A FITTING tribute has been held by the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service and All Wales Sport to mark the 11th anniversary of a well-known and respected fireman’s death.

Ryan Buckley was station commander at Maindee fire station and died suddenly at the age of 42 on May 31, 2009 from a heart attack while visiting family.

The late firefighter’s name was mentioned in the front row for the Fire Service’s team against Yogits RFC in their virtual match as part of the All Wales Sport’s league. He lined up alongside internationals Nigel Meek and Ricky Evans in the 37-20 win – putting the team to second in the league.

Mr Buckley was keen on rugby, playing for New Tredegar before moving to Newbridge and Cardiff, playing as a prop-forward as well as being selected in the Wales U21 and U23 squads. He also coached at Newbridge RFC for two seasons and also played for the fire service’s team.


He spent 18 years working for the fire service and had been based at Caldicot, New Inn and Gwent headquarters before moving to Maindee.

There has been an annual rugby tournament held at Caldicot RFC each year, raising money for the Ryan Buckley Foundation.

The turnout for the annual tournament sees more than 20 teams take part – with most in fancy dress to take part in the competition. Teams come from across Gwent and further afield to take part Organiser Kyle Deakin played under Mr Buckley previously said of the tournament: "We reiterate year after year that this day is all about fun, which is exactly what Ryan was all about.

"Ryan is a club legend that got the youth team up and running after a number of years in the wilderness back in 2006.”

Sadly, the tournament has been postponed this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The long-running tournament and the tribute show testament to the regard Mr Buckley was held within his local community and further afield. Hundreds packed out St Mary’s Church in Caldicot and hundreds more lined the surrounding streets to pay their respects during the father-of-three’s funeral on June 9, 2009.

Mr Buckley’s son Rhys said: “We want to say how good Kyle Deakin has been with organising the tournament, Caldicot RFC for hosting it each year and for the support from everyone.”