01 November 2016 / Club News

Phil "Domby" Rowe

It is with great sadness that yesterday marked the passing of club legend Phil "Domby" Rowe - all of our thoughts are with Phil's family and his countless friends.

Phil was diagnosed with corticobasal degeneration (an Alzheimers like illness) back in June 2011 and he and his family fought bravely for over 5 years against this cruel disease and even up until November 2014 he was still a regular in the bookies as well as being the master mind behind the Nuaire Horse Racing betting syndicate - regularly taking calls from Dai Pring and making millions every Saturday!

In terms of his rugby career - Phil played all of his rugby for Bedwas as a flying winger and famously scored that try against Swansea in the quarter finals of the Schweppes cup back in 1978, a match that saw him marking the Scottish international Lewis Dick. A picture of his try even made the back page of the News of the World - although much to his dismay, the image only managed to capture roughly half of Phil's famous wire wool barnet!

Sadly his career was to be cut short be a cruciate ligament injury, but that was not to be the end of Phil's love of rugby - Penallta would become the club that Phil would call home. In 1990 he was part of the group responsible for forming the Ystrad Mynach Mini & Juniors which has been the cornerstone of our clubs success over the years.

Phil loved the club and went on to serve as fixture secretary for several years in the late 90's and won clubman of the year in 1997/98. He was never prouder than when the boys managed to pick up some silverware and back in 2002, when we won the Bedlinog 7's, Phil's exuberant post match celebrations saw him have to be physically carried back onto the bus, clutching the trophy proclaiming, "I love my boys, I love my boys aye". It was no surprise that later that night Elaine found a fully contented Domby sleeping in the roundabout outside the Oak using his impressive head of hair as makeshift pillow.

Domby loved a tour and has gone down in folklore as an integral part of many a Penallta tour story. His love of touring was matched by his love of the bookies - two of his favourite past times that he enjoyed sharing with his many partners in crime - Charlie, Steve, Gilbert, Dai Jones, Peter Angel, Neil Maslen, Ralph Benson and Leighton Lilwall. This infamous group spent many a post match afternoon in the old club under a cloud of cigarette smoke watching the racing on the old box telly!

As well as the rugby club, Phil was a regular sight in the village and always had a wink and a grin for everyone he met - he loved the non-pol and had some great friends there - little Dai, Brian Lewis, Kevin Fletcher, Daran and Mark Cross and Selwyn and Julian Davies to name a few.

Other than the rugby club and the bookies - Phil's biggest love was reserved for his family. He was married to Elaine for 42 years and in the process cemented his Penallta roots by making a brother in law out of another Penallta stalwart Wayne Jones. Everyone who knows the family will agree that they did a magnificent job in raising such wonderful children - Martyn, Richard and Joanne - who all share Phil's infectious appetite for fun and life in general. The dignity shown by the family during the last few years in the face of this cruel disease is truly inspiring and something that Phil would have been proud of.

RIP Phil "Domby" Rowe

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