Michael Alan "Mike" Burton
(born 18 December 1945 in Maidenhead) is a former English rugby union footballer, who won a reputation as
an uncompromising prop
forward for Gloucester, England and the British Lions.
Burton made his debut in the Gloucester front row at the age of 18
on the 14th of November 1964. He went on to make 360 appearances
before retiring in 1978. He was captain of the same club in 1975.
Gloucester was his only club but he played 40 times at provincial
level for Gloucestershire in the county championship winning it
four times. He played in the Gloucester clubs cup winning teams in
the John Player Cup at Twickenham in 1972 against Moseley and in
1978 against Leicester.
He toured South Africa with an undefeated England side in 1972 and
was a member of the test team that defeated the Springboks on Ellis
Park 18-9. England took him on the tours of New Zealand in 1973 and
Australia in 1975 where he became the first Englishman to be sent
off at international level.
In the second test against Australia ("The Battle of Brisbane")
Burton was sensationally sent off after just three minutes by local
Queensland referee Bob Burnett for a late tackle on the Australian
winger Doug Osborne. In 1974 Burton toured South Africa again this
time as a member of Willie John McBride's invincible British Lions
team. He won a total of seventeen England caps and represented the
famous invitational club The Barbarians on eight occasions.
His autobiogaphy Never Stay Down
told of a tough
upbringing in post war Britain and his single minded determination
After retiring from rugby he became a successful businessman. He
lives in a small village near the city of Gloucester with his wife
Patricia (married 1967).