Paul Williams (Llandovery Programme Notes)

Thank you and good… erm… afternoon

Despite there still being important rugby to be played, it befalls me, at what feels like an unbelievably early stage of this somewhat strange and abbreviated season, to acknowledge all the help, support and encouragement I’ve received in producing these pages on a regular basis throughout the past seven or so months.

So first, to my good friend Howard Evans, the walking encyclopaedia of Welsh club rugby, whose knowledgeable contributions save me from having to do an unbelievable amount of research if he didn’t have the required information on whoever the visitors may be stored somewhere inside his head, ready to dash off in an email at a few minutes’ notice.

Then there’s the quiet man of Aberavon RFC, webmaster Gareth Gange, whose diligent attention to detail means I can quickly and easily confirm who scored the last try in whatever fixture I’m referring to, along with a host of other significant details that I’d otherwise get hopelessly wrong.

There are then those who make numerous other contributions, such as Club Chairman Andrew John with his leading article and Commercial Manager Chris Davies with innumerable bits and bobs to keep the reader amused.

A special shout out goes to designer Stuart Evans (Sevans Design) whose talent for turning an assortment of diverse emails into the professional-looking publication you are now holding is something for which we’ve been incredibly grateful for well over twenty years now.

And I must make a special mention of my self-confessed number one literary followers Ceri and Rob, who tell me they look forward to reading my words over breakfast on the morning after each match.

Overarching all of the above, words cannot do justice to my appreciation of the club as a whole, management, coaches, players, staff, volunteers and loyal supporters all of whom contribute to making Aberavon RFC something of which we can all take pride in being a part. Thank you all

This afternoon brings down the curtain on the career of one of our longest-serving players, Will Price, who has been a fine and popular servant to the club since moving here from Tonmawr all those years ago, overcoming serious injury problems along the way. I could hear Howard Evans trying to persuade Will to think carefully about the decision to retire (code for trying to talk him out of it, perhaps?) but there comes a time for life after after rugby. Good luck Will, and thanks.

Congratulations go to staunch Wizards supporter Jonathan (Baayo) James and his fiancée Jade Brain, the very proud parents of their baby daughter Ariella-Rai born on February 3rd and weighing in at 7lb 11.5oz. Jonathan and Jade, from Fairway are both are over the moon and so are proud grandparents Hugh and Carolyn James. Jonathan can’t wait to dress her in a Wizards jersey and parade her around the ground.