13 May 2018 / Club News

Bridgend Athletic RFC pays tribute to Gareth Williams

Sadly, on Saturday evening former Bridgend, Wales & Lions player Gareth Williams passed away following a long debilitating illness. Wales on Line recently featured an article highlighting Gareth’s great courage in the battle he fought and his wife Claire’s devotion to him during this time.


There is a great family connection between Gareth & BARFC. Both on the Williams side and the Apsee’s through him marrying brothers head coach John and former player and sponsor Simon’s sister Claire.


Gareth as a teacher in Maesteg and already a rugby star helped coach the Athletic youth on a Thursday evening at Bryntirion Comprehensive school when John and Simon were Athletic youth players in the formative youth seasons of the Athletic. Gareth frequently gave his time freely to the Athletic to present awards and attend fund raising dinners. He gave the club one of his treasured Lions jerseys which hangs today in the clubhouse. When ill in 2015 he made the special effort to come along to the Athletic POY Night to present the Player of the Year and Club Captain’s award to his nephew and Athletic stalwart and still a 1ST XV regular Sean Williams.


Gareth’s son Mark played for the Athletic as did his younger brothers Robert and Owain’s sons. Sean, the Jockey Kristian and Joe sons of Robert and Henri son of Owain. On the Apsee side by marriage Claire’s father John was a founder of J.H. Apsee & Son’s – the Athletics’ longest sponsor. Her brothers Simon now the MD of the business and John the current Head Athletic coach also played both youth and senior rugby at the Athletic. Simon also played for Bridgend as did John after playing for Maesteg and Wales B. Simon’s son Rhodri now with Bridgend and John’s son Dan now with Glamorgan Wanderers have also played many times for the Athletic including both this season on permit. They are both current Maltese Internationals.


Bridgend Athletic RFC offer sincere condolences to Gareth’s family and thank Gareth for all he did for the Athletic, and for the continuing support of members of his family.

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