|Place Of Birth||Llangadog|
C.P. (Charles Prytherch) Lewis
Position: Full back/half back
D.O.B. – 20/8/1853
P.O.B. – Llangadog, Wales
Died – 28/5/1923
Clubs – Oxford Univ., Llandovery College, Swansea, London Welsh, Rosslyn Park, Llandeilo, South Wales Football Club.
Honours: Wales – 5 caps (1882-1884).
C P Lewis
C P (Charles Prytherch) Lewis was born at Llangadog on 20th August 1853 and educated at Llandovery College, Cathedral School Gloucester and Jesus College, Oxford. On his return from Oxford, where he was a triple Athletics Blue in 1876 and played for the University rugby team, he joined Llandovery College as a Master in summer of 1876 and helped further an already strong predilection for rugby football at the College. He played for the college as a Master with his pupils and captained the side in many matches between 1878 and 1886. Lewis also played for the Rosslyn Park and later London Welsh clubs.
His association with Swansea Football Club dates back to their first officially recognised match under rugby football rules on December 14th 1874 when he played against them for Llandovery College. Lewis only ever played one match for Swansea, which was on December 12th 1874 at Primrose Field, off Constitution Hill, the home ground of Swansea at the time, and was reported to have acquitted himself well in the match report.
C P Lewis’ international career was born almost the same time as Wales’ and he played in the second match ever to be played by Wales, against Ireland in January 1882 at Lansdowne Road. Lewis covered his normal position of full-back and also captained the side, which gained Wales’ first win. He was probably Wales’ earliest born capped player. He went on to gain a total of 5 caps, playing against England at St Helens that year in the first international on Welsh soil. He also played against Scotland in 1883 and against England and finally Scotland in 1884. He held the distinction of being captain in all five internationals
Apart from his early involvement at Club level with Llandovery and Swansea, he also turned out on occasion for Llandeilo and played for the newly formed South Wales Football Club (est: 1875) and was on the general Committee of that Club. Lewis played in several of these SWFC fixtures.
It was the influence C P Lewis had within the WFU’s predecessor the South Wales Football Union, that ensured Llandeilo’s presence at the meeting in the Castle Hotel, Neath in 1881 where the Welsh Football Union was formed. His standing in the game at that time led to his being elected one of the two Vice-Presidents of the WFU (predecessor of the WRU).
Lewis was often to be found refereeing early matches when not playing in them and in 1885 he refereed the international match at St Helens, Swansea between Wales and England. He was a cricketer of more than average ability and played for the MCC and South Wales Cricket Club and for Carmarthenshire in the Minor Counties where he topped the batting averages in 1909 aged 56. He scored 1,609 runs while with the SWCC. C P Lewis continued on at Llandovery College and often assisted with the College’s rugby team. He became Mayor of the town in 1894-95 and again in 1904-05. He died in Llandovery on 28th May 1923.
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