Carling, the thinker

October 6, 1995

Alumni to be proud of No 11: Will Carling, the England rugby player whose reputation has been built on an unmatched ability to time his pass, took psychology at Hatfield College, Durham University. One biographer notes his leisure activities included "the pursuit of girls . . . in which he earned a reputation for far greater proficiency than in his studies."

Even without the famous chiselled profile this probably would not have been difficult - he emerged with one of those "recommended pass" degrees currently so exercising vice chancellors in their deliberations on threshold standards.

But he must have learnt something about applied psychology, having built a lucrative career on the belief of company chairmen that canned aphorisms drawn from top-class sporting experience have a contribution to make to management training.

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