The longest surviving Welsh Rugby Union President, Hywel Thomas, has died at the age of 93.
WRU President in the Triple Crown season of 1976/77, which also doubled as the centenary season of his own club Aberavon, Mr Thomas followed in the footsteps of his father as President of the WRU and chairman of his club.
Willie Thomas had been President of the WRU in the 1954/55 season and Hywel followed him 22 years later to make the Thomases only the second father and son team to hold the highest office in the WRU. The first family to achieve that honour were the Rocyn Jones's - Sir David, President between 1947/53, and Nathan, 1964/65.
Born in Port Talbot in 1913, Hywel Thomas enjoyed a brief playing career as a threequarter with the Wizards before supporting and serving the club for the rest of his life. He was a Vice President on the WRU General Committee, the post that pre-dated that of National Representative, between 1964-75.
He became chairman in 1982, a post he held for two years, and was later made Life Vice President. He was also one of the three Trustees of the club.
"It is difficult to sum up the contribution made to Aberavon rugby club by Hywel and his father, Willie," said the current Aberavon chairman, Andrew John.
"They both became part of the fabric of the club and we became well used to seeing Hywel sitting at the bar most nights enjoying a small whiskey and a chat about rugby until he was in his nineties.
"We are extremely proud of the fact that Aberavon has provided the WRU with three of its 48 Presidents - Gwilym Treharne followed Willie and Hywel in 1990/91 - and the father-and-son team of the Thomases obviously secured a place in Welsh rugby history with their significant contributions to the game in Wales."
A Commissioned Officer in the Army during the World War 11, Hywel was a solicitor in private practice who then became Clerk to the Justices in Port Talbot. He served in the latter post until 1977.
He married his wife, Claire, in 1951 and they spent 52 years together before she pre-deceased him in 2003. They had no children.
Hywel's father, known as 'WR' or Willie, enjoyed an illustrious playing career as a wing. He was a reserve for the Wales team that played New Zealand in 1905 and played against the All Blacks for Newport that season.
He was in the Newport team that faced the first Springboks in 1906 and then captained the Combined Aberavon and Neath XV that met the first Australian tourists in 1908. He was captain of Aberavon for three season and played much of his club rugby for the Wizards with twin brother, Llew, in the same team.
Willie served as chairman of Aberavon between 1921-29 and then again from 1945-57. He became President of the WRU in 1954/55 having served on the Union's General Committee for many years prior to that.
Hywel's funeral will take place at 12 noon on Tuesday, 16 December, at Margam Crematorium.
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