A graduate of the University of Benin (UNIBEN) Tom Ilube has been appointed the first black chairman of England Rugby Football Union.
Born in Surrey, England to an English mother and Nigerian father, mr ilube began playing rugby at the age of 10 and has been involved in the sport ever since as a supporter and a parent.
Ilube bagged a bachelor’s degree in physics from UNIBEN before receiving a master’s degree in business administration from London’s Cass Business School.
Speaking with BBC Sport, the businessman said he hopes his appointment to the most senior position in English rugby can inspire others to make a difference at all levels of the game.
Voted Britain’s most-powerful black person in 2016 ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Mo Farah, the 58-year-old has already set big targets for rugby union over the next decade.
He hopes the combination of winning England rugby teams and a vibrant and inclusive grassroots will see young people “flooding into the game.”
Ilube was ranked top in the Powerlist 2017, an annual listing of the UK’s 100 most powerful people with African or Afro-Caribbean heritage.
“When I went home and I said to my wife, who is also black: ‘Do you know I am the most powerful black person in England?’
“And she said ‘You? You aren’t even the most powerful black person in this house.’ So she put me in my place there,” he joked.
Ilube revealed that he escaped being shot by Idi Amin as a child after spending part of his teenage years in war-torn Uganda.