Marsden Young Passes On

Swansea RFC was saddened to hear of the passing of former All Whites three-quarter Marsden Young.

Marsden played for Swansea’s 1st XV from 1958 to 1961. In all he made 78 appearances, scoring 23 tries and a drop goal.Selected at centre, he made his senior debut on 25th September 1958 at St Helen’s against Llanelli. He marked a 13 – 0 win by scoring one of Swansea’s two tries and kicking both conversions, quite a debut! At the end of the 1958-59 season he had justified the selectors faith by making 38 appearances, the most of any player in the 1st XV and scoring 11 tries. His centre partnership with Cecil Roderick was an especially profitable one, the two having a good understanding of how skipper Bryan Richards at outside-half, wanted them to play. Marsden also partnered Haydn Mainwaring on occasion when Mainwaring was not at full-back.  Rugby scribe Ron Griffiths spotted his potential, rightly calling him “an opportunity snatching centre.”

Griffiths continued to heap praise on the prolific centre, saying he was “one of the most improved centres in Welsh rugby last season.” The St Helen’s club selectors agreed and Marsden Young was elected vice-captain for the 1959-60 season. He started with a bang, scoring a hat-trick against the Welsh District XV in September. Against Welsh Academicals on 12th September Marsden proved his versatility and opportunism by playing on the wing and scoring twice in a 42 – 6 : “Swansea scored a fantastic length-of-the-field try from aRichards minor. Marsden Young, only the third player to handle, being the scorer.” enthused Ron Griffiths in the South Wales Evening Post.

Against Newport away, he filled the outside-half berth with Bryan Richards out injured. A rejigged Swansea narrowly lost 6 – 3. Marsden was soon back to his best position at centre, partnering Cecil Roderick and showing great awareness and support running to the glorious play and vision of Bryan Richards against Halifax (won 15 – 0): “The other try scorer was centre Marsden Young, after Richards had split the defence with a glorious break early on.” 1959 Marsden briefly took over the captaincy of the All Whites in a 13 – 0 win over Blackheath as skipper Gordon Morris was a Welsh trialist. The dependable Young again stepped in for the injured Morris away at Gloucester in a hard earned draw. Leading by example as “Swansea suddenly broke out to draw level with a splendid opportunist try by Marsden Young. He snapped up a loose ball, handed on to [Dewi] Bebb, accepted the return pass and went over.” the rapturous account, again coming from Ron Griffiths, clearly an admirer of Marsden’s play.

Marsden Young’s dedication to the club was only matched by that to his new bride as he missed out on the club’s April tour to France due to his wedding falling on 9th April. Having missed the last few games of the season, Marsden ended the campaign with 9 tries, third highest try scorer behind DewiBebb and Morrie Evans.

Marsden’s last season with Swansea saw him less often in evidence with just 14 appearances. He scored 3 tries, but also grabbed a drop goal against Welsh Districts. Again Young was utilised at outside-half as well as his natural berth at centre with Roderick. His last match was at centre, partnering Terry Thomas at St Helen’s against Coventry in a 9 – 3 win on 28thJanuary 1961.

Marsden was a popular player with the Swansea team, always giving of his best and loyal to the club. He enjoyed attending the All Whites Former Players’ Annual dinners whenever he could. All at St Helen’s are thinking of Marsden’s family at this sad time.