Rugby Dads by Jos Andrews by Jos Andrews - Read Online

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Summary

Being a great dad - on and off the pitch Fatherhood is an underrated skill. Many fall into it almost by accident. But having done so, they become accidental role models for the next generation. When that father and role model is a dad who has made his name in rugby, how difficult is it for sons and daughters to follow in his boots and make their own mark? And how do rugby players themselves cope with the pressures of the game, and looking after their little ones? With personal, family stories from several generations of rugby players and their children, along with tips on how to deal with the stresses and strains of a competitive, strenuous job and family life, this is a rugby book with a difference.
Published: Accent Press on
ISBN: 9781682994078
List price: $2.99
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Rugby Dads - Jos Andrews

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Titles

Chapter One

D. K. Jones

Oxford University, Llanelli, Cardiff, Barbarians, Wales and the British and Irish Lions

‘It’s up to you, Ken.’

David Gethin Jones

My father was a miner in the Gwendraeth Valley. He was a strong Socialist. We spoke Welsh at home and chapel was very important to the family with three visits on a Sunday. No one in my family had ever played rugby, but I was brought up in a village, Cross Hands, where rugby was a way of life. My teachers at Gwendraeth Grammar School encouraged and guided me to play well, because they could see, as the local clubs also could, that I had a talent and a passion for the game.

I loved sport in school from an early age and was made captain of the school under-nineteens rugby team. We played against teams like Llanelli, Carmarthen and Amman Valley. As a boy, I also played for the local schoolboy side, Mynydd Mawr, in the Dewar Shield competition. I was noticed and I gained an under-fifteen schoolboy cap against Scotland in Cardiff Arms Park and a second one against England in Bristol in 1956. I usually played fly-half in my school games but I was chosen to play full-back for those two games. It wasn’t my usual position but I just got on with it. I was pleased to play in any position! Schools rugby was very important in those days and was the nursery for so many great Welsh international players.

My father had never followed Llanelli, the local first-class team, but he began to take an interest when he saw how important the sport was to me. He realised, like my teachers and coaches, that I had something special and was proud that people had begun to notice my prowess. I was always fast on the field as I did a lot of sprinting and athletics in the summer months. I could run a hundred yards in ten seconds and that speed gave me a real advantage over my opponents on the rugby pitch. I was thrilled to be made captain of the Welsh Secondary Schools. My father would come and watch me play for the school and he would appear at rugby trials to show his support for me. I began playing for Llanelli RFC in my school holidays at the age of seventeen. My first game for the Scarlets was against the Universities Athletic Union on Christmas morning. They were on tour and so played against Swansea, Llanelli and Newport. It was an open and lively game as the university boys were fit and wanted to play entertaining rugby and, in turn, we responded. My family couldn’t come to watch me as there was no public transport on Christmas Day. Kick-off was at eleven o’clock and my mother even delayed Christmas lunch for the family until I got back. Life was good!

I gained a place at Cardiff University to study Chemistry and Biochemistry and stayed at home with my parents while still playing for Llanelli every Saturday for no pay. But life was about to get more exciting … One day a large, shiny and very expensive Rolls Royce appeared in our village and stopped outside my home. I had a holiday job with Hubert Williams and Co of Burry Port, working on the building sites in Pontyberem, and arrived home to a sight that was the talk of the village! Curtains were twitching and the neighbours were out in force to see the splendid car and its occupants. My mother had made our guests tea and sandwiches and they were inside waiting to talk to me. It was a huge honour to be introduced to two officials from Leeds inviting me to come to play for their famous rugby league club. They were perfect gentlemen who didn’t pressure me, but who offered a huge sum of money and a place at Leeds University to continue my studies if I signed with them. It was such a large sum that it was important to consider the offer very seriously. It was a big temptation and not one to turn down