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Pooler to host club greats in 150th year celebration dinner

Monday 17th December 2018

PONTYPOOL, South Wales, 18th December 2018 - Pontypool RFC is delighted to announce that the club will host a special gala dinner to celebrate its proud 150th anniversary.

The event will take place at the Parkway Hotel and Spa in Cwmbran on Thursday February 21st 2019 and is set to be a memorable evening, with a number of famous names from the club's past scheduled to attend.

The evening will include a three-course meal and a Q&A hosted by Nigel Meek. Meek will be joined by David Bishop, Eddie Butler, Terry Cobner, Charlie Faulkner, John Perkins, Graham Price, Jeff Squire and Bobby Windsor, in what is set to be a unique event and one not to be missed.

Pontypool RFC’s legendary president, Graham Price, is looking forward to welcoming his fellow icons of Pontypool rugby to the Parkway Hotel and Spa early next year.

"This is sure to be an excellent evening as the club continues to do such a good job of celebrating its history in its 150th year,” he said.

"I think it's fair to say that Pontypool RFC has produced some of the finest players the game of rugby has ever seen and it's important that we celebrate their achievements and much more besides.

"The club is now in a really positive place and the current set-up is one of the best I've seen during my near 50-year association with Pontypool RFC. It's reassuring to think that we can celebrate our club and all of its past achievements, but also look to the future with genuine excitement.

“I look forward to coming together with some of the people who have, in some way, contributed to the club and I hope to share the evening with our fantastic supporters.”

Tickets cost £45 a head, with three VIP tables available at £650 each.

To purchase your ticket or table, please contact club secretary, Jamie Hallam, by telephone on 07904 144897 or via email at jamie.hallam@pontypoolrugby.co.uk.

About the panel:

David Bishop
David Bishop was one of the most talented rugby players ever to play for Pontypool. David Joseph Bishop was born in Cardiff on 31 October 1960. He was educated at St Illtyd’s College and Rumney Technical College. The controversial scrum half made his Pontypool debut in the 18-15 home win over Aberavon on 21 October 1981. ‘Bish’ was advised to give up playing rugby after breaking his neck playing for Pontypool in the return game against Aberavon five weeks later but, within eleven months, was back in Pontypool colours. He won the Lloyd Lewis Trophy as man-of-the-match in the WRU Cup Final in April 1983 and played for the club against Australia in 1984. He was Player of the Year in 1984-85 and 1987-88 and holds the record for the most number of points in a match when he scored 37 against the Royal Regiment of Wales on the German Tour in 1983. A Welsh Youth product and Wales B player, ‘Bish’ won his only Welsh cap against the Grand Slam Australians in 1984 scoring Wales’ only try after juggling with the ball before scoring in the corner. He was elected club captain for the 1988-89 season, but he joined Hull Kingston Rovers in July 1988 for around £100,000. He toured Australia with the Great Britain Rugby League team in 1990 and gained four Welsh Rugby League caps. He returned to the club and was player/coach from 1996 to 1999. A former welder and sales representative, David Bishop made 241 appearances for Pontypool and scored 171 tries, 80 conversions, 17 penalties and 21 drop goals in a career total of 981 points. A good all-round sportsman, he had boxed for the Welsh amateur team and played baseball for Wales.

Eddie Butler
Edward Thomas Butler was born in Newport on 8 May 1957. Eddie played for Wales B in 1977 and 1979 and was captain of the Wales B tour to Spain in 1983. He played for Wales in the No 8 position on 16 occasions scoring 2 tries and was Welsh captain 6 times (1983-84). He made his club debut against Pontypool Junior Union on 1 September 1976, was club captain 1982-1985, and scored 60 tries in 245 appearances. Eddie gained 3 Blues (1976-78) and appeared 5 times for the Barbarians and 4 times for Monmouthshire. He was replacement on the 1983 British Lions tour to New Zealand playing in one match against Waikato on 12 July. A former teacher, Eddie Butler is now a journalist and a television presenter. He wrote his first rugby book covering the British Lions in Australia in 2001 entitled A Tangled Mane, and has written several others since.His son Jack made ten appearances as a wing for Pontypool between 2010 and 2012.

Terry Cobner
One of Pontypool’s all-time greats, Terence John Cobner was born in Blaenavon on 10 January 1946 and was educated at West Monmouth Grammar School and Madeley College, Staffordshire. A clever, hard-tackling wing forward, ‘Cob’, who played for Welsh Secondary Schools, made his Pontypool debut at Cheltenham on13 April 1968. He was top try scorer in 1969-70 with 12 and Player of the Year in 1970-71. He captained the club for a record 10 seasons (1969-79), scored 118 tries in 419 club appearances, making his final appearance at Abertillery in October 1981. Terry Cobner played for East Midlands against the Springboks in 1969, for Wales Under 25 v Fiji in 1970 and for a Wales XV v Tonga in 1974. ‘Cob’ was a great smother-tackler and gained the first of his 19 caps in January 1974 scoring the only try of the game in the home win over Scotland. A born leader, he captained Wales in the non-cap international with Argentina in 1976 and was Wales’ tour captain to Australia in 1978. Having played for Wales B, the Barbarians and captained Monmouthshire, he went on the 1977 Lions tour. He was Welsh Player of the Year in 1974 and 1978. After retiring from playing he was a member of the Welsh selection committee and helped in coaching Wales. A former schoolmaster, Terry Cobner was Director of Rugby with the Welsh Rugby Union.

Tony ‘Charlie’ Faulkner
Anthony George ‘Charlie’ Faulkner was born in Newport on 27 February 1941 and was educated at St Mary’s School, Newport. Formerly with Newport Saracens and Cross Keys, he made his Pontypool debut on 2 September 1972 in the 30-9 home win over Pontypool Junior Union. He made 210 appearances for the club and scored 12 tries. He played for Wales B, Monmouthshire and the Barbarians and was selected for a Wales XV against the touring All Blacks in November 1974. Unfortunately for ‘Charlie’ it was a non-cap international and had to wait a couple of months to win his first cap in Paris in January 1975. He went on to win 19 caps (1975-79) and was a replacement on the 1977 Lions tour. He captained Monmouthshire against New Zealand in 1978. ‘Charlie Faulkner, a black belt in judo, has coached Newport, when he played on 3 occasions for the ‘Black and Ambers’, Caerphilly and Cardiff. After working in the steel industry, he became a brewery representative.

John Perkins
Sydney John Perkins was born on 27 February 1954 in Blaenavon. He was educated at Blaenavon Secondary School and Trinity College, Carmarthen. ‘Perky’, a hard second row forward, is only the second player to play over 500 games for Pontypool and scored 57 tries in 508 appearances. He joined Pontypool from Blaenavon as a number eight but was converted into a second row. He made his debut at Northampton in February 1974 and his 500th game was the home game against Cardiff in March 1987. He was Player of the Year in 1975-76 and Clubman of the Year in 1993-94. He won 18 caps for Wales and represented Monmouthshire on 14 occasions. He was club captain from 1985-87, coach from 1988-92, chairman from 1992-98 and is now a life member. ‘Perky’ also played 4 games for the Barbarians scoring one try and played for the club against the touring Australians in 1981 and 1984 (scoring Pooler’s only try of the game). He later became Wales Under-21 team manager.

Graham Price
Generally regarded as the greatest prop the world has seen, Graham Price was born into a services family in Moascar, Egypt on 24 November 1951. He was educated at West Monmouth Grammar School, Crewe and Alsager College, Nash College, Newport and University of Wales Institute of Science and Technology. He gained seven caps for the Welsh Secondary Schools. In 1970, he won the Welsh Schools shot and discus titles. He made his club debut on 27 December 1969 at Kingsholm, Gloucester and his last was almost 23 years later. He made a club record 567 appearances and scored 53 tries. He was Player of the Year in 1971-72 and Clubman of the Year in 1985-86. He played for the club in all three major touring games in the 1980s and served on the club’s committee from 1992 to 1998, being vice-chairman from 1993 to 1995. Capped 41 times for Wales (39 consecutive), Graham scored a memorable try on his debut in Paris in January 1975. He played for Wales B, Monmouthshire and the Barbarians and went on three Lions tours in 1977, 1980 and 1983 making 37 appearances in total, scoring two tries and playing in all 12 test matches. He is a life member of Pontypool RFC and is the current club president. His autobiography Price of Wales was published in 1984 and is now an after-dinner speaker. His son Owen, also a tight head prop, made 36 appearances for Pontypool between 2001 and 2006.

Jeff Squire
Another of Pooler’s greats, Jeffrey Squire was born in Pontywaun on 23 September 1951. Educated at Newbridge Grammar School and St Luke’s College, Exeter, he played for Cross Keys and Newport before joining Pontypool in September 1978. He played for Wales B, won his first seven Welsh caps, went on the 1977 Lions tour and toured Australia with Wales in 1978 whilst with Newport. He made his Pontypool debut against Pontypool Junior Union on 9 September 1978 in a 56-3 win. Equally effective at No 8 or wing forward he captained Pontypool against Australia in 1981 and also played for the club against the 1984 Wallabies. He was club captain from 1979 to 1982, was Player of the Year in 1981-82 and captained the victorious Pontypool side in the final of the WRU Cup in April 1983. In his 177 appearances for Pontypool he scored 62 tries. Jeff Squire gained a further 22 caps and scored 2 tries, whilst with Pontypool, captaining Wales on six occasions (1979-81). He also played in non-capped games against Argentina in 1976, Romania in 1979 and the New Zealand Maoris in 1982. He was on the 1980 and 1983 Lions tours and was captain in a provincial game on both tours. In total, he made 32 Lions appearances, including 6 tests, and scored 6 tries. Jeff was recognised as one of the world’s best back row forwards on the 1980 Lions tour to South Africa. Jeff Squire, who also played for Monmouthshire and the Barbarians, was a teacher then was manager of a building society. He is now an executive with Woolworths Holdings in South Africa. He was a useful cricketer, opening the bowling for Cross Keys Cricket Club.

Bobby Windsor
Robert William Windsor was born in Newport on 31 January 1946 and was educated at Brynglas Secondary Modern School. He made his debut for Pontypool at Newbridge in April 1973 as tight head prop after having spells with Newport Saracens, Cardiff and Cross Keys. Bobby made 325 appearances for the club, mainly at hooker, scored 87 tries and played for Pontypool against the 1981 Australians. Clubman in 1980-81 and 1981-82, he was club coach in 1987-88 and again 1993-95. He was on the club committee 1990-95 being vice-chairman in 1992-93. He gained 28 caps for Wales 1973-79, scored a try on his debut against Australia and has represented Monmouthshire, played for Wales B and the Barbarians. He went on two British Lions tours: the invincible 1974 tour to South Africa playing in all four tests and to New Zealand in 1977 playing in the first test. In total he made 36 appearances for the Lions, and scored 1 try. Bobby Windsor’s autobiography, entitled The Iron Duke was published in 2010.

Master of Ceremonies - Nigel Meek

Nigel Norman Meek was born on 20 October 1963 in Blaina and was educated at St Albans School, Pontypool. A hooker, he first played for Blaina then Ebbw Vale before moving to Pontypool in 1991, making his debut on 3 September at Pontypool Park in the 67-0 win over Monmouthshire Rugby Union. He made 60 appearances for Pontypool scoring 12 tries, playing his last game in the 16-41 defeat at Cardiff on 27 March 1993. He has played for Wales B against the North of England and as a replacement against Australia, both in 1992. He has also represented Monmouthshire and played for the Barbarians. He won 3 Welsh caps in 1993. After his spell at Pontypool, Nigel played for Pontypridd, Abertillery and Newbridge where he was club captain in the 1996-97 season. He is a fireman based in Blaina. Nigel’s son Kieran currently plays for Pontypool, mainly as a centre but has played outside half and full back, and has made over 50 appearances and scored over 250 points.


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