The good and the great of World Rugby joined in the appreciation of long-serving Treorchy RFC secretary Bryan James when he was honoured by the Rugby Union Writers' Club at the annual dinner in London.
One of Welsh rugby’s longest serving club officials, James was among three stalwarts presented with tankards for their service to the sport. He received his award from the former Cardiff Blues prop idol, Adam Jones, in front of an audience that contained World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont, WRU chairman Gareth Davies, rugby knights Sir Clive Woodward and Sir Ian McGeechan as well as World Cup winner Jason Leonard.
The Treorchy veteran joined England’s Grand Slam coach Eddie Jones, Fiji’s Olympic sevens coach Ben Ryan, former England assistant World Cup coach Des Seabrook and Rotherham Titans club doctor Chris Myers in being honoured at the 500-strong gathering at the London Marriot Hotel in Grosvenor Square.
James was the first to receive one of the RUWC Tankards and was followed by Seabrook and Myers. Ryan received a ‘Special Award’ and Jones was named as the winner of the ‘Pat Marshall Memorial Award’ for the outstanding rugby personality of the year.
“It was a complete and utter surprise for me when I heard my name mentioned and a huge honour. When I went up to the stage to receive the award from Adam Jones he simply said ‘Shw mae butt’”, said James.
“I’ve loved being involved with Treorchy all these years and it has been a real honour to serve the cub and the community. This is a very special award for me, and it is nice to know that someone in my position is appreciated, but I am only one of thousands of volunteers who do their bit to keep Welsh rugby alive and thriving.”
No sooner had James arrived back in his home in Ton Pentre from London than he was preparing for a committee meeting in the evening. He first played for Treorchy in 1962 after transferring from Treherbert and has been a one-club man ever since.
He took over as club secretary in 1976 having been fixture secretary before that. He joins Penarth RFC chairman Mike Gooding and long standing Whitchurch High School rugby coach Steve Williams as recent Welsh recipients of a prestigious RUWC tankard.
Treorchy, the home cub of Blues scrum half Tomas Williams, Macauley Cook and Rhys Gill, are currently riding high at the top of the WRU National League Division 1 East Central.