Ray GravellRay Gravell


Raymond William Robert Gravell, born on September 12, 1951, in Kidwelly, Wales, was a celebrated Welsh rugby union player who played as a centre. Gravell was known for his robust playing style and his dedication to Welsh rugby. He attended Burry Port Secondary Modern School and Carmarthen Grammar School. Gravell passed away on October 31, 2007, in Calpe, Spain, leaving behind a legacy both on and off the field.

Teams and Years Played

  • Llanelli RFC (1970–1985)
  • Barbarians (1975–1977)

International Career

Ray Gravell earned 23 caps for Wales between 1975 and 1982 and was selected for the British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa in 1980, where he played four matches. He was known for his fierce playing style and his significant contributions to Welsh rugby, including participating in two Grand Slam-winning sides.

Significant Moments

  • 1972: Played for Llanelli RFC in their famous victory over the touring All Blacks.
  • 1980: Captained Llanelli RFC and was a key player for the British and Irish Lions during their tour of South Africa, scoring a try in the second test match.
  • 1982: Announced his retirement from international rugby.
  • 1985: Retired from playing for Llanelli RFC after 485 appearances and 120 tries.
  • 1998: Became the president of Llanelli RFC and later the Llanelli Scarlets regional team.

Post-Rugby Career

After retiring from rugby, Gravell became a respected broadcaster and occasional actor. He presented various shows for BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio Cymru and was a member of the BBC’s Welsh language rugby commentary team. Gravell was also a member of the Gorsedd of Bards, known by his bardic name Ray o’r Mynydd.

Personal Life and Legacy

Gravell married Mari, and they had two daughters, Manon and Gwenan. Despite his battle with diabetes, which led to the amputation of his leg, Gravell continued his public duties and remained a beloved figure in Welsh culture. He passed away from a heart attack in 2007 while on a family holiday.

His funeral at Stradey Park was attended by thousands, including notable figures from the rugby community and beyond. Tributes poured in, highlighting his impact on Welsh rugby and his larger-than-life personality. A memorial stone was erected in his honor in his home village of Mynydd-y-garreg.

Ray Gravell’s contributions to rugby, his cultural impact, and his dedication to the Welsh language and community have left an enduring legacy. He is remembered as a fierce competitor on the field and a beloved figure off it.

By admin