Andy Hill passes on

Andy Hill, Llanelli’s all-time leading try-scorer and a member of the team that famously beat New Zealand, has died aged 78.

Andy, though famous as a Llanelli wing and record try scorer, was also a regular visitor to St Helen’s with his family to watch the Whites for many years. He was an ever popular figure in the grandstand and the clubhouse for his rugby knowledge and unique sense of humour. Andy played just one first class match for Swansea in the 1971-72 season, against Newport at Rodney Parade on 25th September 1971. But his long presence at St Helen’s as a supporter has meant much to supporters over the years.

The winger had the rare combination of quick feet and a hefty boot to match.

He kicked a penalty in the win over the All Blacks and held the points-scoring record for Llanelli more than 35 years.

However he had the misfortune of playing at the same time as great wings including John Bevan, JJ Williams and Gerald Davies and was never capped.

Born in St Thomas in Swansea in 1945, he scored a try on his Llanelli debut against Richmond at Stradey Park in 1967. It would set the tone for a glorious 12 seasons at the club.

As well as beating the All Blacks in 1972, he was part of the all-conquering Scarlets who won the Welsh Cup three years in a row between 1973 and 1975.

He would go on to set remarkable scoring feats for the club in the process.

In his 453 appearances, he scored 2,604 points – a mark that would not be bettered until Stephen Jones in 2010.

His tally of 311 tries remains the most for the club, ahead of the likes of Phil Bennett, Ray Gravell and Ieuan Evans.

Yet despite playing alongside many of the greats of Welsh rugby, he was unlucky to miss out to a golden generation of players.

He represented Wales against a Welsh Presidents XV in an uncapped match in 1970, but would never pull on the three feathers, despite his feats for Llanelli.

“Andy Hill was a legend of Stradey Park, a player whose try-scoring record will surely never be beaten,” said Scarlets executive chairman Simon Muderack.

“To play more than 450 matches for a club is an incredible achievement. He was a big favourite with the faithful at Stradey Park and will, of course, also be remembered for being part of that legendary side that beat the All Blacks in ’72.

Al at Swansea RFC are saddened by the news of Any’s passing and our condolences go to his family at this difficult time.