Maeer, Bob

Maeer, Bob

The 1907-08 season was a very poor season for the Pontypridd Rugby Football Club. The majority of games had been lost, and something had to be done to rectify this. For the 1908-09 season the Match Committee went searching for local talent, and when the new season started the first team had a completely new look. The threequarters were all completely new men, and only a few of the old forwards remained in the pack. One of these, was Bob Maeer, who became a regular that season, and there was a marked turn around of results that must have pleased the local sports enthusiasts, as the crowds began to rise from fifty to a fewhundred to watch the home fixtures.

At this period Pontypridd RFC had been competing in the Glamorgan League since it began in 1894, and for such a big town the local club had been conspicuous by its lack of success. The only time they had finished winners of the competition was season 1900-01, when the team led by Rowley Thomas secured early away victories that ultimately secured the championship.

The 1909-10 season was looked upon with enthusiasm by both players and supporters of the Pontypridd Rugby Club. The team was captained by Morgan Griffiths, and included Roy McGregor, who would later play for Scotland, and Frank Hawkins, who would later play for Wales.

The early games that season went well, and only a narrow 9-0 defeat at Neath had blotted their copy-book when they began their Glamorgan League fixtures with a home narrow 3-0 victory over the formidable Llwynypia team. Pontypridd followed this up with another 3-0 victory at Ferndale, and a 4-0 victory at Treorchy. In November Pontypridd travelled to another undefeated team, Mountain Ash, where the latter secured a 7-3 victory. In December Pontypridd secured another 3-0 victory, this time at Treherbert, and on Christmas Eve defeat Penygraig 13-7 at Ynysangharad Park. On Boxing Day just hung on for a 8-5 win over Ferndale.

On New Years Eve, Pontypridd played in a first home fixture against Swansea, where the famous Jack Bancroft played very poorly, and he was reported in the local newspaper as being a "spent force". Swansea won this game 8-0. As the games past by, Pontypridd continued at the top of the league until a 15-8 defeat at Treorchy on April 1st, and a draw at Llwynypia the following weak saw Treorchy go joint top. With the fixtures now completed the league committee ordered a play-off at Ynysangharad Park on April 24th 1911, and one in which Pontypridd narrowly triumphed by 5-3, to be crowned champions.
Newspaper reports of these games at this period were very small, and Bob Mears was mentioned only once or twice during the whole season, but undoubtedly he was an important part of the championship team.

On Wednesday August 12th 1911, an entertaining Dinner and Presentation evening was held by the Pontypridd RFC at the Bridge Hotel, Pontypridd, when the players were presented with medals to commemorate the successful season experienced during the last winter. Prior to the Dinner the players were photographed in the Ynysangharad grounds.

Mr. Teddy Lewis presided over the proceedings in the unavoidable absence of Mr. Ack Llewellin (WRU). In making the presentations, Mr. Lewis dwelt upon the success which attended the efforts of the club last season, when they won the Glamorgan League after aplay-off.

Mr. Morgan Griffiths, the captain, responded on behalf of himself and the players. Medals were presented to the following : Johnny Thomas, Charlie Culverwell, Frank Hawkins, Nick Kehoe, Jack Ryan, J. Hopkins, Bob Maeer, L. Williams, Pc Jones, Pc Evans, Thomas Jones, J. Rees, Jack Elliott, T. Shepherd, and Jos O'Neil (Chairman) and Lloyd Jones (Secretary).
During the evening songs were rendered by messrs Johnny Thomas, Sid Raynish, F. Morgan, S. Culliford and other players. A fine time was had by all, and everyone looked forward to continued success in the new season.

During the summer of 1911 several players retired from playing. Bob Maeer is reported in the team at Neath on September 9th 1911, but not again that season. This doesn't mean he didn't play again that season, but that there are limited records.

Robert David Maeer, like most early Pontypridd players, was not Welsh, but was born in Lyme Regis, Dorset. He had travelled to Wales seeking employment in the coal industry,and worked underground at a local Colliery. He married a local girl, and had three children, Robert, who was the eldest; Jenny and the youngest, Glenys. Maeer died at home in 1965-66 at the age of 79 or 80.

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