Every rugby club needs a press officer - Part 2

 

‘Dolly’ loves being a Blue!

 
Graham DaltonIn the first part of our feature on volunteers who help their rugby clubs by acting as press officers, I briefly mentioned Graham Dalton as assistant to Delyth Summons at Haverfordwest – but he’s being doing such a good job that she has decided he should love to do the job every week now!
 
And what a long association he has had with The Blues, starting out in the mists of 1966 when he played in the centre for their youth team and after three years in London, where his team was London Welsh 4ths (they had nine teams so that wasn’t bad her says!) he came back to the county town and played from 1973 to 1982, when he joined the club committee and has been involved ever since.
 
In 2008 he became club secretary and is still fixture secretary today – and after joining the County Youth committee for what would be a short time he is still their Hon Treasurer 33 years later!
 
His smashing wife Mary must be a very understanding lady because he also coached the club and county youth for a while and is the long-standing club rep on the county committee.
 
And now we keep him just a little more busy and we can only say thanks to Dolly, as we do all our other fantastic helpers!
 

Steve’s the man at The Obs!

 
Steve HolmesIn the past I have had great support from the Obs in former skipper Mark Wonnacott and Alan McClelland, plus current coach Steve Martin but now I’ve gone back to a pensioner in Steve Holmes, the former chairman and current trustee, who was a legend of a player with The Mariners and Pembrokeshire.
 
He was a tough as teak second rower who played at a high level when he was in the Royal Navy and is still involved in local rugby and hugely respected by all the people he has come across in the game.
 
We taught together for 30 years at Milford Central and Comprehensive Schools and we have a good chinwag, not only about the rugby match but about the huge number of the current players whose fathers we taught!
 

Jonathan is a very good coach – and also finds time to help me out

 
Jonathan EvansFor many years I was spoilt at Heywood Lane because Jeff Powling was a great club man and contact, and I’ve also had great post-match chats with current touch judge Russell Millns, who if at a match never fails to phone me with the half time and full time scorers but understandably hasn’t got time to find the opposition’s star players.
 
Keith Walker was another who has done a great job in the past and I’ve loved chats with Ossie Boswell and Gareth Thomas but now I have the perfect man to help me in current head coach Jonathan Evans, who can tell me how the scores came about from both teams and use his analytical mind to appraise the game – and will even take the odd photograph of key players. Jonathan – you are a marvel!
 





 

Tony uses his military training for The Cardis

 
Tony MasonI count myself very lucky to have Tony Mason as my excellent reporter at Cardigan because he is ultra-reliable and never fails to provide not only the score but the scorers from both teams and the minutes the points came.
 
For a long time I marvelled at his precision and it was only when I was guest speaker for the third time at the club’s annual dinner that I discovered that this former Cardiff boy had been a major in the army before he retired to this area.
 
He took over from the fantastic former club secretary Graham ‘Trim’ Rees and I think The Teifisiders have been lucky to find two people who have been so good at the job!
 

‘Ceefax’ and ‘Jack’ – what a pair at Neyland

 
Martin ReesPeter DaviesOver the years at Neyland there have been splendid correspondents, none more so that the late Martin ‘Ceefax’ Rees, so called because of his encyclopaedic knowledge and terrific recall.
 
His was a huge pair of shoes to fill but Peter ‘Jack’ Davies is now a very willing helper and sorts out anything I need alongside club chairman Rod Cadogan and sometimes assistant coach Steve Evans when the need arises.
 
Peter is often involved in other things but tries hard for me – and if he is too pressed for time with work then Big Rod supplies scores and scorers for the Pembrokeshire All Blacks!
 

Mike makes my job easy at The Quins


Mike RidleyMike Ridley has been a great supporter of Pembroke Dock Harlequins for almost 60 years, and is a long-serving member of their management committee.
 
Since 2005 he has been responsible for compiling the excellent programmes on sale on match days at Bierspool and occupies another key role because he is the club’s Hon Treasurer, charged with the responsibility of making sure that the club’s accounts are in order.
 
Mike is also an avid Wales’ supporter and has only missed one match in the Six Nations’ Championship since 1974 (Wales v Ireland) before the pandemic brought a temporary halt to his collection of match-day programmes he has kept of those matches, which currently numbers in excess of 360!
 
Former Quins’ secretary Mike Bradney and e3x-skipper Lenny Scourfield are others who helped in the past but Mike Ridley sends me the teams in advance, not only gets both sets of scorers but also the times they took place. Thanks Mike for making my job easy as a result!
 
 

‘Jamer’ always helped – and now ‘Big Scrivs’ steps in

 
Brian JamesRichard ScrivenBrian ‘Jamer’ James was one of the larger than life characters I have ever encountered and when he was a key man at Pill Parks he often helped me out, although not always with opposing scorers.
 
Helping him out when he was captain was livewire flanker James Lewis and now Richard ‘Big Scrivs’ Scriven does a huge amount of work for Llangwm, including opening the bar on match evenings and livening the place with his karaoke stuff – but still finds time to sort things out.
 
Also ready to help in their differing ways is another really good former player in Danny Chesmer and current team manager James ‘Kiwi’ Griffiths but I still miss Jamer’s richness of language in describing events to me!
 

John James – the doyen of score recorders for The Saints

 
Jack DudleyJohn JamesAnd finally, but certainly not least, John James was a former player with St Davids and when he took on an administrative role with The Saints he was blinking marvellous in providing as much detail as any reporter could ask for – he was a star.
 
But close behind was Big Jack Dudley; still involved on the coaching side after giving amazingly dedicated service as a player, and like John, nothing was too much trouble for him.

Fraser Watson is a gifted sports’ journalist but in his playing days actually wrote the match reports to save me time – but he’s off doing more exciting things now and current coach Gethin Bateman, who represents all that is good in local rugby in terms of commitment and pride in his club tries hard to keep me informed.
 
It is inevitable that I will have missed out some important names in almost 35 years of reporting but just let me know and I can put it right – but a huge thank you to all of you for helping me enjoy covering local rugby because I couldn’t possibly have done it without you!