Brian Phelan's contribution to his Neyland community is rightly recognised

Cllr Simon Hancock praises Brian Phelan
There was a touching moment at the splendid new Neyland Athletic Club complex when picnic tables were recently presented by Neyland Town Council, plus the combined local rugby and cricket clubs  – and officially ‘opened’ by Cllr Simon Hancock, in memory of Brian Phelan.
Also in attendance was Brian’s wife Ann, their son James and his wife Suzanna, plus their son Ashleigh and wife Ellen, daughter Sinead and partner Josh.

Deserved high praise from Mayor Simon and Cllr Paul

Brian PhelanA measure of the esteem in which Brian was held came from Cllr Hancock as he described him as the ‘Father of the Council’ who in his amazing 39 years’ service to the town in his role as a councillor had never sought to be the mayor, preferring to be able to speak his mind at all times, rather than the figurehead work of the mayor in attending functions etc.
“And speak his mind he certainly did,” Cllr Hancock told the large gathering, which brought a chuckle “because he was never afraid to say what he thought  if he felt that doing so was necessary for the interests of the townsfolk!”
Also speaking on behalf of the two sports clubs was Cllr Paul Miller, who echoed Cllr Hancock’s thoughts and rightly said that Brian’s contribution to sport and the general  community was a lasting and meaningful one of dedication and care over almost four decades. Also present were fellow councillors Mike Harry and Phil Wonnacott.

Rod praised his work for the rugby club . . .

Further proof of the esteem in which Brian was held came from the large numbers of senior members of both sports clubs in attendance, with Rod Chamberlain, Robert Johns, Steve Evans, Mike Hamilton, Peter Davies, Mark and Russell James amongst those there from the rugby club.
Rod, who is the All Black’s president, told that Brian had put in some yeoman work on behalf of the rugby club.

“He was always ready to help and never afraid to speak up, especially when someone tried to sneak in to watch us play without paying at the gate – no one escaped Brian’s eagle eye!”

. . . And Martin does the same for the cricket

Representing the cricket club were Owain Picton, John Laugharne Kenny Edwards, Andrew Smith, Martin Jones, Jenny Seaton, Rob Bellerby and Lyn Rees, along with other past and present players.
Martin, the current cricket chairman, added,  
“Brian was deservedly a life member of the club and certainly, with Ann, our No 1 supporters as they followed us everywhere, with the club flag draped over the car’s bonnet. When we played big indoor semi-finals and finals at venues like Lords, Edgbaston and Taunton we knew they would always be there to cheer us on. Everyone at the club will miss him.”
Brian also spent some time in helping to keep the pitches in good condition and woe betide anyone who carelessly walked across the cricket pitch when rugby was on – and his thunderous ‘Get off that ******* pitch could be heard from far and wide!

A small but heartfelt personal note

On a personal note my wife Marilyn and I used to bump into Brian at Morrison’s in Haverfordwest and after a few initial chats where he was scathing of the local press (myself included) we always had plenty to discuss about local sport in general and Neyland in particular – and I counted him as a good friend whose company I shall miss as a genuine character of his town’s sport.
So rest in peace Brian – and I shall enjoy sitting at your tables for a coffee!

A fitting tribute