Wales rugby great Barry John has died at the age of 79, his family has announced.

The former Wales and British and Irish Lions fly-half died peacefully in hospital.

A family statement read: “Barry John died peacefully today at the University Hospital of Wales surrounded by his loving wife and four children.

“He was a loving Dadcu to his 11 grandchildren and much-loved brother.”

Barry John’s career

John was nicknamed 'The King' by New Zealand journalists after he inspired the Lions’ famous 1971 Test series victory over the All Blacks.

He won 25 Wales caps between 1966 and 1972.

He also played in five Lions Tests on their 1968 and 1971 tours and retired from rugby aged 27 years old.

John played his club rugby for Llanelli and then Cardiff where he struck up a half-back partnership with Gareth Edwards that went on to flourish for Wales and the Lions.

John was partnered by Edwards in 23 of his Wales international appearances, plus all five Lions Tests – one against South Africa and four against New Zealand.

He lived in Cardiff and is survived by his wife Janet and children Kathryn, Lucy, Anna and David.

Full-back JPR Williams, another star of Welsh rugby’s golden era, died four weeks ago.