Born in Dublin, John Fergus Slattery was a very Irish flanker – fearless, tireless, and destructive and the sort who still appears in the nightmares of a generation of fly-halfs. He first played with Blackrock College then University College in Dublin, breaking into the Irish side in 1970. Known affectionately as ‘Slats’, he played a major part in landing two outright Five Nations Championship and two shared titles.
At his peak in 1974, with Roger Uttley and Mervyn Davies, he formed perhaps the finest back row in Lions history and destroyed the Springboks. Incredibly the Irish selectors axed him after losing to Australia in 1976 and he spent a season and a half in the wilderness. But his return was inevitable and sealed with a triple crown 1982. A rampaging presence on the open side, he was a player of great heart who never stopped running, tackling and harrying. When he retired in 1984, Slats’ 65 caps were a world record for a flanker. An auctioneer, he was not sold many dummies on the field!
Fergus is now highly sought after for after dinner speaking, sharing amusing anecdotes about his fellow players, many tours and experiences in Irish and Lions rugby. In addition to this he is an excellent motivational speaker who inspires and drives his audiences on the subjects of team-work and leadership.
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Matthew Willetts MA is the Director of Comicus who has over 35 years experience in television, film, theatre, and comedy club/cabaret entertainment, working as a performer, screenwriter, producer and agent. He lectured at Southampton Solent University in Comedy, Screenwriting, Television, Theatre & Radio. Matthew can sometimes be seen and heard on TV & Radio and often quoted in the national press and media publications. As well as speaking regularly at festivals and industry conferences, he has been a judge at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Montreux Television Festival.
Some reviews of Fergus Slattery
Barry.A.Crowley, Operations Director, Uckfield Rugby Club
It was a great pleasure and a privilege having Fergus as our very articulate Guest Speaker as he was so warmly received by everybody present.