Former Swansea Rugby Club medical officer, long-time club member and patron, William “Ian” Jones OBE FRCS, sadly passed away on Tuesday 2nd January aged 91.
Ian’s arrival at Swansea in 1968 was accompanied by his membership of Swansea RFC. An ENT consultant at Singleton Hospital, he swiftly took up his role as a medical officer for the rugby club, a position he cherished for over two decades.
He was an ardent Whites supporter and followed them throughout the UK and Europe alongside his great friends Brian Simpson, Dr Howard Bowen, Alun Thomas, Dr Eddion Davies, Malcolm Downes, David Price and Professor Howard Purnell.
As a medical officer, Ian’s priority was always the protection of the players and their best interests. He was a medical man ahead of his time, not least on the issue of concussion.
He stood as a consistent voice to safeguard players’ physical and mental health, even if his concerns were unpopular with coaches and selection committees.
He admired and respected the players, who number too many to mention. This was not merely for their playing prowess, but also the young men they became — rounded personalities who would be a credit to Swansea RFC and Wales.
Passionate for the game, Ian would sit behind the journalists’ bench and could often be seen tapping their shoulders to offer his opinion on the state of play, whether they liked it or not!
When all was said and done, in victory or defeat, Ian enjoyed nothing better than standing with a glass of beer in his hand talking all things rugby.
The end of his medical career , was followed by a reluctant decision to finish his valued partnership with Doctor Eiddion Davies at St Helens and hang up his ‘Whites’ needle and thread.
Ian loved Swansea Rugby Club and continued to be a member and patron, even when his health meant he was no longer able to attend. He had great memories, friendships and pleasure at St Helen’s with his Swansea rugby family