At the recent Newport V Pontypool fixture, Friends of Newport Rugby were delighted to host a visit from the family and friends of former Newport, Wales, Barbarians and British Lions player Tommy Vile. Tommy was a star at Rodney Parade in the early part of the last century before retiring from playing and then going on to become an international referee and administrator for both Newport and the WRU.

The Vile family are keen that Tommy should still be remembered at Rodney Parade and have very kindly sponsored a new trophy that FoNR will present each year to the Newport RFC player of the season.

Guest of honour was Tommy’s daughter Mary who although in her 90’s thoroughly enjoyed watching the game from the Chairman’s Suite in the new Bisley Stand before visiting the club museum within the clubhouse.

Mary gave a wonderful speech to those present regarding her father’s playing career, his outstanding halfback relationship with another Newport favourite Walter Martin and the wonderful camaraderie that rugby union provides for all that play and watch. Mary was particularly delighted to see the Springbok Head that her father helped secure for Newport RFC when he played in the team that beat South Africa in 1912.

FoNR would like to thank the Vile family for their generous sponsorship and also rugby historian and author Phil Grant who accompanied the family. Phil recently penned an excellent book on the life of Tommy Vile that is available from FoNR.