A few months back we asked in the Ponty Mag for people to send in their memories about Alltwen RFC as the club celebrates its 100th year.
So far, the celebrations have been hampered both on and off the pitch. We hope restrictions can ease soon and the club gets the centenary it deserves.
In the meantime, we would love to share your stories and memories of the club through the years. Vernon Allen and Julian Bracey have been in touch with their fond memories of the Under 14s side of 1969. That same year, the youth team went through the whole season undefeated, we would love to hear from anyone involved in that too. Get in touch
Here is what Julian and Vernon sent in:-
ALLTWEN RFC UNDER 14s 1969
In the late 1960s when mini rugby did not exist, Keith Parfitt initiated a junior rugby side at Alltwen RFC. The boys involved came from various disparate schools – Bishop Vaughan, Pontardawe Secondary Modern School, Pontardawe Technical School, Pontardawe Grammar School, and Ystalyfera Grammar School.
For all of the boys, this was the first rugby team that they played for and Keith Parfitt’s approach helped instil enthusiasm, interest and commitment in the game of rugby football. Keith gave up his time so that the boys could learn and enjoy the game.
In those days Alltwen RFC played their games at the top of Alltwen backing onto Wern Ddu Road, the back road that links Pontardawe with Bryncoch. The pitch was alongside Cilhendre Canol Farm. Indeed, some of the training sessions for the Juniors in those days, included runs from the pitch to Bryncoch RFC and back.
In their very first season the boys only lost one match, winning the remaining nine matches out of ten matches played.
That association brought all the boys together, stimulated their interest in rugby football, and many of whom went on to play senior rugby in the locality. David Bale, John Bale, Vernon Allen, Glen Roberts, Alan Morgan and John Morgan represented Alltwen RFC for many years.
Andrew Thomas spent his career at Pontardawe RFC. Brian Williams and Gordon Williams played for Pontardawe RFC and Aberavon RFC. Keith Williams and Julian Bracey played for Pontardawe RFC, Vardre RFC and the Scarlets.
It would be fair to say that all the boys have very happy memories of playing for Alltwen U14s Juniors, and it was Keith Parfitt and his brand of rugby that set them all on the road to their future rugby careers.