Bill Gwynn

Bill Gwynn

Position: Half Back

Died 01/04/1897
Place Of Birth Swansea

William Henry Gwynn was born in 1856. A schoolmaster, Gwynn played as a half-back for Wales on 5 occasions between 1884 and 1885 and will be remembered for being one of the first and most able advocates of the passing game, encouraging movement of the ball across the width of the pitch and back. He was renowned for his passing of the ball direct from the base of the scrum  from out between his legs. He later became the WRU’s 1st paid secretary (1892 – 1896) and was also an International Rugby Football board representative (1892 – 1895).

Gwynn was an Association football player before taking up the Union game and had captained the undefeated Battersea College XI for two seasons in the late 1870's before changing codes. he also was a renowned cricketer and member of Swansea Cricket Club where he played in the summer months gaining a reputation and a sound batsman and good fast bowler heading both batting and bowling averages. He made his debut for Swansea in 1877, captaining them for 2 seasons (1884/85 and 1885/86) and winning the South Wales Challenge Cup in 1880 and again in 1887 with Swansea.

As a Welsh international Gwynn showed great footballing skills, no doubt gained from his soccer days. He was prone to the occasional lapse as when he dummied the English defence in 1884, running over the try line and dropping the ball as he looked for support. But his skills on the field redeemed him and he was reselected after this mishap! He later assisted with the Swansea club’s administration after he stopped playing and served as a coach on several occasions.

On 13 May 1893, he refereed the 1st ever soccer match between Swansea Town and Cardiff City on the Vetch field. He also played cricket for Swansea and Glamorgan. He died following a stroke in 1895. A benevolent fund was raised by the Swansea Club for his family and a Testimonial match authorised by the Welsh Football Union in Dec 1896 which raised the large sum of £30 for their former Secretary.

Playing Summary
  Season P W D L Try Con Pen DG PTS  
  1879/1880 6 5 0 1 0 0 0 2 0  
  Total 6 5 0 1 0 0 0 2 0  

Click on a season for a match by match breakdown.

Season Breakdown for 1880
  Date Opponent Position Try Con Pen DG Pts   Result  
  06/11/1879 Neath 3/4 0 0 0 1 0 W 0 - 0  
  17/01/1880 Neath 3/4 0 0 0 1 0 W 0 - 0  
  07/02/1880 Scarlets 1/2 0 0 0 0 0 L 0 - 0  
  21/02/1880 Scarlets 3/4 0 0 0 0 0 W 0 - 0  
  28/02/1880 Llandovery College 1/2 0 0 0 0 0 W 0 - 0  
  06/03/1880 Lampeter College 3/4 0 0 0 0 0 W 0 - 0  
  Team P W D L Try Con Pen DG PTS  
  Wales 5 1 1 3 0 0 0 0 0  
Clubs: - Swansea -
Education: - Battersea College -
Honours: - Wales -

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