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Black History Month Community Spotlight - Rev. Jim Trood

Rev. Jim Trood is the Rector at St. Matthew’s Church, Walsall. He has shared his inspiration, Jason Robinson.

I’ve always been an admirer of Jason Robinson the rugby player and greatly inspired by him.

As a schoolboy and in my early adult years I always appreciated the variety of skills and tactics needed to play rugby to a high level. One of the brightest stars on the Rugby League stage was Jason Robinson. However, I always preferred Rugby Union and especially I enjoyed following the English national team in the Six Nations Cup.

So I was delighted when Robinson switched codes and brought his flair, open running style and electric change of pace to the England team. Having won 19 international caps in Rugby League we went on to win another 51 caps for the Rugby Union team.

He starred in some of the World Cup-winning performances of the 2003 tournament including scoring a try in the thrilling final against Australia, in which England won with an extra time, last-minute drop-kick. He went on to captain his country scoring a hattrick of tries in his first appearance as captain. Robinson truly earned the title of the greatest cross-code player of all time, reflecting his success at both Rugby League and Rugby Union.

But it wasn’t just his rugby that impressed me. I immensely enjoyed reading his autobiography and learnt from it that he hasn’t always found life easy. Indeed, he struggled at times with a difficult childhood, his early years of fame and mental health issues which resulted in drinking too much and getting a reputation as a bit of a wild one. However, when he found himself on the same team as fellow superstar Va'aiga 'Inga' Tuigamala, he realised that there was something more to life. Recognising the peace in Tuigamala’s life, he wanted th