Newport RFC pay tribute to Mary Vile
11:24am Thursday 5th December 2013 in Sport
TRIBUTES have been paid to Mary Vile, daughter of Black and Ambers legend Tommy Vile, who has died aged 93 after a short illness, writes Iwan Gabe Davies.
On their website, Newport RFC said she would be “remembered fondly by all” at the club.
A statement read: “(She was) a lovely lady who only recently attended a number of Newport rugby functions at Rodney Parade.
“Mary was rightfully very proud of her father and his achievements with Newport RFC, so much so that she donated a trophy to be presented each season to the Newport RFC player of the year in her father’s name.
“Sam Waldron was the first recipient and the trophy is now held by Adam Frampton.
“She helped Phil Grant write a biography of her father Tom and only recently helped Roger Penn with his book, ‘Three Feathers and a Silver Fern’.
“Mary will be sadly missed and the club sends condolences to family and friends.”
There will be a memorial service at Newport’s St Woolos Cathedral on Tuesday, December 10 at 2.15pm followed by a private family only cremation.
Tommy Vile was a scrum-half who won the Grand Slam with Wales in its first season after France joined the Five Nations in 1908 and went on to win eight caps, playing for his country before and after the First World War.
He is one of a few select players to have played Test rugby for the British and Irish Lions before representing their country, playing twice against Australia and once against New Zealand on the 1904 tour.
A former Pill Harriers player, he represented Newport 298 times between 1902 and 1921 and served in both the 1914-18 and 1939-45 conflicts, ending the Second World War as a major in the Intelligence Corps.
His incredible life also saw him become an internationals referee (officiating in 13 games between 1923 and 1931) and was president of the Welsh Rugby Union between 1955 and 1956 before he passed away at the age 76 in his native Newport.
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