13 November 2019 / Club News

Terry Williams Remembered.

The village of Maerdy and the wider Rhondda community were able to show their respects and  mourn the death of a truly unique individual who placed himself for the service of others. Terry Williams, affectionately known as TT, sadly passed away on May 31st with his funeral taking place in Ferndale Morlais Hall and later at Glyntaff Crematorium. Friends, family and representatives of the many organisations Terry belonged to, gathered at the two venues. Former head teacher and current BBC Radio presenter Roy Noble was present along with Scrum 5’s Phil Steele.

Terry held many roles as a volunteer in a number of organisations, using his unsurpassed organisational skills to serve in many capacities at All Saints Church in Maerdy, Ferndale Morlais Choir, Rhondda Rotary Club, Christ Church Cricket Club and Tylorstown Community Rugby Football Club. After leaving St Luke’s College in Exeter Terry became a teacher and for forty years Terry influenced countless children to do their best and promoted the playing of rugby whenever he could! Terry taught at Porth Grammar Tech initially on his return from London and a short spell as an officer in the Royal Air Force and ended his teaching career as Head Teacher at Cymmer Secondary School. When Terry, who was bilingual, was headteacher at Cymmer, it was under his stewardship that the school transitioned into a Welsh medium provision.

Terry was born in Pentre Road in Maerdy on May 13 1930 and was always proud of his Maerdy roots. Huw Morris, retired head teacher of Porth Junior School, affectionately expressed in his eulogy how much Terry’s passion for Maerdy shone through. Terry’s friendship with Roy Noble developed due to Terry regularly ringing in to Roy’s radio show and promoting Maerdy at every chance he had! Terry played the organ at All Saints Church and was a mainstay on the parish council always looking to further the cause for the people of Maerdy.

Terry was a rugby man and his influence stretched far and wide. Sir Wyn Williams QC in his eulogy conveyed Terry’s immense impact on others through his passion for rugby. Sir Wyn first encountered Terry as a 15 year old on a short rugby tour and expressed that Mr Williams was always listened to by the pupils due to his assertive manner of speaking! Colleagues who taught with Terry always commented that he had vast experience within education and was always volunteering his time to help run sports teams.

Terry’s devotion to rugby enabled many boys and girls to take up the game and he helped set up the Rhondda Schools Rugby Organisation in the 1960s which gave the platform to future Welsh internationals such as Maerdy’s Lee Beach, Morgan Stoddard and former Welsh captain Matthew Rees.  In 2017, Ray Wilton and a deputation from the WRU presented Terry with a Rhondda Schools cap in recognition of his unstinting service to the Rhondda Schools and Welsh Schools rugby. At the recent Rhondda Schools’ Presentation evening, Chris Jones the head coach and close friend of Terry spoke movingly about Terry’s commitment to rugby in the locality and the loyalty he had to everyone associated with Rhondda Rugby. An emotional minutes applause followed as a mark of respect.

Terry will be remembered with great affection at Tylorstown Community RFC. He served the club as a player and committee man for nearly 70 years, including president for 27 years. In 2017 the club organised an evening to commemorate Terry reaching 25 years as its longest ever serving president. As patron of Ferndale Morlais Choir, the choir sang many of his favourite songs in a lovely evening with Sir Wyn outlining the numerous roles within the club that Terry had over the years to ensure that Tylorstown were able to field teams. It was Terry’s vision for Tylorstown to have its own clubhouse and this vision was realised in 1966 when the clubhouse was built. Roy Noble, a frequent visitor called it “the bungalow with no windows”.

Terry possessed a great sense of humour. One of Terry’s duties was to write the match reports and he prided himself on trying to improve Tylorstown supporters’ literacy skills. His use of the word “ubiquitous” in many of his reports always raised eyebrows. Witnessing Terry sitting on his deck chair with pen and paper in hand expressing his frustration verbally in the Welsh language was something to behold.

Terry was president of Christ Church Cricket Club and both Terry and his wife Mair enjoyed watching his step sons Gareth and Gwyn Francis playing for The Church along with their grandsons David and Sam.

Terry was a true gentleman, he was always polite and courteous to others and always adopted a half full rather than half empty attitude. Tragically, Terry lost his first wife Maureen over 30 years ago and his son Huw passed away almost 10 years ago. Despite these personal tragedies Terry continued to maintain a high profile within the community supporting many good causes and attending charitable functions as often as he could.

Terry was instrumental in raising money for good causes in his duties at the Rhondda Rotary Club. For many years Terry was the Rhondda Rotary Club secretary. He was also president in 1989/90 and was awarded the Paul Harris Fellowship in 2005 which is Rotary’s highest award. The Rotary’s motto is SERVICE ABOVE SELF. It is clear that Terry’s actions followed this motto as Terry’s life has been one of remarkable service to the community he loved so dearly.

Sincere condolences go to Mair, his daughter Melanie, daughter in law Kita and step sons Gareth and Gwyn. Terry was also a grandfather of 9, and recently a great grandfather.

Terry died peacefully at home after a prolonged illness.

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