Ray Gravell

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Ray was one of the best-loved of Welsh players, but sadly died in Spain in 2007. He was noted for always giving 100% for club and country and skippered his beloved Llanelli in 1980-81 and again in 1981-82. From Burry Port Secondary Modern School and Queen Elizabeth Grammar School in Carmarthen, he joined Llanelli Youth and was capped by Wales Youth in 1970. He then played 485 times for Llanelli scoring 120 tries and was in the 1972 win over New Zealand at Stradey Park. He was also a British Lion in all four tests in South Africa in 1980, scoring a try in the second test. His only international try for Wales came against Scotland at Cardiff in 1978 in a typical block-busting run. He toured with Wales to Japan and Hong Kong in 1975 and to Australia in 1976. He made a Barbarian debut in 1975, toured with them to North America a year later and also played for them against Australia in 1976 and the Lions at Twickenham in 1977. He played for Wales ‘B’; West Wales against Australia in 1973 and New Zealand in 1978; for Llanelli against Australia in 1975 and 1984 and the Maori in 1982; and also for England-Wales against Scotland-Ireland at Dublin in 1975. His final game for Llanelli, a cup match at Llandovery in January 1985 saw him break an arm and his career ended. He became Llanelli club president in 1997-98, being a member of the Gorsedd of Bards and he was the Grand Sword Bearer at the Eisteddfodau. From working for the electricity board and then being a sales representative and a community service supervisor, he became a broadcaster in Welsh and English and an actor. He lost two toes, then his whole leg was amputated after diabetes, but he died six months later. His funeral was held at Stradey Park with 10,000 present. The road he had lived in at Mynydd-y-Garreg was renamed Heol Ray Gravell.