Neath RFC’s Annual Presentation Evening run in conjunction as usual with the Neath Rugby Supporters’ Club Hall of Fame and sponsored by Low Cost Vans proved another huge success.
Around 150 supporters were present to enjoy the evening’s events which embrace the present generation as well as the past.
Neath RFC rugby secretary and historian Mike Price introduced proceedings which got off on a sad note with the news that former Neath centre, captain and coach Glen Ball had passed away earlier in the afternoon.
After a totally respectful minute’s silence, the evening got into full swing with an excellent buffet served at “half-time”.
A season of untold misery was put behind everyone as there were presentations galore as the supporters’ appreciation of the efforts of those who stayed was confirmed.
The players who stuck by the Club each received a handsome memento and NRSC presented a plaque recording the names of the clubs who helped out by permitting players – this will surely become a point of interest for visitors in future.
Special awards were made to Lee Evans and Alec Jenkins who are retiring and embarking upon coaching careers at Aberdare RFC and Pontyberem RFC respectively while captain Aaron Bramwell and his wife Terri received a special memento too.
As is usual on this ever-popular annual occasion, the Past honoured the Present and the Present honoured the Past.
Centre Jarrad Rees, one of several new signings for the Club for next season, carried off the Young Player of the Year award while predictably captain Aaron Bramwell won the acclaim as senior Player of the Year.
Then came the “Hall of Fame” inductions with Wilson Lauder, Jonathan Davies, Rowland Phillips, Patrick Horgan and Duncan Jones on hand to join the elite band of Neath RFC legends.
Previous inductees are : T.P. Whittington, Rees Stephens, Roy John, Courtenay Meredith, Ron Waldron, Grahame Hodgson, Brian Thomas, Glen Ball, Martyn Davies, Dave Morris, David Parker, Glyn Shaw, Mike Richards, Elgan Rees, Carl Gnojek, Phil Pugh, Steve Powell, David Morgan, Brian Williams, Paul Thorburn, Jeremy Pugh, Kevin Phillips, Gareth Llewellyn, Allan Bateman, Shane Williams and Adam Jones.
The raffle and auctioned ball featuring the signatories of the five latest inductees raised valuable funds which will be donated to the fund set up to buy back the Club into the promised supporters’ ownership.
NRSC chairman Len Kowalski, vice chairman Dawn Williams, secretary Kevin Widlake and Paula Thomas are to be congratulated on co-ordinating another wonderful evening.
The speeches, anecdotes and general good fun characterised an emotional evening which firmly illustrated the fact that Neath RFC is alive and well – no matter what is thrown in its direction !