TRIBUTES have been paid to a popular rugby coach who spent his life coaching young players in Gwent.

Wynford Landry from New Inn was diagnosed with a grade four brain tumour in November 2017 and died aged 75 on February 5.

His son Chris Landry confirmed that his father died at St David’s Hospice in Newport where he had been for two weeks.

Mr Landry said: “He was full of beans and still coaching until May 2017 with Pontypool Schools.

“He played rugby since he was 19 and has been coaching for last 40 years. He coached with teams including Gwent Youth, Croesyceiliog Youths and Pontypool Schools.”

People from across the region have been paying tribute to the coach who was originally from Pontardawe,

He moved to the Gwent area when he was 21 to take up the position of apprentice fitter at Llanwern steelworks.

Mr Landry said: “It has been upsetting time but the messages that have come through do cheer you up. People have very fond memories of him and the way he brought back some good memories is a comfort. He’s been a big part of people’s upbringing."

Fellow coach Dawson Jones said: “His death was a bit of a shock, it just came so suddenly.

“I have been inundated with messages from parents and boys that he coached. He had been involved in coaching in Welsh youth and youth sides in Pontypool.

“Everyone is shocked. He has lots of friends in rugby fraternity. It’s an extremely sad day for everyone. We send our condolences to his wife Irene and his son Chris.”

Alan Hiatt, chairman of Croesyceiliog RFC, played rugby with Mr Landry in the 1970s.

He said: “He came to us from Chepstow and converted from a winger to the number eight position.

"His nickname was Elma because he turned up to training and the coach said, ‘You look like Elmer Gantry off the telly,” and it stuck for 40 years.

“He was not only good player but he was a gentleman. Rugby in Wales and the Pontypool area has lost a hardworking servant. 

“He will be very missed by everyone in the club.”

Mr Hiatt added: “He was a wonderful man excellent ambassador for rugby. 

“He would be up the club and a regular member. Lots of people miss him, he was a real character.”

A minute’s silence was held in tribute to Mr Landry at Wednesday night’s Pontypool District Schools under 11 team’s game against Rhondda Schools in Treorchy.

Mr Jones said: “It was a very emotional game. The boys won 16-0.
“Wynford would be looking down on them and be proud because they put on a real performance and played out of their skins.”

Mr Landry's funeral will be held at the Gwent Crematorium in Cwmbran at 12.30pm on Friday, March 2.