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What some of your favourite Welsh rugby players of the past look like now as team-mates reunite

The likes of Hemi Taylor, Mike Hall, Rhys Williams and Derwyn Jones were in attendance in Cardiff

It was an emotional occasion as some of the greats of Cardiff Rugby Club gathered for a former players reunion at the Arms Park on the weekend.

The event had been brought forward from its usual November date in the hope that former Wales back rower Owain Williams would be able to attend.

But, sadly, he passed away last week at the age of 56 after a long battle with cancer.

So it was decided to mark his memory at the reunion.

His son, Cardiff Rugby second row Teddy Williams, attended the event, along with former players from Owain’s two other clubs, Bridgend and Glamorgan Wanderers.

As for the ex-Blues and Blacks in attendance, it was a real who’s who, with the likes of Hemi Taylor, Mike Hall, Derwyn Jones, Andy Moore, Mike Griffiths, Rhys Williams, Simon Hill, Rhys Thomas, Geraint John, Andy Booth, Richard Cardus and Kevin Ellis present to name just a few.

You can read what Hemi Taylor is up to these days here, and catch up with Derwyn Jones’ life as an agent here.

Former Wales second row Stuart Roy was involved in organising the event, which took place before Cardiff’s game against RGC at the Arms Park.

“Owain and I were good friends for a long while,” he said.

“We were together in the Welsh squad and got on well from the start and we then played together at Cardiff for four years.

“We remained friends then off the pitch. I was very fond of him.

“I spent a lot of time with Owain over the last few months and he fought it all the way to the end.

“We had brought the reunion forward from November in the hope that he might be able to attend, but sadly that wasn’t to be.

“So we wanted to use the event to remember him. He is one of the Cardiff greats.

“There was a minute’s silence in the clubhouse with the former players and on the pitch as well before the game.

“It was quite emotional. There was a lot of love in the room and it was so nice to have Teddy there.

“It was very brave of him. He is a very mature young man. Straight away when I asked the family he said ‘I’ll be there’. It was very impressive.

“We took a picture with Teddy at the front and we are hoping to have that framed and it will be something for the family to have.

“There was a lovely turn out. It was nice seeing the Bridgend boys, Aled Williams and Richard Diplock, there too and Paul Marley from Glamorgan Wanderers, because Owain’s journeys was Wanderers, Bridgend, Cardiff.

“We also remembered Steve ‘Wally’ Blackmore, who died last year, along with a number of other former players who have passed away since we last held a reunion.

“This was the first time we have been able to get together for a couple of years because of Covid.”

Read more: Mourners line streets for Steve Blackmore’s funeral

Former Wales full-back Rhys Williams commented: “It was a big turnout and we all wanted to show our respects to Owain.

“It was great to see so many former players from different eras there. It reminds you how great Cardiff RFC is.”

WRU community director Geraint John added: “It was a really good event. It was good to see everyone together and to have the opportunity to remember Owain.”

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