When Wayne O'Connor trotted on to the field as a second half replacement at Llandovery on Saturday, he passed a significant milestone in his long and illustrious Pontypridd career.
The hard grafting openside flanker was making his 200thappearance for the club which he has served without fail over the past 10 seasons.
That achievement came soon after being nominated as Former Players' Association Player of the Year of 2010 / 2011 and nominated by Ponty supporters for the ultimate honour of being immortalised as a Grogg.
O'Connor made his Pontypridd debut in a home league fixture against Glasgow in September 2002, joining up with a fully professional outfit and contesting the flankers' berth with players of international status such as Richard Parks and Kingsley Jones.
For Cardiff product O'Connor, the call to Sardis Road came through a link with former Ponty captain Nigel Bezani.
"Baz had been previously coaching me at Rumney RFC," explained O'Connor "and when he returned to Pontypridd as team manager alongside coach Lynn Howells, he gave me the invitation to play at senior level for the club.
"It was a fantastic opportunity for me, to join up with international class players and face teams like Wasps and Leeds in the Heineken Cup."
That season proved to be Ponty's swansong as a fully professional outfit but O'Connor remained with the club into the new era of the Premiership, becoming in time a senior squad member and a mentor for a new generation of talent coming through the ranks.
"I've been able to watch some good youngsters being developed at Sardis Road" said O'Connor " players who have gone on to gain regional and international status and am proud of any help that I may have given them."
With 200 appearances under his belt, O'Connor can still look forward to the future in black and white.
"I'm not sure about going on to play another 200 games for Ponty but certainly aim to see out another couple of years with the club, taking it one season at a time.
"Playing for Pontypridd has been a brilliant experience, I have so many great memories and have made so many good friends over the years. Something that good you just don't want to come to an end."
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Go to www.wru.co.uk/tryourgame for more information
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