Durable prop Gareth Chilcott (nickname Coochy!) earned 14 caps for England spread across five years and became one of the game's best loved characters. Due to internal strife at Bristol, Chilcott left his home town in the early eighties along with Nigel Redman and Richard Hill to join West Country rivals Bath. Together with players of the calibre of Jon Hall, Stuart Barnes, Andy Robinson and Jeremy Guscott, they helped make Bath the dominant force in English rugby in the 1980s. The Bristol born trio all went on to make their international debut in 1984, Hill on tour against South Africa in the summer, Chilcott and Redman in a 19-3 defeat by Australia at Twickenham the following autumn. Gareth then missed out in the 1985 season but played against Ireland and France respectively the following year. In 1987 Chilcott earned notoriety by being one of a group of players to be suspended following a violent brawl with Wales in Cardiff, apparently incited by Bath teammate Hill.
For a time thereafter he was labelled as being a dirty player, an unfair slur on someone who held all the game's best traditions and values close to his heart. Despite his Cardiff disgrace, Gareth was selected for the 1987 World Cup and played in three matches, including the quarter-final defeat by his old friends Wales. After two appearances in 1988, Gareth's last season of 1989 was easily his best and saw him play in three out of four matches in the Five Nations. Sadly, despite much improved performances, England's dream of a first title since 1980 was dashed when they lost to Wales for the fourth match in a row, thus continuing a drought at Cardiff that had lasted since 1963. However, Gareth's performances had not gone unnoticed and he was selected for the British Lions tour to Australia that summer.
He did not feature in the tests, but was a popular tourist and a hugely crucial component in the success of the midweek side, otherwise known as "Donal's Doughnuts". During that tour Gareth took it upon himself to be a central figure in all social occasions and also filter out abusive letters being sent to his skipper Finlay Calder! In retirement Gareth carved out a name for himself as an after dinner speaker, television pundit and a partner in "Gullivers", a company specialising in organising rugby holidays to foreign fields. (Jon Collins)