Today marks the 5th anniversary of the passing of Lewis Jones, known throughout Llanelli and beyond as ‘Lewi’.
There is no doubt he was a very special person. Just in terms of the rugby clubs that felt he had a special relationship with him; Felinfoel, Kidwelly, Furnace, Burry Port, Trimsaran… Thats apart from Llanelli RFC, Lewi was a well known figure at Stradey Park, first as a linesman and then after professionalism, prowling the touch line as an unofficial cheerleader. He would referee or run the line from kids games in the street to big matches in Stradey. Minis, juniors, youth, seniors – Lewi loved to be involved. 1000S must have received his unofficial red card, from All Blacks to cheeky children. It was almost a rite of passage. Sometimes it was an official set presented by a referee, sometimes it would just be something red – a beer mat, a red lighter.
When the Warriors were formed in 1995, Lewi of course ran the line. He missed very few matches before his stroke in 2013. He was part of the Warriors family. He knew people at almost every club we played and made more friends with every fixture. He was a star on tour from Teignmouth to Auckland, taking no nonsense during the game and always up for a laugh afterwards. He had a million different ways of getting a free beer or earning a bit of cash to pay for one.
He wasn’t an angel, he could strop for Wales and could be obstinate and headstrong. But he was such a character that he always got forgiven.
His example of getting on with life and his support for sport – despite his disabilities, should be held up as an example to all. There is a bench dedicated to him at Kidwelly church but we at the Warriors wanted to have something of our own to commemorate him. Something rugby related which we could share with his other clubs.
The Lewis Jones Memorial Cup will begin it’s journey on Saturday at Ferryside when the Warriors travel their for their 1st game of the season. The winners will then take the trophy forwards and defend it against other competing clubs as they meet in the course of the season. In this way Lewi will again travel the local rugby clubs, always welcome, sometimes unexpected. Hopefully as he moves around from Bont to Betws, Panty to Penybanc, Trimsaran to Tumble, we hope that there will be stories and laughter as people recall the little man and his antics. We also wanted to reflect his sense of homour so the trophy had to be cup, not too big but with decent handles to reflect his big ears – I’m sure we’d get a red card for that.
The cup will be competed for by 1st, 2nd and youth Xvs, reflecting Lewi’s love of rugby at all levels and keeping the legend alive for future generations.
Please support these fixtures where ever you can and remember Lewi – the greatest linesman in the world and a Llanelli legend.
More details on the Cup: Click
Who was Lew: Clickhttp://www.pitchero.com/clubs/llanelliwarriorsrfc/a/lewis-jones-memorial-cup-the-lewi-52764.html?page=2
Classic Lewi Photos: Clickhttp://www.pitchero.com/clubs/llanelliwarriorsrfc/photos/alfred-adam-lewis-jones-7396.html
Whilst the Lewi cup won’t necessarily add any fixtures to the calendar, the Warriors have plenty of matches to look forward to. The concept of mixed ability rugby is on the rise with a number of new teams having sprung up in recent years. Whilst the Warriors will continue to look primarily for mainstream fixtures, these new teams have thrown up some interesting fixtures. There will be new Welsh derbies with the Cardiff Chiefs and Dragon All-stars to supplement their traditional battle with the Swansea Gladiators whilst those who remember the Scarlets pre league fixture lists might be intrigued to see matches with West Country sides like Gloucester Griffins and Walcot in Bath.
These will be in addition to their usual local fixtures and Cardiff trips to face the likes of Burry Port, Swansea Vikings and Cefneithin. In a busy season they also hope to play 1st matches against Magor and Felinfoel before rounding it off with another tour to Minehead.
The club also intend to take part in the GO rugby festival in Cardiff meaning that their 23rd season is almost certain to see them playing more sides than ever before.
It’s Disco Wednesday! It’s the summer special of the Warriors monthly disco: 6pm at Felinfoel RFC – Beach Party theme and please bring a plate of food! £3 (carers free)
Updated 08:46 - 8 Aug 2018 by Gwilym Lewis