Tributes paid to tragic Garndiffaith rugby pair
9:24am Friday 4th January 2013 in News
PLAYERS, friends and family paid tribute to two Torfaen rugby club members on the same day.
Former Talywain and latterly Garndiffaith RFC second-row Dale Llewellyn, died aged 25 on Wednesday.
Mr Llewellyn had only recently got married and was described by both clubs as a “genuine, honest and lovely bloke.”
On the same day, long-term servant to both Talywain and Garndiffaith, Keith “Beefy” Jones, 58, died after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last week.
He was coaching at Garndiffaith until last season, when he stepped down for health reasons.
Mr Llewellyn grew up playing for Talywain having joined the club in their mini-junior section before recently joining Garndiffaith. He also had brief stints at Fleur de Lys and Pontypool United.
Talywain chairman, Jeff Clutterbuck, who coached Mr Llewellyn at junior level, said the whole club was devastated.
He said: “He was such a really nice guy and a great friend to people. He was honest, genuine with loads of integrity.
“We were struggling here and he could’ve gone to play a better standard but he stayed with us so we could still put out a side. That tells you a lot about him.”
Mr Clutterbuck’s son, Jamie Willmott, 22, played with Mr Llewellyn for Talywain.
He said: “Everybody’s in complete shock at losing both Dale and Beefy. Dale was just a cracking boy. He was always loyal to the club and his buddies. He wasn’t just another player he was our buddy.”
Nathan Daniels, head coach at Garndiffaith, said: “He was such a lovely genuine guy.”
Mr Daniels said the club would discuss whether to play Saturday’s game with Llanishen at training last night after contacting the WRU about potentially postponing the game.
Paying tribute to ‘a rugby legend’
BOTH Talywain and Garndiffaith rugby clubs described Keith ‘Beefy’ Jones, as “a rugby legend” in the area.
Mr Daniels, said: “He was an absolute gentleman. A legend. It was family first with him and then he was Garndiffaith through and through.
“He coached his son Hywel up here too and all the boys loved him.
“He was such a character and loved doing his turn as Elvis after the game in the bar or singing the Running Bear and the Little White Dove and getting all the boys to join in.”
Mr Willmott, said: “I’ll never forget him on the table at London Welsh, tie around his head singing Elvis – he was a legend.”
Mr Clutterbuck, said: “He was my mentor. He taught me how to coach and how to look after people. He would do anything for you, he really would give you his last pound. He was a legend in the area.”
Both clubs said they will support the families and both plan to hold an event to honour the men.
Mr Daniels talked of setting up a Keith Jones memorial trophy for the Pontypool area clubs, including Talywain, Garndiffaith and Pontypool United where Mr Jones also coached.