David James

David James

Position: Flyhalf

Died 02/01/1929
Place Of Birth Swansea
Height 168cm / 5' 6"
Weight 64kg / 10st 1lbs


David James and his brother Evan (qv)  were a famous half back pairing known as ‘the Swansea gems’ or ‘the curly-headed marmosets’. They first played for Swansea in 1889 and represented Wales on 5 (Evan) and 4 (David) occasions, playing together 4 times.

The brothers apparently played a game for Broughton Rangers in April 1892 and were offered jobs at £2 a week in Manchester. The Rugby Football Union declared them to be professional as a consequence of this. They were reinstated by the RFU upon appeal (by both the Welsh Union and Swansea) on 31 January 1896 and played until they became professional again on 28 January 1899 when Broughton Rangers signed them up (£225 down, £2 a match and a pub), taking all sixteen members of the James family.

David like his brother, was employed in the Hafod Copperworks then moved on to a fuel works. The interruption of his international career by censure from the RFU in England, had a debilitating effect on the Welsh team. His last appearance for Wales at St Helens apon reinstatement, was a triumph for him and his brother as they pulled the strings to help Wales to a 26 - 3 win over England. The brothers trip 'Up North' was not sucessfull however with Evan falling ill and dying soon after. Swansea Rugby Club helped the James family financially apon their return to their home district in St Thomas. David died in Bonymaen on 2nd January 1929. He was said to have asked for the latest Test score just before he died.

Playing Summary
  Season P W D L Try Con Pen DG PTS  
  Total 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0  

Click on a season for a match by match breakdown.

  Team P W D L Try Con Pen DG PTS  
  Wales 4 2 0 2 0 0 0 0 0  
Clubs: - Broughton Rangers - Swansea -
Honours: - Wales -

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