Albion Internationals

April 20, 2023 Albion

Number 4. Robert Henry Ware Sparks, Known as “BERT”. Born on the 19th of February 1899, in East Stonehouse Plymouth. Passed away 12th August 1984 in Cheltenham aged 85.

Bert was a charge hand in H.M. Dockyard Devonport, and his position was prop forward. He made his debut against Ireland at Landsdowne Road on 11th February 1928, England won 7 points to 6, and England went on to secure their sixth Grand Slam. On the same day Mr T.W. Nicholls, Honorary Secretary, of Plymouth Albion Supporters Club, sent a Letter to Burt inviting him to a social evening at the Peverell Assembly Rooms, on the 24th of February, so that a presentation could be made to mark his achievement. The letter went on to say, “If you have any little thing in your mind you would like, kindly let me know, of course, you are aware that according to the English Rugby rules we are limited to the sum of £2. “

In total Burt was capped 9 times between February 1928 and April 1931, winning 4 Internationals and losing 5, he was the 634 English International. During his playing days, he was Captain of the National Civil Service XV, and Captain of Devon RFU, representing Devon from Season 1923/24 till Season 1935/36. His debut County Cap was against Cornwall away at Camborne in the 19th of November 1923, Devon won 4 pts to 3.

Bert was also Captain of Plymouth Albion in season 1929/30, Club Vice-Captain in season 1932/33, and Captain again in season 1934/35.