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We are still here !

Alun Granfield

The American poet Edna St.Vincent Millay once observed that it is not true that life is one damn thing after another – its the same damn thing over and over again.

I felt a bit like that at the EGM last week . Those of us who have been associated with this club for much of our lives and who are now proud shareholders of Pontypridd RFC have been here before.

I have told this story many times before, but it is worth another telling. At the end of the disappointing 1998-99 season , coach Lyn Howells left the club for Cardiff, taking Neil Jenkins  and Martyn Williams with him. Kevin Morgan left for Swansea and Dafydd James went to Llanelli. The Western Mail published a photograph showing a stern looking Cenydd Thomas peering out from behind the gate at the clubhouse end with the headline ” will the last one out of Sardis Road turn out the lights!”

Two years later, the Eurotable rankings put Pontypridd at 11th place in Europe – note , not just Wales or Britain but in EUROPE. Three years later , after the start of regional rugby , the bulk of the welsh team that won the Grand Slam was composed of former Pontypridd players and was captained by Michael Owen.

In between catastrophe had hit our club. We were forced into administration when regional rugby started and then the ill fated Celtic Warriors region collapsed, taking our tiny involvement in regional rugby with it. However with the leadership of Cenydd Thomas , the help of Mike Edwards & Brian Moreton , the loyalty of former players like Dale Macintosh and Paul John, and the support of our marvellous fans, we survived and thrived.

There have been difficult financial times, yes, with previous calls for financial contributions from shareholders and supporters and there will be more difficult times ahead. However, I own a bit of this club, and will do my little  best  to keep our financial head above water . None of us might have the sort of money that other benefactors have, but there are more of us !

I keep on being reminded of Dafydd Iwan’s famous song Ry’n ni yma o hyd – we are still here! The chorus in English starts like this:

In spite of everyone and everything
We are still here

The second verse is :

Let the wind blow from the East
Let the storm roar from the sea
Let the lightening split the heavens
And the thunder shout “Encore!”
Let the tears of the faint hearted flow
And the servile lick the floor
Despite the blackness around us
We are ready for the breaking of the dawn !!


This would make a great Ponty Anthem ?


Alun Granfield