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Barry John – Welsh rugby legend passes away at 79

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  • Fly-half “died peacefully surrounded by loving wife and children”
  • “The King” secured three Five Nations victories and triumphed over the All Blacks in 1971

WELSH rugby icon Barry John has passed away at the age of 79. The esteemed former Wales and British and Irish Lions fly-half died peacefully in hospital, as announced by his family.

John, affectionately dubbed “The King” by New Zealand journalists following his pivotal role in the Lions’ celebrated 1971 Test series win over the All Blacks, earned 25 caps for Wales from 1966 to 1972. During his illustrious international career, he clinched three Five Nations championships, a Grand Slam, and two Triple Crowns.

A statement from John’s family conveyed: “Barry John passed away peacefully today at the University Hospital of Wales, surrounded by his loving wife and four children. He was a devoted father to his 11 grandchildren and a beloved brother.”

Born in the village of Cefneithin to parents William and Vimy John, he was one of six siblings. His three brothers – Delville, Alan, and Clive – also pursued rugby.

John kick-started his career at Llanelli, making his first-team debut against Moseley two days prior to his 19th birthday in 1964. He was capped by Wales two years later, and in 1967, he transferred to Cardiff, where he quickly established a formidable partnership with Sir Gareth Edwards.

John participated in Lions tours in 1968 and 1971, with the latter expedition marking the only instance New Zealand has succumbed to a Test series defeat by the Lions.

Across four Tests, John contributed 30 of the Lions’ 48 points, captivating audiences with his mesmerising skill on the flickering black and white television screens, reminiscent of Manchester United’s George Best’s otherworldly performances.

His remarkable talent garnered widespread adoration – he finished third in the 1971 BBC Sports Personality of the Year, following Princess Anne and George Best – and featured on the BBC’s ‘Superstars’ programme alongside celebrated names like Bobby Moore, Jackie Stewart, Joe Bugner, and Tony Jacklin.

After earning 25 caps for Wales and playing five Tests for the Lions, John retired at the zenith of his career at 27, leaving a lasting legacy.

Throughout his tenure with Wales, John was partnered by Edwards in 23 international matches, in addition to all five Lions Tests – one against South Africa and four against New Zealand. JPR Williams, another luminary from Welsh rugby’s golden era, passed away four weeks prior.

Jonathan Davies, a distinguished Welsh player from the 1980s and 1990s, paid homage to John, writing on X: “RIP Barry – another one of my heroes sadly gone.”

Residing in Cardiff, John is mourned by his wife Janet and their children Kathryn, Lucy, Anna, and David.

Entertainment

Broad Haven’s Music Festival set to rock village

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GET ready for an electrifying day of music and fun as the Havens Events Crew proudly presents the highly anticipated Broad Haven Music Festival. Scheduled for Saturday, July 20, from 3 PM to 11:30 PM, this event promises a vibrant mix of live bands, local talent, and a delightful BBQ, making it an unmissable occasion for music lovers and families alike.

The festival, at Broad Haven School Field, will feature an impressive lineup of performers. Attendees can look forward to the acoustic melodies of Cadence Acoustic, the energetic rhythms of Coastal Horizon, and the dynamic performances by Loose Change. These local bands are set to deliver a variety of genres, ensuring there’s something for everyone.

In addition to the musical performances, the festival will offer a range of delicious BBQ options, perfect for enjoying a summer evening outdoors. Whether you’re a long-time resident or a visitor, the Broad Haven Music Festival is an ideal opportunity to experience the local culture, connect with the community, and enjoy high-quality entertainment.

Tickets for the event are available for purchase at the Broad Haven Post Office and Lobster and Môr. Early acquisition is recommended to secure a spot at this popular event.

It promises to be a memorable day filled with music, food, and community spirit. The Broad Haven Music Festival is more than just a concert; it’s a celebration of local talent and a testament to the vibrant culture of our town. Don’t miss out on this fantastic event!

For more information, visit the Havens Events Crew’s official website or follow their social media pages for updates and announcements.


Event Details:

  • Date: Saturday, July 20
  • Time: 3 PM – 11:30 PM
  • Location: Broad Haven School Field
  • Performers: Cadence Acoustic, Coastal Horizon, Loose Change
  • Tickets Available At: Broad Haven Post Office, Lobster and Môr

Be sure to mark your calendars and get your tickets soon – we look forward to seeing you there!

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News

England’s Euro 2024 semi-final victory captivates millions

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ENGLAND’S Euro 2024 semi-final victory over the Netherlands garnered a peak audience of 20.3 million on ITV, cementing its status as the most-watched television programme of the year. Broadcasters are now hopeful that Sunday night’s final against Spain will attract over 30 million viewers, surpassing the numbers that tuned in for England’s Euro 2020 final defeat.

The overnight viewing figures, provided by ratings agency Digital-i, do not account for the millions who streamed the match on ITVX or watched in public venues. The coverage of Euro 2024 in the UK is split between the BBC and ITV, with the channels alternating first choices for matches in each round. ITV executives celebrated Jordan Pickford’s crucial penalty save against Switzerland, which secured another high-profile England match and delivered a substantial advertising boost to the channel.

Both the BBC and ITV will broadcast the final, with approximately a fifth of viewers typically opting for ITV over the BBC. Euro 2024 has demonstrated the enduring appeal of live sports broadcasting, which continues to draw massive audiences, particularly when the events are free to watch. Even matches not involving home nations have attracted significant viewership, with the Spain v France semi-final on BBC One peaking at 11 million viewers.

The Euros are part of the UK’s “crown jewel” sporting events, which include the football World Cup, Wimbledon, and the Olympics, all mandated by law to be shown on free-to-air channels. In contrast, other sports have opted for the higher revenue available from pay TV channels, resulting in substantially lower audiences for international matches. The England and Wales cricket board successfully lobbied in the 2000s to keep England test matches off the free-to-air list. Consequently, Jimmy Anderson’s farewell match against the West Indies at Lords, broadcast behind a paywall on Sky, attracted a peak audience of only about 700,000 viewers.

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Crime

Welsh Snooker star Michael White jailed for assaulting partner

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A WELSH snooker star has been jailed after assaulting his then-partner. Michael White, 33, of Penshannel, Neath Abbey, assaulted the woman, causing actual bodily harm, on two separate occasions. The first incident occurred on February 12, 2022, and the second on December 10, 2022.

White pleaded guilty to the charges. A further charge of intentional strangulation on December 10 was directed to lie on file. White, whose snooker world ranking peaked at 15 in 2016, was sentenced at Swansea Crown Court on Thursday, July 11, 2024.

He received a total jail term of 36 months – 19 months for the first incident and a consecutive 17 months for the second. The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association has announced that White has been removed from the world ranking list and the World Snooker Tour with immediate effect.

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