The inaugural Newport Rugby Hall of Fame Dinner held at Rodney Parade turned out to be a major success, bringing messages of thanks and congratulations from many different quarters.
The Hall of Fame was the brainchild of The Friends of Newport Rugby Trust. This is an organisation that is linked to Supporters Direct that aims to represent the club and regions followers and to help promote rugby within the local community.
The choice of inductees was challenging to say the least, over the clubs remarkable history it has been blessed with a plethora of great players and servants. This event however was to recognise 10 players & 2 administrators who have made outstanding contributions to Newport RFC. Many may be surprised not to see some great crowd favourites within the final selection, however FoNR have stressed that it is intended to be an annual event and further names will be added in due course.
The evening was held in the plush surroundings of the new business suite within the Bisley Stand at Rodney Parade. This proved to be the ideal setting and the standards of service, the room and the meal are to be recommended. Former Newport RFC prop forward Alun “Benny” Williams was MC for the night and his easy going humour kept the guests in stitches. FoNR are indebted to him for his assistance with the whole event.
Nearly 250 people attended, included among these were the inductees, or family representatives of those no longer with us. Also attending were members of the Newport RFC and the Newport Gwent Dragons board, also virtually the whole NRFC coaching and backroom staff together with many current players. FoNR were also honoured that the event was also attended by WRU President Mr Dennis Gethin, who also made one of the opening speeches. Not only did Dennis agree to attend and speak but he also brought with him the recently won Triple Crown trophy. This was a huge success with attendees and many took the opportunity to have photos taken with the trophy.
Finally we get to the actual inductees, each of which had a biography within the souvenir booklet that was given to each attendee. Also each of these great servants were given an engraved cut glass whiskey tumbler. Each and every name is also engraved on the stylish wooden Hall of Fame Board, commissioned by FoNR that will be hung on public display within Rodney Parade.
So the list…….Administrators - Richard Mullock & Tony Brown Players - Arthur Gould, Tommy Vile, Ken Jones, Bryn Meredith, David Watkins, Rhys Morgan, Jeff Watkins, David 'Muddy' Waters, Dan Griffiths and Dai Pattison FoNR would like to congratulate each and every one of those great men for the service they gave to Newport RFC. Their efforts and place in the history of the club are unquestionable. Which leads to the obvious question who will be the next inductees?