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RECREATION
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The venue for home matches was initially the mountainside between Fochriw and Pontlottyn which was known as the Gwyrd mountain whilst the preferred venue was the Primrose Field the location of which is, as yet, unknown.

Rugby

The first report of a rugby football match being played at Fochriw was during December 1890 when Dowlais Rangers beat Fochriw United by 3 goals and 4 minors to nil and that was with the visitors fielding only 8 men. The terminology “minors” refers to the situation when a ball is touched down by the opposition within their in-goal area. The second report was against Pant on 2 February 1891 when the match was drawn.

In September 1893 an advert was placed in the newspaper requesting fixtures with any local junior team.

The report of the following game was in a March 1894 issue of the Merthyr Express and  seems to imply that the referee had the right to administer physical abuse to any player who questioned his judgement. At the end of the 1893/94 season the club record was:  played 15; won 8; lost 3; drawn 4.   Points for - 53; points against - 17.

Fochriw Rangers v Llancaiach Harlequins   The match was played at Fochriw on Monday last, and ended in victory to the home side by 1 try to three minors. Up to half time play was very even, neither side scoring. On crossing over, Vochriw showed better combination and scored a try, Aneurin Jones the scorer. Fochriw were without three of their regular forwards and two three-quarters. Substitutes had to be picked up on the field. A rather unpleasant incident occurred on account of a free kick. A forward asked for an explanation and was struck by the referee - a man from Bedlinog. Spectators rushed on to the field and the game was stopped a few minutes before time. Fochriw team: Full back, J. Lewis; Three-quarters, Wat Jones (captain), Abram Jones, Evan Jones, M. M’Arthur; Half-backs, Aneurin Jones, D. L. Morgan; Forwards, J. Williams, D. L. Jones, C. Edwards, R. Evans, T. Evans, B. Thomas, D. Griffiths, Job Thomas. The Rangers have March 17th open. Apply to David Jones, 33, Guest-street, Fochriw.

In March 1894 the team was called Fochriw Rangers, however, in September 1894 the name changed to Fochriw Stars.

Reports for the years 1897 to 1901 have not been found but they recommenced during February 1902

In 1903 a first and second team existed, the seconds being called Fochriw Alex. whose aged range was from 12 to 14 years old. The rugby interest in the village seems to have finished in 1911, since, from the published results, the performance of both teams was very poor with hardly a match being won.

Although Fochriw never again possessed a “serious” rugby team, the village was well represented in the game during November 1963 when Alun Thomas, only son of Mr. & Mrs. Francis Thomas, 8, Williams Row, was one of the Newport Rugby players who beat the All Blacks, the only team to do so on their UK tour. He was described by one of the commentators as having played a “fireball” of a game. He had also played for the Welsh XV under 23s.

Alun (Algy) went on to win two international caps, one for the Barbarians and the other for Wales having played against England at Twickenham during the 1963/64 season and the following report is of the reception held for him at Fochriw.