Sadly, after a long battle with cancer Neil Hutchings passed away back in August 2018. Neil was a very well-known and loved man by so many. Be it as the great rugby player, a loving family man, a gentleman who had time for everybody or as a great friend. Whatever, whoever, he was loved by everyone!
Neil was undoubtedly a great rugby player, reiterated by a statement made by BBC great Phil Steele, saying, “If Neil was playing today, he would have had 30+ Wales caps!” A sentiment shared by many throughout the press and media of Welsh rugby. Nonetheless, Neil became a star playing for Treorchy, Pontypridd, Aberavon and Cardiff.
He gained the first of his Wales “B” Caps whilst with Aberavon RFC playing against France at Aberavon. A game in which the great Serge Blanco also made his International debut. Neil also played for Wales “B” against Argentina in Llanelli, were most of Treorchy travelled to Stradey Park for the game.
But, it’s fair to say his greatest achievement was playing for the Barbarians against the 1978 touring All Blacks in Cardiff. Once again, there was a mass exodus from the valley to see our hero play against New Zealand. To say we were proud was the understatement of the year, we were literally bursting with pride, boasting at every occasion, as you do, telling everyone sat around us, “That’s our mate out there!”
In memory of Neil, Dai Joseph Jones will be walking 72 miles covering the 4 great clubs which Neil represented. The MASSIVE task begins on the 26th of July and finishes on the 27th of July. The first leg will see Dai walk from Treorchy RFC to Aberavon RFC. The second leg will take Dai to the capital city, to Cardiff RFC. From there, Dai will head back up the Taff to Pontypridd RFC. At this point, everyone is welcome to meet Dai at Pontypridd RFC at 4pm to complete the last leg of the walk, from Pontypridd RFC back to Treorchy RFC.
A large crowd is anticipated to welcome Dai and his fellow walkers back to Treorchy RFC to enjoy refreshments, entertainment and the announcement of how much has been raised for MacMillan Cancer Care. Neil’s wife Lynne and family will be at the club to unveil a memorial photograph to honour Neil’s commitment to Treorchy Rugby Football Club.
Follow the link below to find out more about Dai’s incredible challenge, if you could spare a couple of pounds to help raise as much money as possible for MacMillan Cancer Care for all the incredible work they do then your help would be appreciated greatly.