PETER J DAVIES 1925-2014
Peter Davies, President of Pill Harriers and a former back-row forward with Newport RFC, passed away on 18 February.
Peter was born in Pill on 30 December 1925. After school he began work at Newport Docks. Encouraged by his rugby playing father and uncles he took up the game. At 18, already a powerful, mobile forward, Newport RFC spotted him whist playing for the Ebbw Bridge Junction Club. He gave great service to Newport RFC playing 259 times over the period 1944 to 1953 and in his last season he was Vice-Captain of the team containing Ken Jones and Malcolm Thomas.
Peter was approached to turn professional and after much thought about local loyalties and future opportunities, he decided to join Leigh RLC. His debut was made in October 1953 (in front of 11,000 people!) and over the three seasons to 1956 he made 48 appearances for Leigh.
In addition to Peter’s rugby playing, he and his wife Gwen ran the Brown Cow pub and later The Railway Hotel in Leigh.
In 1955, Peter’s second son Glyn was born with Down’s Syndrome. Some eighteen months later, Peter gave up his rugby career and the family moved back to Newport where there was the support of relatives and old friends. Peter and Gwen reasoned that in Newport Glyn could be brought up enjoying his place in the extended family. Glyn was their ‘Gift from Heaven’: one of Peter’s treasures was a photograph of him proudly introducing Glyn to the Captain of the QEII. After Gwen died, Peter became Glyn’s sole carer and when, in 2005, Glyn died, Peter said that he had lost not only a son but also a very good friend.
In the 1980s, Peter was asked to follow his cousin Bunner Travers and become Chairman of Pill Harriers RFC. He readily agreed. Peter’s father and a number of uncles and cousins look out from the photographs of Pill Harriers rugby teams back to before WWI. Later, he became President.
Peter was greatly admired for his prowess on the rugby field, his devotion to his family, his unbounded commitment to Glyn and his great loyalty to all who had the pleasure of earning it. He leaves 3 children – Peter (also a Newport RFC player), Karen and Julie – 13 grandchildren and 26 great-grandchildren.
His funeral will take place at 11.00am at St Stephen’s Church, Pill on 10 March 2014.