Sporting Snippets - Part 30


Chris Blackthorns Thomas‘Blackthorns’ and Co’s fighting back came a little too late!

One of the biggest characters I have met in local rugby is Chris Thomas, the tough as teak prop with Llangwm RFC, who happily answers to the nickname of ‘Blackthorns’ for reasons I can only guess at! I love this little tale that shows not only his never-say-die spirit but his humour too.

You can never keep a Pill Parks’ rugby player down for long, even at times when they are having a tanking, like the way they were at Aberystwyth as they trailed 54-0 with the referee looking at his watch for full time.
Then The Wasps created a good move from which winger Robin Goodrich scored an unconverted try in the corner before the ref blew for full time.

Chris walked along the touchline towards the changing rooms, covered in mud after giving his usual 100%,  and smilingly said to a group of home supporters there clapping the badly-beaten Wasps off the field,
“Marvellous; just as we were starting our come-back that blinking referee blew for full time!” - and he even got a cheer from them as he sauntered off for a well-deserved shower!


Steve HolmesSteve and Ryan hit the high spots!

Milford Haven Rugby Club chairman Steve Holmes was a very keen skier in his much younger days and was often joined on the piste by Ryan Hackett, who worked all his life at Milford Haven Leisure Centre – and they always came back with tales of accidental acrobatics that had their pals in laughter about 30 years ago. I particularly liked this one!

Milford Haven skiing enthusiasts Steve Holmes and Ryan Hackett were extremely lucky over Christmas that they actually found some snow on the continent – at Les Deux Alps.

Within minutes of arriving, this eager duo were out on the ski slopes, eager to show off their skills but soon had everyone in fits of laughter at their crash landings.

Ryan ended up with his head and upper part of his body in the soft snow and his legs in the air – and big Steve’s 18 stone frame hit a bump and he did the best ski jump at the resort in years, although he did frighten a few nearby French skiers who thought they had encountered the ‘Abominable Snowman’
Still they came back with no broken limbs and enjoyed themselves so much that they have already started saving up for next year’s Yuletide  jaunt!


Tom and Lyn – great subs for The Magpies

Tom Rawlings and Lynn Childs in La VoltaAround the same time two popular footballing supporters were Lyn Childs and Tom Rawlings, who were respectively Hon Secretary and chairman of Pembroke Borough AFC and watched all the Magpies’ games, home and away.  On one occasion they travelled with the team to Cwmbran and one found himself on the subs’ bench for a depleted Boro outfit whilst the other had to act as first-aid man!

A mix-up in travel arrangements saw Pembroke Borough short of subs on Saturday and so Lyn Childs and Tom Rawlings, both local head teachers were forced to take on the role.

Lyn was the younger and so was given the No 12 shirt and waited nervously for a call to action whilst Tom grasped the sponge and bucket as first aid man.

Lyn had played a bit of football in the lower reaches of local football but his cause wasn’t helped on this day because he had to wear size 8 boots, which were two sizes larger than his normal footwear.

Fortunately, the players managed to stay injury free but at least both can now say that they have been subs for their favourite team!


Dance moves pay off for Scarlets’ Stiffs!

Clive RowlandsI remember the time when seconds’ rugby was very popular in our county and great fun as well as highly completive, as the following story from 1988 tells us.

It seems that the policy of players with Pembroke RFC is that if you can dance well together you play well together.

At least, that is what pack leader Clive ‘Tosh’ Rowlands tells me after I watched a match where Anthony ‘Villas’ Morgan, Mark Morris, Dave Shaw and Dilwyn Williams were also involved.

They did  moves from The Twist through to some sort of soft shoe shuffle that was beautifully executed by Mr Morgans, accompanied by a raucous rendering of ‘My Way’ that would have put Frank Sinatra to shame.
It marked their seventh win on the trot as they moved into second place in Section B of the Well Hill League so perhaps other teams might ramp up their dance routines because it clearly works well at Crickmarren!


Nigel PhillipsNigel needs a helping hand!

One of the most competitive cricketers I ever had the pleasure of playing with was Nigel Phillips, who was a more than useful off spinner and middle-order batsman with Pembroke and Pembrokeshire.

Nigel was diminutive of stature but a feisty character nonetheless – and did a good job as captain in his time, as well as still helping out the seconds at Treleet some 30 years later.

But our story relates to an occasion when he decided to change jobs and go on a course – but ended up in hospital after only three days!

Pembroke and County off spinner Nigel Phillips has just started a brick-laying course in Port Talbot but after just three days found himself at the Neath General Hospital with a strained arm.

He found the new experience of holding a trowel full of cement to be a painful experience – and on the weekend attended Pembroke’s practice matches for the newly-formed indoor league at Pembroke Leisure Centre, inviting all and sundry to look at his swollen arm.

All he’s hoping now is that his ‘brickie’s elbow’ doesn’t stop him from containing Pembroke in the near future – and we’ll let you know how his new career goes!

Ben Stone at work

Ben’s back in the radio business!

In 2010 Ben Stone and Bill Carne were delighted winners  at the Aquiva Radio Awards in London as they fended off the challenge of 651 other commercial radio stations to win the ‘Specialist Show of the Year’ award with their Friday Night Sports Show.

The trophy was presented to Bill and Ben at a top London Hotel by Ken Livingston, then the Mayor of London, and now the pair are back at ‘Pure West Radio’ in Haverfordwest alongside other well-known sporting pundits in Gordon Thomas and Fraser Watson.

Ben now lives in Cheltenham and anchors the show from there on Saturday Mornings, (8 to 9 am) and Monday evenings (7 to 9pm), where the first half is recorded and includes three interviews from sports people in the county but the second hour can be watched live on Face Book. There are also podcasts available so both programmes are available at ‘Pure West Radio’ in the following week.

Special guests appear as a bonus and the show has become popular within a short space of time and Ben does a great job in keeping the three rowdy Pembrokeshire Pundits under some sort of control.

So welcome back Mr Stone – and keep up the good long-distance work!