He was a member of the Cornwall rugby union team, which on 26 October 1908 won the Olympic silver medal for Great Britain. He also played for Cornwall in the Championship final match against Durham, at Redruth, in 1908 and was capped by England against Wales in 1910, the first year Twickenham opened. Although being selected for further matches against Scotland, Ireland and France he declined and also declined an invitation to tour with the British and Irish Lions in 1908 to Australia and New Zealand. Around the same time, it was reported that he refused 400 golden sovereigns to sign for a Rugby league team in the north of England.
It is also reported that Bert was a solitary character, who like nothing better than his pigeons. Sometimes he refused to play for Redruth if his pigeons were still out, and often had to be cajoled into playing. Such was his skill that he apparently made a difference of 1000 people on a crowd. There is now a book published regarding his life and career.