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WATCH: Girlings RFC remembers two former players as the club marks its 75th anniversary

Girlings RFC organised a special day to mark their 75th anniversary and remember two former players.

Their anniversary was in 2020 but celebrations were delayed because of the pandemic. Over the last 18 months two former life members passed away, Bob Malson and Alan Bates. The club kicked off the afternoon with a rugby match between the present and past players followed by a fundraising evening at Goodes Fitness.

The post-match event raised money for two charities, The transplant directorate at the University Hospital of Wales and the Stroke Association of Wales. These organisations supported Bob and Alan.

A poster for a rugby match
Bob Malson and Alan Bates

Alan Bates

Seven friends in a row with arms around each other
Darryl Bates, one of Alan’s children (second from right), with friends after the match

Darryl Bates, Alan’s eldest son spoke on behalf of the family. He said: “The day was a fantastic turnout, it was great to see such an amazing response to support to club legends. To see so many players past and present to be there was a testament to a small great club, with the support of Goodes Gym for Girlings to have a clubhouse.

“As a family we were overwhelmed by love, support and togetherness that a club can give back to the community and beyond. There was a few tears on the day but tears of happiness for a man who loved rugby and will always be a true Clubman who will be truly missed but never forgotten.”

Bob Malson

Five members of Bob Malson's family
Some of Bob Malson’s family after the match- (l to r) Linda and Lesley (daughters), Stella (wife), Allun (son) and Josh (grandson)

Allun Malson, one of Bob’s children, said: “We as a family would like to thank Girlings RFC for the welcome we received, reaffirming our belief that they are a community club with great values. I was humbled to be able to put on a jersey again and proud to play alongside my sons -albeit my body is not thanking me now! I am sure my dad was looking down with pride to see so many friends and colleagues turning out on the 75th anniversary and in honour of him. To see so many people makes us realise how many lives he must’ve touched. Thank you to everyone who helped to make the day a great success.”

In the photo Stella is holding a copy of a 1974 edition of Welsh Rugby magazine with her late husband on the front page. He had just been presented with the Welsh Brewers’ Trophy after leading Girlings RFC to victory in the first Welsh Junior Union Knock-Out Competition.

A copy of Welsh Rugby magazine
Bob Malson is presented with the Welsh Brewers Trophy in 1974 after Girlings RFC won at the former National Stadium in Cardiff
Rugby players walking off the pitch
The Past v Present Girlings RFC players walking off the pitch together
A rugby player
One of Girlings RFC Past players walks off the pitch after the math

Rugby players walk of the pitch Rugby players walking off the pitch Rugby players walking off the pitch Rugby players walking off the pitch

Watch Nigel Salter, chair of the Lucas Girlings Sports Trust, talk about the club and watch some of the match

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WATCH: Girlings RFC remembers two former players as the club marks its 75th anniversary

A team photo of rugby players
Past and Present players of Girlings RFC after their match