He retired from international rugby after the 1991 World Cup,won by Australia, becoming a journalist and writing for the Sunday Telegraph.

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