A Celebration of the History of Cardiff Medicals RFC

On April 3rd the long and distinguished history of Cardiff Medicals RFC was celebrated at a dinner in Cardiff’s County Club. In attendance were a host of past and present players, captains and presidents. The event was a joyous celebration of all the club has achieved. It proved to be a fertile ground for facts and anecdotes that will be documented to capture and preserve the rich history of the club.

(An extended 1hr 10minute dvd of the event is available to purchase from the club for £10.)

The exact date of the formation of Cardiff Medicals RFC is not known but is thought to be approximately 80 years ago. The club applied for WRU status in the 1930’s and had been formed some years before that. Previous members of the 1938 team, Tom Rosser and Roger Seal, who joined the team just after World War II, both attended the celebration and were able to chat and compare experiences with the more recent players such as Matthew Wintle, Gwyn Jones, Simon Hill, Richard Parks and Jamie Roberts.

“It has been an honour and a pleasure to meet the past players this evening; they have a lot of fascinating stories to tell, what is clear is that we all have very fond memories of our time with the club” said Gwyn Jones.

Current Cardiff Meds RFC Coach and Secretary, Huw Davies who organised the event explained, “We are a very proud club with an equally proud tradition and superb reputation. We aim to establish ourselves as the outstanding medical school RFC in the UK. This aim has been achieved and can be demonstrated by the fact that since its inception in 1993, we have won the National Medical School Cup every year bar two. We are currently in the semi finals for the 2009 competition and are looking forward to bringing the cup back to Cardiff for the fifteenth time!”

“What impresses me most about the club is how the players can balance their medical studies with such high level rugby training and competition. They have commitment, dedication and a lot of personality. Many of the players have been recognised for their achievements and have gone on to receive caps for Wales. This evening we have been able to honour those players. However, it should be noted that there are many people throughout the club’s history that have put in enormous amounts of work behind the scenes to make the club a huge success, this event also celebrates their work.”

The School’s Dean, Professor Paul Morgan was joined by fellow guest speakers and past players Dr Arnold Williams, Dr Ian Harris and President of the WRU, Denis Gethin. Bleddyn Williams also presented capped players with awards to recognise and celebrate their rugby excellence. Bleddyn Williams along with lifelong friend Dr Jack Matthews OBE formed the legendary centre partnership for the British Lions, Wales and Cardiff teams in the 1950’s.

This evening of celebration proved to be a fitting platform to honour Dr Jack Matthews OBE, who studied at the Cardiff Medical School and practised as a Cardiff GP for over 45 years. The Dr Jack Matthews Scholarship Fund was launched during the event. The campaign’s intention is to raise sufficient funds to provide scholarships and prizes for medical students studying at the School of Medicine at Cardiff University. The campaign will help build a legacy for future generations and inspire medical students, helping them to reach their full potential.

The School’s Dean, Professor Paul Morgan, said “I am delighted to be able to launch the Dr Jack Matthews Scholarship here this evening. The Cardiff School of Medicine has an enviable reputation; our students continue to represent the School at the highest of levels both academically and in achievements outside the lecture theatres as is evident this evening. The reputation of the School for excellence in teaching, research and sporting endeavours is something we are enormously proud of and the launch of this Scholarship will allow us to help and encourage future students to achieve even more.”

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