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Bernard Thomas

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TonduTurk View Drop Down
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    Posted: 12 September 2014 at 7:21am
Very sad news that former Llanelli outside-half Bernard Thomas passed away yesterday aged 62.


RIP BERNARD THOMAS
By Mark John | 12/09/2014

Bernard was born on the 8th July 1952 in Llanelli, and made his debut for Llanelli RFC at outside-half aged 18 years 3 months in October 1970 away to London Welsh, and the match was drawn 6 all.

Bernard played for Wales Youth and continued to play for Llanelli, touring South Africa in 1972 and Canada in 1973, and won his first Wales 'B' cap versus France 'B' in 1973. He also played 2 games for the Barbarians against Cardiff and Swansea in April 1974, and went to New Zealand in the Summer of 1974 and played for Wellington.

Bernard played 3 games for Swansea in 1975, and was playing for Llanelli when he was on the reserve list for the 1977 Lions Tour to NZ. Bernard followed Carwyn James out to Rovigo in 1977/78, but returned to Wales with Aberavon for the 1978/79, 1979/80, 1980/81 seasons before being persuaded to rejoin Llanelli by Norman Gale and playing his final game for the Club on the 26th January 1983 away to Newport where we lost 9-6.

Bernard played 199 games for Llanelli, scoring 35 tries, 62 conversions, 58 penalties and 17 drop-goals amassing a total of 488 points.

We send our sincere condolences to his family and friends x.

(stats from Les Williams).

http://www.llanellirfc.co.uk/Home/Page




Edited by TonduTurk - 12 September 2014 at 2:53pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote turkishrebel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 September 2014 at 8:06am
very very sad news, great scarlet and great man. deepest sympathy to all his family. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Red Army Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 September 2014 at 8:45am
Cracking player, could have gone further. Very young age too go. RIP Bernard.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote reesytheexile Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 September 2014 at 9:15am
Good player for Llanelli from the '70's. He was  was a good solid team player and like players such as Hefin/Andy Hill to suggest a few, it was unfortunate that he played at a time when Wales was doing so very well and players like Phil Bennett and others were also around. Depressingly young age to leave us.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote aber-fan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 September 2014 at 9:42am
Originally posted by reesytheexile reesytheexile wrote:

Good player for Llanelli from the '70's. He was  was a good solid team player and like players such as Hefin/Andy Hill to suggest a few, it was unfortunate that he played at a time when Wales was doing so very well and players like Phil Bennett and others were also around. Depressingly young age to leave us.


That about sums it up. A very good player, who'd have had more honours but for the talent around at the time. Nowadays, with so many more tests, players of his quality win many caps even if they are not 'first choice'. A sad loss.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote reesytheexile Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 September 2014 at 10:26am
Originally posted by aber-fan aber-fan wrote:

Originally posted by reesytheexile reesytheexile wrote:

Good player for Llanelli from the '70's. He was  was a good solid team player and like players such as Hefin/Andy Hill to suggest a few, it was unfortunate that he played at a time when Wales was doing so very well and players like Phil Bennett and others were also around. Depressingly young age to leave us.


That about sums it up. A very good player, who'd have had more honours but for the talent around at the time. Nowadays, with so many more tests, players of his quality win many caps even if they are not 'first choice'. A sad loss.
And thats very true aber-fan when you think of players being elevated to training with Wales or getting caps so very quickly and almost with indecent haste. Bernard I also recall looked  very 'baby faced'/ youthful compared to his contemporaries with the assocoated hair and trendiness of the '70's, but he was a good footballer -played centre to for us as an utility back I recall. Like Hefin and indeed Grav all to young an age to leave us.
"I'd rather have been a judge than a miner.Being a miner,as soon as you are too old and tired and sick and stupid to do the job properly,you have to go.The very opposite applies with judges!"P.Cook
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (3) Thanks(3)   Quote Ciderman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 September 2014 at 10:39am
Bernard was always good value for money, as kids we used to love watching him play....maybe because he had a little bit of rock and roll about him, a real maverick, but a superb player nonetheless.
Nos da young man, and thank you for some wonderful memories.

Edited by Ciderman - 12 September 2014 at 10:42am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote RR1972 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 September 2014 at 10:55am
RIP Bernard
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Turkish Fez Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 September 2014 at 11:24am
Now that has shocked me as he always looked so young in his playing days. RIP.

Edited by Turkish Fez - 12 September 2014 at 11:41am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote s.pimpernel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 September 2014 at 12:25pm
Just seen this. Very sad news indeed. Yet another of the 70s golden generation gone. RiP and condolences to his family and friends.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote TonduTurk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 September 2014 at 2:01pm
if anyone has any further info about Bernard, or knows what Clubs he played for before or after Llanelli, please let me know and it will be added to the article.

thank you.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote s.pimpernel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 September 2014 at 2:43pm
Originally posted by TonduTurk TonduTurk wrote:

if anyone has any further info about Bernard, or knows what Clubs he played for before or after Llanelli, please let me know and it will be added to the article.

thank you.


Top of my head, it was Furnace RFC. I'm sure there is a picture of him in the lounge when he got his Welsh youth caps.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Red Army Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 September 2014 at 2:46pm
He had a spell in Italy.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote TonduTurk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 September 2014 at 2:51pm
fair play to Rovigo -

(rugby is a wonderful game)

Rovigo Rugby Tweet ‏@rugbyrovitweet
Ciao Bernard!





article translated from their website -



It was their son, in April 2012, to organize the return of Rovigo Bernard Thomas (photo) after 35 years. When he walked into camp was pure talent, one of those who know how to put together elegance and genius.

He was born and raised in Llanelli, where, as they say in these parts, beats the heart of Welsh rugby. In red and blue has racked up 33 appearances with 200 points scored (5 goals, 38 penalty, drop 8, 21 conversions).

Rovigo - The news was given by his son Philip. At the age of 62 years in Llanelli (Wales) died Bernard Thomas , the unforgettable protagonist of the opening of the Welsh league red and blue of 1976 and the unlucky next season, the playoff of Udine. had been their son, in April of 2012 to organize the return of Rovigo Bernard after 35 years . Six years ago he was diagnosed with bowel cancer and had been operated successfully. In recent months, unfortunately, the disease recurred and this time for "Bernardo," as it was called by his red and blue teammates, there was nothing to be done. Let's son Philip and his second wife, with whom he had been to Rovigo last time. To someone like Bernard Thomas was impossible not to love. A little 'daredevil, an almost instinctive indiscipline, but he had that face eternal boy which made ​​it impossible not forgive him his gift, something I knew the late Ercole Ponzetti, president of the Rovigo at that time, and the ds of that period, Franco Olivieri. But when he went into the field Thomas was pure talent, one of those who know how to put together elegance and genius. He was born and raised in Llanelli, where, as they say in these parts, beats the heart of Welsh rugby . A little 'as Rovigo in Italy. Perhaps for this reason in our city have found an ideal environment also other characters from that town wedged between the hills of South Wales.

John Welch, the first Welshman in the history of Rovigo, but especially Carwyn James, one of the most important of all British rugby, just came from there. Bernard Thomas was a great player and as a young man burned the stages so as to come into the first team at just 18 years old. But in those years, Llanelli was called "the fly half factory," the factory OF THE openings. Fate of a strange design to Stradey Park, the historic city stadium, now demolished, between the 70s and 80s played some OF THE most strong openings in the world. Began in the early 70s Barry John, then it was the turn of Phil Bennett who for a decade is glued on the shoulders of the jersey number 10 Llanelli and Wales.

To play in the first team Bernard Thomas would have had to climb over one of the myths of world rugby, that in 1973, in the match between Barbarians and All Blacks, gave start with three "side step" the goal of the century. So Bernard had to be content to play other roles, such as heart or extreme, but even there the competition was huge. Let's not forget that in those years the Llanelli was one of the strongest clubs in the world, so as to be able to beat even New Zealand. The talent of Bernard, however, could not go unnoticed, and so came the call with the Wales B and especially the one with the Barbarians with whom he played two matches. For a guy in his early twenties was not bad, but he wanted the jersey number 10 of Llanelli. The road, however, was closed. This is also why Bernard accepted the proposal of Rovigo. His debut with the red and blue (for the truth on that occasion the shirt was an unprecedented biancoceleste) occurred in the pre-season friendly match against Brescia at Este. It took those first 80 minutes to figure out that the boy had cloth. Body slender, but very fast in the movements, and especially the quality of the game to the foot. It was with him that in Rovigo this aspect of the game, also because of the presence of a technician as Julien Saby, assumed a key role. kick the ball to him was not a way to get rid of it, but a tactic to gain field, to run the 'opponent backwards. The feet, however, is not only used them to draw perfect and precise trajectories, but also to unleash his imagination forward with its sudden coils and with those fantastic "side step" which until that time had only seen on television . His first season in Rovigo was a bit 'strange. Before the season he decided to return to Wales where he played a few games with Swansea. Seemed destined to remain at home, but then came back to play Rovigo for much of the second round of a championship that ended with the success of the red and blue in Brescia that earned him the title.

Among the defining moments of the run of Rovigo on Brescia there was a kick Thomas in the final minutes of the derby against Treviso in Monigo that allowed the red and blue to win 15 to 13. Soon he made ​​to get in tune with the team, however, where the young men were the majority. learned the songs of Rovigo and it was a hoot to hear him, along with Os and Dirk Wiese Naude, intoned in the unlikely not to mention an Italian dialect. During the season 1977 he played 25 of 27 games, including the dramatic playoff with Petrarch in Udine. Then he went home because he was growing up in Rovigo opening hopefuls like Stephen Bettarello who has had the privilege to see him play and train with him. In practice, Bernard Thomas played for Rovigo a season and a half, during which he formed a partnership with unforgettable Angelo Visentin, one of the strongest couples medians of history of the red and blue. A period is not very long, but enough to finish it straight into the hearts of fans Rovigo with his mop of blond boy who was so naughty "British" in a city unaccustomed to the presence of foreigners.

His greatest merit was to have led to Rovigo, where he was rebuilding effort with a team that not many years before had risked relegation, the high-level rugby. His play, his insights, his style, were new things, sprouts were a rugby was passing from the stage of confusion in a more structured mode of Wales which she of those years was the undisputed protagonist. This was also the decisive role of the coach Julien Saby, with which, in fact, Thomas did not have an excellent relationship. Difficult to reconcile the rigor and discipline that demanded the Frenchman with the creative and rebellious spirit of the Welsh player. But Bernard, not just in rugby, but also in life where not everything has gone smoothly, it was done so. Take it or leave it. A leave, now, was he died of a disease that is not made ​​intimidated by his feints and its magic to the foot. Ones if you keep them in the memories do not forget the fans of the red and blue .     

Roberto Roversi


The career

Bernard Thomas was born in Llanelli the July 8, 1952. It was soon revealed among the most promising young Llanelli much to begin in the first team at age 18 in October of 1970 against London Welsh. Llanelli With the way he also toured the South Africa and Canada. In 1973 he also played with Wales B and in April of the following year he had the honor to play two games with the Barbarians in the classic Easter tour of the most famous club in the world by addressing invitations Cardiff and Swansea. During the summer of 1974 Thomas went to New Zealand where he played with the Wellington . It was in 1975 in Rovigo, but after a few games with the the red and blue returned to Wales for some time playing with the Swansea, clubs in which was transferred as in Llanelli was locked in his role by the great Phil Bennett. Thomas, however, he returned to Rovigo to play the second part of the season, providing a major contribution to winning the league . We next championship his stay in Rovigo was more continuous. Rovigo left the opening Welsh played in three seasons with the Aberavon before returning to play with the Llanelli with which he ended his rugby career on January 26, 1983 losing to Newport for 9 to 6. Bernard Thomas played 199 games with the Llanelli scoring 488 points (35 goals, 58 penalty, drop 17 and 62 conversions), while his record in 33 appearances in the red and blue are made ​​with 200 points (5 goals, 38 penalty, drop 8, 21 conversions).

Rest In Peace Bernardo.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote LLANDRE Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 September 2014 at 2:53pm
His son Phil taught PE in Dyffryn Taf for a while and played rugby for Narberth. I believe hes teaching in Cardiff now. Im just a little too young to remember him.playing but he was a class act by all accounts. Too young to.depart this life. Sympathy to all his family and friends.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote s.pimpernel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 September 2014 at 4:01pm
Originally posted by LLANDRE LLANDRE wrote:

His son Phil taught PE in Dyffryn Taf for a while and played rugby for Narberth. I believe hes teaching in Cardiff now. Im just a little too young to remember him.playing but he was a class act by all accounts. Too young to.depart this life. Sympathy to all his family and friends.


He was a class act whose career sadly coincided with that of Barry John, Benny and John Bevan.

Edited by s.pimpernel - 12 September 2014 at 4:02pm
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