South East Wales

Wales' 'most capped' rugby volunteer Weldon Davies retires

Weldon Davies Image copyright Welsh Rugby Union
Image caption Weldon Davies, surrounded by ball boys and girls, receives a retirement gift from Barry John

After 206 international matches spanning 50 years, one of Welsh rugby's longest-serving volunteers has retired.

Ball team manager Weldon Davies' first game was the test against Australia in 1966 - outside half legend Barry John's debut.

His last was Saturday's 67-14 victory over Italy at the Principality Stadium.

Mr Davies, 75, of Bedwas, Caerphilly, organised ball girls and boys for matches and only missed one home game during his career because of a wedding.

He was the first person appointed to the role when he gathered a group of Cardiff Youth players to help out at the 1966 Australia match.

'Unsung hero'

Mr Weldon said he has "unforgettable memories" as he met Mr John on the pitch before Saturday's game.

While the outside half went on to win 25 international caps, Mr Davies has been involved in more matches than anyone else in Welsh rugby history.

This includes 94 games at the old Cardiff Arms Park, 109 at the Millennium Stadium and three at the re-named Principality Stadium.

Mr John called him the "ultimate rugby volunteer".

He said: "If they created a club for the unsung and largely unseen heroes and heroines that have kept our game going down the decades then Weldon would have to be the president."

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