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Curtain Call for Dicomidis, here’s to the next Chapter

Thursday 29th February 2024 was a drizzly, chilly evening at Sardis Road and in the 77th minute of Ponty’s match against Newport Chris Dicomidis replaced Macauley Cook. Legendary Pontypridd RFC status had been confirmed for Dico many moons ago, but that evening was significant as it was to be his 401st and final appearance as a player for the Club.

It all began nearly two decades prior when, on 26th August 2004, in a preseason friendly against Rhydyfelin young Christopher Dicomidis first ran out for Ponty. He made his first proper outing on 30th December 2004, when he came on as a replacement in the back row against Caerphilly and would go on to score 51 tries (257 points) for Pontypridd – a good strike rate for a second-row.

In 2013 Chris was signed up by Cardiff Blues, so his appearances for Pontypridd were greatly reduced for three seasons, although Ponty still had the benefit of his talent in a few games.

Chris also earned international honours throughout his career playing for Wales U19s and U21s during his fledgling years before being capped four times by the Cyprus National side during his prime.

A golden player in a golden generation, major finals and major honours followed for Dico, firstly in the Welsh Cup. Chris played his first cup game for Pontypridd on 26th March 2005, against Banwen, coming on as a replacement in the second row. Pontypridd got to the final that year, but Chris did not play in that game. Ponty then got to the final in 2006, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2017, and Chris played in all of those games, helping to win the cup for the Valley Commandos in 2006, 2011, 2013, and 2014. As well as winning four Welsh Cups, Dico also won four league championship titles in 2011-12, 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15 and was a major contributor to Ponty’s success in all those seasons. The talismanic second row was also voted both Premiership Player and Rugby Writers’ Player of the Season for the 2012-2013 campaign, which coincided with one of Ponty’s league and cup double-winning seasons.

Chris’ next major milestone came on Saturday Saturday 27th January 2024 when he became just the 7th player to make his 400th appearance for Pontypridd RFC. He joined Bob Penberthy, Dale McIntosh, Graham Gittins, Jock Watkins, Tommy David and Arfon Jones in the Pontypridd RFC 400 club. What then unfolded over the coming weeks only confirmed what an incredibly selfless person Chris is. Some of you may not know but Chris’ personal ambition was to overtake the great Tommy David’s Pontypridd appearances tally of 404, a feat he was desperate to achieve. When he made his 401st appearance against Newport this dream looked like a reality. But then the following day, in it’s time of need Dico took the coaching reins after that match and as he’s done many times before, he put Pontypridd Rugby Football Club first before his own personal targets – a testament to what a man he is.

Chris was initially appointed Ponty’s Head Coach on an interim basis, this appointment was made permanent before the team’s recent final match of the season against RGC and in doing so brought the curtain down on the playing career of one of Pontypridd RFC’s most decorated players.

With four wins out of five matches under his tenure at the end of the 2023/24 season, it’s now all systems go for Dico ahead of the new campaign. Commenting on a whirlwind six weeks, Chris said: “I had to step up to help the club out for the last six weeks of the season, the boys have done well, Garyn and Parker have been brilliant as well and Rixy has been class as Team Manager. I was just there at the end of the season to boost morale a little bit to see us through, but the boys have been absolutely superb across the board, they’ve gone out there played some really good rugby scoring some wonderful tries. Defence has been good as well and it’s been pleasing to pick up four wins out of five, gutted with the loss down in Carmarthen but that’s life.”

On becoming Pontypridd’s Head Coach, Dico commented: “I’ve really enjoyed it, I knew it was the next step in my career. I didn’t know if it was going to be with Ponty next season or looking elsewhere to coach. I’m a bit of a rugby geek, a bit of a rugby encyclopaedia I just love watching rugby, picking things up and trying things. I like to play an attacking form of rugby as hopefully everyone has seen over the last five to six weeks. I’ve really enjoyed it but it’s a lot different when you’ve got to pick a team and leave boys out and explain to them why, but I’ve had a little taste of that over the last three or four years at Ponty being player-coach, but at the end of the day it falls on my shoulders. We win together and we lose together but it’s my responsibility.”

So there we have it – 401 appearances, 51 tries, multiple trophies and two decades worth of memories –  Congratulations on a superb playing career, here’s to the next chapter Dico

The Pontypridd RFC ‘400 Club’

  1. Bob Penberthy – 877
  2. Dale McIntosh – 449
  3. Graham Gittins – 444
  4. Jock Watkins – 435
  5. Tommy David – 404
  6. Chris Dicomidis – 401
  7. Arfon Jones – 400