TRIBUTES have been paid to Newbridge RFC “icon and legend” Arthur Hughes who has passed away in his early 80s.

A distinguished player, captain and president of the Gwent Valleys side, he was a highly respected back row forward.

The brother of Wales international Dennis Hughes, many pundits believe Arthur was unlucky not to follow him and win a cap.


He did come close to that goal however after he played in a trial for the national side.

South Wales Argus:

A fearsome openside flanker, Arthur was known as ‘The Bearded Wonder’. Picture: Newbridge RFC

Arthur did represent the world’s most famous invitational side when he was asked to play for the Barbarians in their traditional Christmas fixture against Leicester.

A Newbridge RFC spokesman said: “It is with utter devastation and sadness that we have learned of the passing of a true Newbridge RFC icon and legend in Arthur Hughes.

A real character, larger than life, tough as old boots

“Arthur joined the club from Markham in the late 1950s and never looked back.

“He captained the club in the 1960-61 season, was a Welsh trialist and was also selected for the famous Barbarians club in 1964.

“After eventually hanging up his boots, he went on to serve the club off the field and was very proud to be our president for many years.

“Arthur was one of life's true characters and it was always a pleasure to be in his company and have him around the club.

“He will be truly missed by everyone at Newbridge and the wider rugby community.

“Our hearts go out to all of his family at this very sad time.”

On Twitter, ex-Argus chief rugby writer Robin Davey wrote: “Sorry to hear of the death of Arthur Hughes, a Newbridge legend, a terrific wing forward, one of the finest players never to have been capped.

“A real character, larger than life, tough as old boots.

“Part of a great back row with brother Denis and Ken Braddock.”