South West Wales

Wales legend Mervyn Davies' funeral held in Swansea

Mervyn Davies in 1977
Image caption A memorial service for Mervyn Davies is expected at a later date

The funeral of the former Wales rugby captain Mervyn Davies has taken place in Swansea.

The 65-year-old died earlier this month after battling cancer. The service was for family and close friends.

A memorial service is expected to be held at a later date.

The number eight led Wales to the 1976 Five Nations Grand Slam and won a total of 38 caps for his country, as well as being on two victorious British and Irish Lions tours in 1971 and 1974.

Known universally as "Merv the Swerve," he had his rugby career cut short in 1976 when he suffered a brain haemorrhage playing for Swansea in a Welsh Cup semi-final.

Davies, who was instantly recognisable on the pitch from his thick moustache and white headband, was treated at the University Hospital of Wales for several months after the haemorrhage.

Former Wales captain, Phil Bennett, one of a number who paid tribute to Davies following his death, believed the number eight was an "iconic" figure in Welsh rugby.

'Iconic'

"The word great and legend are used so frequently these days. This man was iconic," said Bennett earlier this month.

Davies joined London Welsh in 1968 after moving to the city as a primary school teacher, later joining Swansea.

He won his first Wales cap against Scotland just six games after making his debut for the Exiles in 1969, going on to play 38 consecutive times.

He won two Grand Slams with Wales and three Triple Crowns. He went on the Lions tours to New Zealand in 1971 and to South Africa in 1974, playing in eight Tests.

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