A PLANE crash which killed 80 people, including players, staff and supporters of three Gwent rugby teams - is to be commemorated, 70 years on.

On March 12, 1950, a plane carrying Welsh rugby fans stalled on its descent at Llandow aerodrome in the Vale of Glamorgan, plummeting to the ground and killing 80 people.

Among the dead in what was, at the time, the world's worst-ever plane crash, were players, staff and supporters of Abercarn RFC, Llanharan RFC and Risca RFC.

The tragedy become known as the Llandow Air Disaster.


The aircraft had been privately hired to fly fans home following Wales’ Triple Crown win against Ireland in the Five Nations.

To remember those who lost their lives, a combined team made up of players from 15 clubs who lost members in the disaster will play against the Monmouthshire County Invitational Rugby Side next year.

“It’s to remember what happened and to show we haven’t forgotten them,” said organiser Antony Day.

Mr Day, who is heavily involved in local rugby, added: “All three teams lost players and supporters in the air disaster, so wanted to remember them.

“I want to make this as big as possible.

“I am hoping to get the victims’ families involved.”

Mr Day, a physio at Abercarn RFC, described how the disaster is indelibly inked into the history of the club.

“We used to play in blue, but we changed our colours to emerald and black," he said. “Emerald because it represents the Ireland, where they were travelling from and black as a colour for remembrance.

“Our badge also features a propeller as a memory of the disaster.”

Primary schools from the area will be invited to design a jersey for the game – but Mr Day said they needed sponsorship to fund the jerseys.

“We’d also like to get all the names of the victims designed into the shirt somewhere,” he added.

To mark the tragedy a bugler sounded the Last Post before the final fixtures of the 1950 Five Nations - and this will be replicated at the match, to be played in March, as close to the 70th anniversary of the disaster as possible.

Any business interested in sponsoring the shirts can contact Mr Day on 07875 968005.