Everyone at Swansea RFC was saddened to hear of the passing of Llanelli, Wales and Lions great Phil Bennett. In a long association with club and country rugby, Phil made many friends all over the world and those at St Helen’s especially respected him as an outstanding player of the highest order but also a genuinely good man and great company.
Phil’s style of play was recognised at St Helen’s as that which excites a crowd, so important and easy to forget now in an age where statistics and results dominate. His many battles for Llanelli against the All Whites brought genuine entertainment to matches. He also formed strong friendships among the former players at St Helen’s with a common love of the game at the heart of them. In his appearances for Wales and the Lions, often alongside Swansea players, he combined a true love of the game with unique natural talent. Off the field he was as genuine as his play was on it.
Phil was Guest Speaker at St Helen’s in 2010 at the All Whites’ Former Players Association Annual dinner and he and the Swansea former players enjoyed the kind of company that only a shared love of rugby can bring.
Our condolences and sympathies go to Phil’s family at this difficult time.