Following months of nominations and careful deliberations, the five inductees into the 2017 Hall of Fame have been chosen.
The five Neath greats will be inducted into the hall at a special celebration evening on Friday 26th May
The chosen five are (in no particular order):
Stalwart wing Elgan Rees was a fixture in the Neath team throughout the late 1970s and 1980s. He toured twice with the British and Irish Lions, winning his first Lions cap before he’d played for Wales. He eventually went on to win 13 caps for Wales, scoring six tries.
Blindside flanker Phil Pugh is latest player from our golden era. A hard tackling and abrasive player, one of his finest games in the Neath shirt came in that memorable game against New Zealand. His display that day led him to winning his first (and, amazingly, only) cap against the tourists a few weeks later.
Second row forward Roy John’s was renowned for his prowess in the lineout. This led to him making his debut for Wales in 1950 and going on to win 19 caps for his country. He toured Australia and New Zealand with the British and Irish Lions in 1950, becoming, alongside Rees Stephens, the first Neath players to play for the Lions.
With an incredible 511 appearances, Dai Parker has played for Neath more times than any other player. The diminutive outside half was a key figure in the Neath side between 1965 and 1974, captaining the club during his final season. One of his finest moments came when he scored the winning try in the inaugural WRU cup final in 1972 cup.
Glen Ball was a distinguished centre who played for Neath during the 1970s, playing in the cup final triumph of 1972. He was also a key figure in the coaching team alongside Ron Waldron and Brian Thomas, during the club’s golden era of the late eighties and early nineties. Although he never played for Wales in a capped international, he did play against Argentina in 1968, for which he was belatedly awarded a President’s cap.
These five players will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Friday 26th May, where they will be awarded with their commemorative caps.
Tickets for the evening will be on sale at Neath’s remaining home games this season (Cross Keys, 8th April & Bargoed, 15th April).
Tickets cost £7.50 for supporters club members and £11 for non-members.