I gofio Brian Davies
A champion of open rugby
Disglair dros Gymru – Ysbrydoliaeth I Bentyrch
After former Llanelli, Cardiff and Wales rugby legend Brian Davies sadly passed away in September 2020, Enid his wife, Kate his daughter and the family wanted him to be remembered at his last club – the village team at Pentyrch.
The bench that now sits proudly outside the club house is engraved with a special bilingual message in Welsh and English that summed up his contribution and his philosophy on rugby at all levels.
The story of Brian Davies
Brian is described as a Champion of Open rugby for good reason, Outstanding for Wales – Inspirational for Pentyrch. And that was certainly true. Young players at the club could not believe that they now had a Welsh International playing alongside them.
Brian’s career started at Stradey Park Llanelli near his home village of Llangennech. He then went on to represent Cardiff, Newbridge and Neath on the first-class circuit before stepping down to help the village sides at Pontyclun initially and then Pentyrch . It’s still a mystery to many rugby supporters that he only won three caps for Wales, and each one was special in different ways. The first was the game against Ireland in 1962 that had been held over from March to November because of the “smallpox “ epidemic. the second against England in 1963 – a game that should never have been played as the pitch at Cardiff Arms Park was absolutely frozen – incidentally the last time that Wales lost at home to England for 28 years! And the third – the infamous game of 111-line outs at Murrayfield when Welsh captain Clive Rowlands kicked the ball all afternoon. Brian hardly touched the ball throughout the game, but for some mystifying reason was then dropped and never selected again. A travesty!
But rugby was by no means Brian’s only contribution to the community around Creigiau and Pentyrch . He was so very influential in so many different fields. In fact, he remained a well-known figure in the rugby world even after his retirement as an expert analyst of the game – the second voice in commentary on both radio and television Professionally he was a highly respected lecturer in civil engineering at Glamorgan Polytechnic in Pontypridd. Socially his great sense of humour and lovely, warm way of connecting with an audience made him the ideal compere for almost fifty years in concerts with the local choir Cantorion Creigiau , and some of his sketches – often with Enid – are still legendary in the choir and with members of the local Welsh Society “Clwb y Dwrlyn” And in later life he found a new passion for art and painting. He started by painting various landscapes and then progressed into portraits – eventually publishing a book which featured portraits of many prominent people in Wales and beyond – and all for a good cause that was very close to his heart – Cystic Fibrosis. Over the years the proceeds from his painting contributed way over £20,000 to the charity