Tommy Bedford is, to my mind, one of the victims of politics. An outspoken man - our Tommy. That speech of his about "The last outpost of the British Empire" brought him into disfavour and he suffered for it. Personally, I have no quarrel with his views. Tommy is a very forthright person who doesn't mince his words. When he wants to say something, he says it. Such an attitude, however, seldom brings popularity.
Tommy was a very good player. The way he covered the field with his rather slender build was quite astounding. Physically he never looked like he could hold his own in the hurly-burly of international rugby. But he covered well and wherever there was a break-down, Tommy could be found.
I remember his fine performance in France in 1968 when we played them in the second test. Tommy was vice-captain and he led the pack like a man possessed; a brilliant performance. We won a great test, and Bedford's role in the game that day must never be forgotten.
Tommy is virtually persona non grata in some circles but me - I like him. I admire a man who can say what he thinks to my face rather than saying it behind my back. And that's Tommy Bedford: an honest man.