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Patrons

Patrons Patrons

Janet Ryder

Janet Ryder

Janet Ryder was born in Sunderland in 1955 and educated in Newcastle on Tyne.

 

She moved with her family to Wales in 1990 and has since learnt Welsh. Her three children are also bilingual. Janet's hobbies and pastimes include Rugby League, folk music, family interests and community activities.

 

A former teacher and youth worker, Janet has been very much involved with voluntary and community work in her home town of Rhuthun. She is the Chair of Canolfan Awelon Management Committee and a former director on the board of Denbighshire Voluntary Services Council.

 

Janet has been an active participant in local government for a number of years and before being elected to the National Assembly in 1999, she was a Denbighshire County Councilor (1995 - 1999), a member of Rhuthun Town Council (1993 - 2003) and Mayor of Rhuthun twice (May 1998 - May 2000).

 

First elected in 1999, Janet Ryder AM represents the North Wales region in the National Assembly for Wales.

 

David Watkins MBE

David Watkins

Born in Blaina, Gwent in 1942, the son of a coal miner, David didn't play rugby until he was 15 years old. Recognition quickly followed with six Welsh Youth caps and a debut at outside half for Newport in 1961.Scoring a try in his first game, he made the position his own with 288 points in 202 appearances. He played 21 times for Wales, touring with the British Lions in 1966.

 

In 1967 he signed for Salford for £16,000, playing 120 games as a standoff in the next three seasons but not showing the mastery of the position that many had expected. In 1970 the new Salford coach, Cliff Evans, moved him to centre where he was an immediate success scoring three tries in his first game.

 

In the 1970-71 season, with no previous experience he was asked to take the goal kicking role, rapidly achieving unparalleled success. In his first season he kicked 155 goals, shattering the Salford record of fellow Welshman Gus Risman. In 1971-72 he followed this with 192 goals and a World record 221 goals in 1972-73.

 

Although he was Salford's goal kicker for a relatively short time he eclipsed even Risman's records, with 1241 goals in all, equalling Risman's 13 goals in a game and kicking goals in a record 92 consecutive matches. He scored more than 400 points in a season three times, a feat only ever achieved once by any other Welsh player.

 

At international level, he played in six Tests for Great Britain and 16 times for Wales, 14 as captain. He toured Australia twice, in 1974 appearing in the first Test and again, as player-coach, in 1976.

 

In all first class matches he made 472 appearances scoring 154 tries and 1,342 goals for a total of 3,117 points. He finished at Salford in 1979, playing one season with neighbours Swinton before returning to South Wales as a driving force behind the ill-fated Cardiff Blue Dragons from 1981-1984. Currently he is Chairman of Newport RUFC.

 

Simon Weston OBE

Simon Weston

Originally from Nelson in the South Wales Valleys, he joined the Welsh Guards in 1978 and experienced the typical round of British army postings -Northern Ireland, Germany and a spell in East Africa.

 

When Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands in 1982, he was with 3 Company of the Welsh Guards on the afternoon their virtually undefended troopship Sir Galahad was bombed at low level by four Argentine jets. Stocks of petrol stowed on board magnified the fireball that engulfed the ship.

 

For the British, it was the most disastrous episode of the war. Thirty-three Welsh guardsmen were among the 51 soldiers and sailors who lost their lives. Simon Weston suffered terrible burns to half his body.

 

It was a stark lesson in the human cost of conflict as he endured operation after operation to repair the physical damage.

 

His charity, The Weston Spirit helped nearly fifty thousand underprivileged youngsters.

 

He is the author of two autobiographical volumes and a thriller- Cause of Death and is much in demand as broadcaster and motivational speaker.

 

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