Booth, Mickey

During his distinguished career Booth was regarded by many as the best scrum half of his era and a favourite with the press who often referred to him as “The General”.

He made 475 appearances for Gloucester and 42 for Gloucestershire. He was club captain 1962-63 and 1964-66, before going on to be a club committee member, club 1st XV coach, South West regional selector and member of the England management team for a period.

Educated a Sir Thomas Rich’s school and founder member of Longlevens RFC he made his first team debut for Gloucester against Oxford University. Not just a great rugby player, Booth was a fair cricketer and also a bowls player, being awarded a county badge and former captain of the Barnwood bowls club.


Comments about this page

  • Best scrum half of his era. Great partnership with Terry Hopson. I worked with Micky; never a dull moment and same on the pitch. Should have been a “first pick” for England shirt but didn’t know the right people. Good that rugby has moved on.

    By John Rodway (09/10/2014)
  • Mickey had the talent and Jeeps had the University Blue

    By Chris (01/03/2014)
  • Best scrum half I ever saw, and it reflects no credit on the England selectors of the time that they consistently ignored him. I once trained with him at Longlevens RFC in around 1963/4 and was one of many who couldn’t even lay a hand on him in a game of touch rugby. Like Ron Fox above I recall his dummy runs with a huge smile on my face

    By Tony Ridge (09/04/2013)
  • I’ve only ever heard great things about Mickey. What a legend. He’s my second cousin through my mum’s side of the family. Related to my nan Phyllis Booker. Makes you proud to be from Gloucester when you know you’re related to a Gloucester Rugby hero! 🙂 Maybe that’s where I get my cricketing from?

    By Rob Birch (06/11/2012)
  • Mickey Booth was an absolute legend – he was the best and the best Grandad ever and he is always loved by our family, especially Me.

    My Grandad tried his hardest to do the best he could for the team and still today he wishes he could play even tho he had a heart bypass and he has a lot of back pains but he surely wishes he could still play to make them win today.

    By Shaun Roche

    By Shaun Roche (05/07/2011)
  • Mickey was certainly the best player I ever saw. At the time he played Gloucester was the best team in the country but were not appreciated by the toffs. They won the first ever Knockout Cup but, due to the dominance of the scrum, 10 man rugby was the slur they wore. However if you ever saw Mickey’s run without the ball, or the backs in single file behind the scrum with Terry and the Don they had more than a few backline moves. Bayliss was the most destructive of centres and winger Clewes if my memory’s correct more than capable. At a time when England were always beaten by Welsh sides, Gloucester vs any of them was always a contest, physical encounters with no quarter given specially Neith, Cardiff, Swansea, Pontypool. Dick Smith, Hannaford, Ford and the hooker whose name escapes me were worthy champions. To beat the best of the English Bristol, Coventry, Bedford Leicester, Sale, Harlequins, London Irish, Wasps, the Cherry & Whites WERE THE BEST AND STILL ARE. However somehow the rivalry of all these teams that existed before the European comp doesn’t seem to be the same. Fond memories

    By David Crump (24/08/2010)
  • Booth was totally indomitable, he regarded any score against the Elver Eaters as a personnel insult. If we were 20 points down he would give blood to stop it becoming 23. He had a habit of rubbing his hands on the Kingsholm turf and then appearing to lick his fingers. When this happened we knew he was on the warpath! Being dismissed by him in local cricket was almost a pleasure.

    By Harold Francis (24/12/2009)
  • Does anyone remember the “running away without the ball”? At a scrum near the opposition line he would scurry away from the back of it but without the ball. Most of the defence would charge forward and the ref had little option but to blow for a penalty as the ball was still in the scrum. I think after this the powers changed the law so that dummying like this was illegal. Like most people I think he was undoubtedly the best scrum-half of his time, and if his name had been Michael Booth-Smith he would have had many caps for England.

    By Ron Fox (03/12/2009)
  • Mickey was a great scrum half who should have been capped. I can remember watching him play behind the renowned Glaws pack on wet Wednesday nights at Kingsholm against Welsh teams in particular and he was usually immaculate, great pass, always sniping around the fringes and excellent box kicker. Happy days.

    By Alan Taylor (02/12/2009)

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