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Rydal legend Williams to be honoured on RAF Rugby Club centenary
27th February 2020

The Royal Air Force Rugby Union will celebrate their centenary by honouring one of Rydal Penrhos’ greatest ever graduates.

Cardiff Blues will take on the RAF in the inaugural Bleddyn Williams Challenge at the Arms Park on Saturday, May 9, which will see men and women take the field in separate contests.

Williams, who attended Rydal School on a scholarship from a recommendation by Wilf Wooller, is regarded as one of Wales’ most gifted rugby players and was dubbed ‘The Prince of Centres’.

He attended Rydal from 14-18 years-old before earning legendary status playing in the blue and black of Cardiff RFC during the 1940s and 50s.

He captained the British Lions on their tour of Australia and New Zealand in 1950 and famously led both Cardiff and Wales to victory over the All Blacks in 1953.

During World War Two, Williams trained as a fighter pilot and later became a glider pilot, taking part in the famous Operation VARSITY. Throughout the war years, he continued to excel at rugby both for Great Britain and the RAF.

Williams played 283 games for Cardiff and formed a formidable and world famous midfield partnership with Dr Jack Matthews, he also served as president of both Cardiff RFC and Cardiff Athletic Club.

He was the rugby union correspondent for The Sunday People for three decades following his retirement, was awarded an MBE in 2005 and died in 2009.

Rydal Penrhos holds the Bleddyn Williams Trophy over Founders’ Weekend, which is a round-robin rugby tournament featuring former pupils.

Peter Thomas, Cardiff Blues Life President, said: “Bleddyn, captain of Cardiff, captain of Wales, captain of the British Lions, what a man and what an achievement.

“He had two clubs, the RAF and Cardiff. He is sadly missed but fondly remembered.

“We are honoured to play this game at the Arms Park. We were privileged to welcome Uruguay for a similar game last season and this promises to be another great occasion.”

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