An inspiring player and icon of Welsh and Lions rugby. A sad day.
A sad day indeed. A huge part of that Wales team of the 1970s, and the Lions.
(It’s trivial to say so in this context but rather nice to hear the voices of Bill McLaren and Cliff Morgan on the commentaries above.)
Listening to Gerald Davies on R4 just now, apparently JPR played tennis at junior Wimbledon, and kept playing rugby ‘into his fifties’ for his beloved Bridgend, not as an attacking full-back but as a flanker.
His first three initials were always enough.
Very sad indeed. Great clips but the high neck tackles!!!
I seem to recall that during one match he received a gash injury, took himself off the pitch, sewed up the wound and resumed his place. He was an orthopedic surgeon.
They don’t make them like that anymore.
I was there at the Arms Park that day, really. Phil Bennett did his dance just in front of where my dad and I were sitting in the North Stand. I was only a little kid so can’t say I appreciated the nuances of what went on, and I didn’t have a good view of the far corner, but it was impossible not to get caught up in the energy and excitement that coursed around the ground.
Anyway, JPR always seemed such a genuinely lovely human being and he has left so many precious memories from the rugby field.
An absolute legend from the time when rugby & the Wales team were both awesome. Humbling to know that his ‘day job’ was as an orthopaedic surgeon after his medical training. He has been taken far too early. Quite interesting to see what was classed as an ok tackle in those days knowing that JPR was both on the dishing out & receiving end of some of these. I believe that it was his dad who did the stitching of his wound before he returned to carry on. In his obituary today it was reported that he wished he had chosen pursuing his tennis rather than rugby - what a loss that would have been to rugby.
Not only did he play tennis he beat David Lloyd to become a junior Wimbledon champion. He gave up tennis because, due to time constraints, rugby permitted him to train as a doctor.
30 stitches applied at pitch side by his father.
For a time he was ‘bones’ at a hospital in Reading; my aunt was a sister on a neighbouring ward, and swooned every time he walked past.
He was my hero growing up. He didn’t win Junior Wimbledon though, apparently it was a junior national title.
He beat David Lloyd I think in 1966 at Wimbledon, but the actual title was a bit ambiguous when I searched late last night.
This was at the Brewery Field when Bridgend played the All Blacks in 1978.
I was a youngster and can remember standing behind railings at one corner of the field , stood on an upturned plastic milk crate to get a better view.
John Ashworth’s stamp on JPRs face was notorious, and I don’t think there was ever any reconciliation between them. JPR’s father Peter stitched his face, and there was apparent post-match fisticuffs/unpleasantness.
This clears things up …