Neath Former Players

NEATH RFC PLAYERS LIST – 1960 to 1979/80

Due to the disappearance of the Club Minute Books relating to the secretaryship of the late Mr. Arthur Griffiths, the Club records were incomplete.

However, Mike Price has recently undertaken a marathon exercise to rectify this and the result is the attached list of 543 players who represented Neath RFC in the above period.

The result is not conclusive as it has relied almost solely upon newspaper reports, programmes etc. – if any name is missing, please contact Mike via giving details of name, game(s) played etc.


The Neath Former Players’ Annual Dinner, postponed from March 2nd due to the “Beast from the East”, has been re-arranged for Friday, June 15th at the Gnoll clubhouse, 7pm.

Former Wales lock Ian Gough will remain the Guest Speaker and FP’s chairman Martyn Morris said that all guets should contact their “table leader” to confirm their attendance with either himself or Alun Roper.

The Neath RFC Former Players’ Association was originally founded in 1971 ahead of the Neath Club becoming the first of the senior Welsh clubs to mark its centenary in 1971/72.

Legendary Neath, Wales and British Lions forward Rees Stephens was the driving force and chairman, David T. Meredith was secretary and Ron Davies was treasurer and the Committee comprised : Cyril Challinor, John Dodd, Charles Harris, Roy John, T.O. Jones, Harold Powell, Cecil Roberts, Rhys Thomas and Ron Waldron.

The original association fell away but in 2007 a small group of five got together to revive it with Brian Thomas (President), Ron Waldron (Chairman), David Parker (Vice-Chairman), Mike Thomas (Secretary) and Mike Price (Treasurer).

The aims of the Neath Former Players are :-

  • to provide a means of re-uniting former team-mates and officers of the Club
  • to help promote and foster the game of rugby at Neath RFC and in the surrounding area
  • to renew friendships and memories with their colleagues
  • to encourage current players

FP’s membership costs just £5 per annum which basically covers administration costs and the early-season buffet costs. Membership numbers are currently over three figures.

Being a member enables us to gather regularly to meet past and current players and officers and to share and pass on memories and experiences.

Ron Waldron has succeeded Brian Thomas as President and the current FP’s management includes : Martyn Morris (Chairman), Steve Martin (Vice Chairman), Alun Roper (Secretary) and Mike Price (Treasurer) while David Parker can be replied upon to compere the Annual Dinner.

For former Neath players who are not yet members, just remember the great days you enjoyed playing for Neath RFC and come and join us.

The Neath FP’s are very active with a regular annual calendar which involves :-

  • early-season Buffet prior to a Neath RFC home game
  • Festive get-together prior to a Neath RFC’s fixture
  • Annual Dinner with Guest Speaker

Previous Dinner speakers include Steve Fenwick, Alex Murphy, Phil Steele, Brynmor Williams, David Watkins, Gerald Davies, Paul Thorburn, Shane Williams and Richard Webster.

The 2017/18 Annual Dinner has been re-arranged for Friday, June 15th at the Gnoll clubhouse, 7pm


Should you be a former Neath RFC player or know of a former player who wishes to become a member of the FP’s (it does not matter how many games you played), please contact :-

Alun Roper,
Wenham Place,

E-Mail –
Telephone – Neath (01639) 633356

OR see any of the Officers above

2017/18 CALENDAR 

Annual Buffet Lunch – Saturday, September 23rd 2017(1.00pm) – at Neath RFC
Meet in downstairs back bar prior to Neath v Llanelli

New Year Get-Together – Saturday, January 6th, 2018 (1.00pm) – at Neath RFC
Meet in upstairs back bar prior to Neath v Cardiff

Annual Dinner – has been re-arranged for Friday, June 15th at the Gnoll clubhouse, 7pm

The Annual Dinner of the Neath Former Players has been re-arranged for Friday, June 15th at the Gnoll clubhouse,  (7.00 for 7.30pm).

Guest Speaker will be former Wales, Ospreys, Newport and Pontypridd lock IAN GOUGH with comedian Kevin Kaye providing support.

Former Players and Neath RFC supporters are invited – tickets (£20) are available from Mr. ALUN ROPER – Tel. Neath (01639.633356) or E-Mail:



Neath RFC is saddened to learn that John Samuel has passed away.

“John Sam” as he was invariably known played for Neath in the late 1950’s and made well over 200 appearances in a very powerful Neath pack which featured three British Lions in Courtenay Meredith, Rees Stephens and Roy John.

John was a regular in the Neath pack and could perform in the second row and back row with equal facility.

He played in the Aberavon-Neath team against Australia in 1957 when the combined side was pipped by a single conversion 3-5. and, on leaving the Neath area, John moved to the Midlands to work and played for the Coventry club who were an equally as powerful unit at the time.

His funeral will be held on the September 7th at 1.30pm at Christchurch, Coed y Paen, Nr. Pontypool, Monmouthshire and, with Neath playing Pontypool on Saturday, a minute’s silence will be held in his memory prior to kick off.