History of Bonymen RFC – Dated February 1974
(R.T.Davies – Hon.Secretary)
Although not known as Bonymaen RFC there has been a rugby team in the village since the 1870’s.
Teams played under various titles, such as Jack Hathaways XV, who played on the Lan fields. Jersey
Excels, who are reputed to have played on a field (probably where the Community Centre is now)
behind the Co-operative Society shop(now a Hairdressers and Post Office), Bonymaen Road.
Two of the most famous characters ever to play local rugby were the James Brothers, Evan and Dai,
almost as famous as the notorious American family of the same name!
The brothers formed a great half-back partnership. They left the village team to play for Swansea
and were chosen to play for Wales in the early 1890’s. In the mid-1890’s they “went North” for a
couple of years, then returned to Wales. They were reinstated by the WRU and rejoined Swansea
(folklore has it that searchlights lit up the night skies, celebrating their reinstatement) and were once
again capped for Wales in 1899. However, Evan and Dai decided, once again, to turn professional in
Other characters of that era were Tommy Rosser “Bach” who, until his death was Bonymaen’s
greatest supporter. Evan Hughes, reputed to be as good as the legendary Dickie Morgan Owen.
In 1919 Bryntawe RFC was formed and played on the Bonymaen field. A grand pavilion was installed
and water was carried from the tap in Cefn Road by bucket, boiled over a fire and poured into tin
baths so that players could wash after a game. In those days this was really something, Bryntawe
intended going places and under the able guidance of good Secretaries such as – G.John, Sid Jones,
Ben Jenkins and Co., Chairmanship of J.Jones and W.Rees Davies with Presidents of the calibre of
E.G.Sims and Devonald. An excellent First Aid man in T.E.Rees and the Trainer, Tom Harris-complete
with towel and bucket of water! Players of that era included Dai and Will Rosser,Will Clement,
W.J.Harris, Tom Concannon, Will Bidder, R.Thomas, A.Rees, E.Williams, D.Thomas, G.Richards,
G.Williams, Sid Jones, Llewellyn Jenkins, Will Evans, Dai John, Denny Lee, Jenkin Morgan, Harry
Clement, Phil Rees, Will Powell, Luther Maddox and the Maillard brothers.
This team were tops in Swansea at that time, winning the League Championship and Cup. It was at
this time that our legendary Chairman Arthur Powell started his career as a referee.
The general strike of 1926 saw the end of this magnificent side.
In 1928, a meeting was called in the cricket pavilion of the Dillwyn Cricket Club (somewhere on the
Cefn Hengoed playing fields). Will Slade, a great organiser and diligent worker, together with a small
band of workers, made a collection, sufficient to purchase jerseys and a ball – Bonymaen Wanderers
were formed. This club played as well as their predecessors Bryntawe. With such able players as Tom
Clement, W.T.Llewellyn, H.Davies, Bill Thomas, W.Perret, W.Griffiths, Steve Morgan, Dai Beynon,
Gwyn Hughes, Les(Bychan) Davies, Banws Williams, Tommy Davies Bach and the Howells brothers.
On winning his 1st Cap, Leslie(Bychan) Davies became the 1st Player from the now renamed Bonymaen RFC,
to have won a Cap
Ben Jenkins started an ex-schoolboys team – these were later taken over by the Wanderers as their
Athletic team. 1939 put a stop to this great XV.
In 1946 the team was again reformed as Bonymaen RFC. First headquarters was the Jersey Arms,
then the Bonymaen Inn and for a number of years the Bonymaen Community Centre on Cefn Road
(now demolished) although the entrance remains opposite Caernarvon Way.
This time it was felt that Bonymaen RFC would progress. With a good hard working Committee and
Secretaries of the calibre of D.Maddox, Powell Beynon and T.H.Sims, the foundations were laid.
Dai Leyshon looked after the financial side, to be succeeded by Glyn Rowland. In 1954, with the aid
of Ivor Maddox, President, the fields of 7.5 acres were purchased freehold. In 1959 Bonymaen were
given WRU status. In December 1960, their new clubhouse, with all the facilities, was opened on the
new fields – now to be known as Parc Mawr.
No longer would teams have to walk from the Jersey Arms, Bonymaen Inn or the Community Centre.
Bonymaen were now running three teams -!sts, 2nds and Youth XVs.
In 1971 they decided to run Schoolboy XVs at Under 13,14 and now at Under 15 level.
In February 1974, they were the first 2nd class side to have invited and sponsored a tour of South
Wales by a Rumanian XV from Constanta.
The present committee are determined that Bonymaen will once again be great.
Internationals or Senior Level – Dai and Evan James, Les Davies, Tom (Canary) Williams.
Youth Level – Byron Bryant and Allan Mages.
Schoolboys – Tudor Jones, Nick Cunniffe.
And Johnny Quirk who played scrum half for Ranji Walkers XV – direct from Bonymaen RFC.
Ronny Davies has given us a fascinating insight in to the history of Bonymaen RFC up to 1974.
We need to establish more facts (and provide evidence of our date of establishment to celebrate a
Centenary under the auspices of the WRU). We need also to write the history since 1974. Anybody
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