Davies, Rees

Davies, Rees

Rees Davies was a Pontypridd winger for two short terms in the mid-1890s, and like many Ponty players of the time became a policeman. The ‘Glamorgan Free Press’ gave his player profile during the 1895-96 season:-

In Rees Davies, Pontypridd have someone to be proud of, particularly those who have watched him play for Pontypridd. A native of Aberystwyth, he came and settled with his parents in Coedpenmaen at an early age. When old enough he attended Coedpenmaen Schools, where he evinced much interest in athletics. When he was sixteen he joined the Coedpenmaen Stars for a time, captained by George Nash, and has ever since been a prominent figure in the football field and on the cinder path.

He played for the Stars for some time, and also the Pontypridd Crusaders (the chainworks team), and under the captaincy of Willie Howells, his position being wing threequarter. While still a member of the Stars he played for Pontypridd seconds. After remaining a couple of years with the junior organisation, he took his position in the premier team, the skipper being 'our own' international - Ernest George.

The first match Rees Davies was engaged in was played on Taff Vale Park against Llwynypia, when the homesters won by one goal and four tries, of which two tries were scored by Rees Davies. Before the termination of the season Davies took to running. His first opponent was George Clarke, Cilfynydd, whom he beat by three yards in a 120 yard level race. At the ensuing Merthyr Sports day he made a match with a well known runner named Tom Davies, Llwydcoed, for a 120 yards race for 20 aside, and a £10 bet. The run came off at Aberdare Junction (now known as Abercynon) six weeks later, when Rees once more left his man behind. Not long after this he took a trip to Aberystwyth to visit relatives. There happened to be a sports day on there at the time, and in the spirit of fun, he accepted a wager to race a pony in a 100 yards level race for £5 aside, and won by a short head!

On his return to Pontypridd, he joined the police force, but returned his uniform within three weeks! During that short space of time though, he played for the local police against Bridgend and Dinas Powis, scoring two tries in the first game and one in the second.

He again threw in his lot with the Pontypridd first team, still captained by Ernest George, and played his first match against Neath, when he was considered the best threequarter on the field. After that he played against Llanelly, when he marked Cliff Bowen, the Welsh International wing, who didn't score that game. In the following weeks Davies played against Mountain Ash, wherein he met Billy Bradford, another Pontypridd winger, and as there was some rivalry between them, a 120 yard race for £25 was arranged, and it came off seven weeks later, with the result that Rees Davies won by three yards.

He subsequently won several more races, two of which were at Cadoxton. One of his antagonists there was Townsend of Bridgend, whom Davies beat in a 440 yard race, though giving him 36 yards start. He now rejoined the police force, and today the streets of Caerphilly are being patrolled by 5ft -11 inches of police man numbered 171. He has done no more path work, but has on several occasions rendered useful service to the county constabulary team in their matches.

Rees Davies is only twenty years of age, but, as stated, in all over athlete. Surely he is a good claim for international honours?

Rees Davies later served in Pontypridd Ferndale, and for eight years at Maesteg. He served the South African War with the Denbighshire Yeomanry, and on his transfer to the Remington Scouts was promoted to the rank of provost-sergeant. On returning to this country at the conclusion of the war he rejoined the Glamorgan Constabulary, and was in charge of the Treherbert police station as Merit-sergeant, and was soon promoted to inspector. His playing career as a wing-threequarter had encompased playing for Pontypridd, Glamorgan Police, Treherbert, Neath, and Aberavon. He was also a noted sprinter, and had the distinction of winning the 100 yards race open to all the forces in South Africa in 1902.

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