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Coaching trailblazer loses battle with cancer

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Inspired and encouraged: Ray Williams (right) during his time at the WRU

Inspired and encouraged: Ray Williams (right) during his time at the WRU

THE RUGBY world is mourning the death of Ray Williams, after the 87 year old passed away on Tuesday night (Dec 2), after a battle with cancer. Williams, who lived with his wife in Haverfordwest, was honoured this year, when he was awarded the International Rugby Board’s Vernon Pugh award, for his distinguished service.

He is credited as revolutionising rugby coaching after joining the Welsh Rugby Union as the world’s first paid coaching organiser in 1967, and it was his ideas and strategy that helped Wales dominate the northern hemisphere game in the golden 1970s era. Former Wales coach Clive Rowlands said: “Here was a man who did so much, yes in Wales but also throughout the world.

“I feel very sad but, at the same time, I look back and I think of the happy days as well,” added Rowlands. “Ray came in with new things and made coaching interesting. He made coaching a real important part of the game.” Rowlands coached Wales to four Five Nations wins, during Williams’ time as coaching organiser. Williams was appointed WRU centenary officer in 1980 and then succeeded the long-serving Bill Clement as secretary of the WRU. “He was a major influence,” ex-Wales wing Gerald Davies said in October, when Williams won the IRB award.

“His aim was to achieve for the highest possible levels of skills. Excellence was his theme and the systems he created here in Wales were replicated all over the world.” Davies, whose exploits included a starring role in the British and Irish Lions Test series win of 1971, paid further tribute to Williams. “He was responsible for the way we think about rugby football in the way he formulated and tabulated the skills and the requirements of rugby football,” he said. “And he arranged for coaches to be educated in the rudiments of the game; of the skills, the tactics, the techniques – the mechanics.”

IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “Ray Williams was a wonderful example of how, through his selfless dedication to our sport and its character-building values, rugby can change lives, bring people together and provide tremendous camaraderie.”

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Postmaster and politicians welcome Goodwick cash machine U-turn

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GOODWICK post office will now be keeping its ATM, after a U-turn by Post Office Ltd.

The machine was due to be removed within months with the post master, Jon Moverley saying that it would be a disaster for the village.

If the ATM had been removed, there would have been just two 24-hour ATMs serving the whole of Fishguard and Goodwick in the short term and three when the Co-op renovations are completed.

Both politicians and local residents then got behind the campaign to keep the ATM

Pembrokeshire politicians Paul Davies and Stephen Crabb have welcomed the news that Goodwick post office is now set to keep its ATM facility. Following representations made by both politicians to the Post Office, it’s now been confirmed that Goodwick Post Office will be included in the rollout of ATM machines across the post office network.

Mr Davies said “This is really welcome news. I’m pleased that the Post Office has listened to the representations made by the local community and decided to retain the ATM at Goodwick post office. The facility is so important for local people and businesses and it’s great that that’s been recognised and the Post Office has committed to keeping it.”

Following the Post Office’s decision to invest in Goodwick’s ATM rather than remove it, Stephen Crabb MP, who campaigned for the ATM to stay, commented: “It’s great news that the Post Office has overturned its own decision and will be keeping an ATM machine in Goodwick.

“Access to cash continues to be incredibly important for a number of people and businesses and I’m pleased to have played my part in working with John from the Post Office in Goodwick, Paul Davies MS and the wider community to highlight the ATMs importance to the area. It shows what can be achieved when we work together.”

The postmaster described the news as ‘brilliant’. Mr Moverley thanked supporters.

He said “Many thanks to all of you who have used the machine and complained to POL about the removal. We were also supported by our MP, MS and mayor, the National Federation of Sub-postmasters and our Chamber of Trade.

“Everyone did their bit, and it says an enormous amount about the strength of the community and what we can do when we work together.”

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Judith Rhead murder: Police appeal to public for information

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE can confirm it is appealing for information after the death of a 68-year-old woman from Pembroke Dock.

Judith Rhead’s body was discovered in a property in Market Street on Saturday, February 20.

Dale Morgan, aged 43, has been charged with her murder and was remanded into custody on Thursday (Feb 25).

Morgan is due to appear at Swansea Crown Court tomorrow, police have confirmed.

A spokesman said: “The force has set up an online portal where the public can share any information they feel might help investigators with their enquiries.

“Specifically, police would like to hear from anyone who saw or spoke to Judith between November 2020 and February 2021.”

Detectives said that they would also like to speak to anyone who has information about Dale Morgan’s movements on February 19 or 20, or who believes they have other information that could assist the investigation.

To share information to the police via the portal, please click here.

Alternatively, you can also contact the force by calling the non-emergency number, 101.

 

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PM backs Crabb’s calls for CPR lessons in schools

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PRIME MINISTER Boris Johnson has backed Preseli MP Stephen Crabb’s calls for CPR to be taught in schools in Wales.

Following a letter signed by Stephen Crabb which aimed to introduce CPR and lifesaving skills to the Welsh curriculum, Prime Minister Boris Johnson added his support to the campaign during today’s Prime Minister’s Questions (Feb 24).

Responding to a question in the Chamber from a colleague, the Prime Minister said: “I agree very much about the importance of learning CPR. That is why we introduced it into the curriculum for all state funded schools in England.”

However, as education is a devolved matter, the decision as to whether to introduce CPR into the Welsh curriculum lies with the Welsh Government in Cardiff and the Prime Minister added: “I share his urgency that the policy should be adopted in Wales as well.”

Commenting after the Prime Minister pledged his support towards the campaign in Wales, Stephen Crabb said: “Basic CPR lifesaving skills could play an important role in helping unexpected cardiac deaths across Wales.

“For the Welsh Government to continually say no to the idea feels wrong and could put lives at risk.

“I’m pleased the Prime Minister supports this campaign and I will continue to work with colleagues in the Senedd to ensure these skills are taught to the children of Wales.”

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