It is with massive regret and heartfelt sadness that Llandovery RFC notes the tragic death of Arwel Davies – “Arwel Penlan” – “Arwel Ad-Clad”. The devastating news that we received on Thursday afternoon, 8th July 2021, has brought grown men to tears, such was the affection we have for Arwel, Laura, Owen & Sofia and we of course pass on our very sincerest condolences to Laura and the entire Davies family. The Penlan family have been associated with Llandovery RFC for at least three generations and Arwel was truly a son of the club, he epitomised everything that is positive about our club, our community and certainly the Davies family. Roedd e’n hael, brwd, siriol, caredig a rhywun roeddwn yn hynod falch i’w gael fel rhan o’m teulu. Arwel was one of a “Band of Brothers” (both literally and metaphorically) who have played youth and senior rugby together for years and he and Ioan were still the glue that has kept our second XV going through some challenging times and it was great, just a few days ago, to see Arwel and Ioan enjoying a training session followed by a chat and a catch up in the clubhouse afterwards. Arwel’s enthusiasm was not just limited to our playing fields as he had also adopted his father’s hobby of ballooning, and it was always a great pleasure to see the Ad-Clad balloon drifting up and down the Towy valley with Arwel at the controls. The skies above Llanwrda will be that little bit emptier now.
In true rugby spirit, Arwel stepped forward to coach the next generation and joined the coaching team of the Llandovery Junior Drovers. From the very first week, Arwel’s vast rugby experience shone through, shaping the team into a very competent and well drilled side. The most important legacy Arwel leaves with his team, is the enjoyment of the game. He coached with a smile on his face, and had encouraging words for every member of the team. Arwel was elected to the role of Junior Drovers Vice-Chairman, a testament to the respect with which he was held, and in true Arwel style committed himself fully. During one Sunday morning training session, on a whim, Arwel drove home and returned with his beloved hot air balloon. Arwel wanted all the Junior Drovers to enjoy the spectacle of seeing the hot air balloon rise into the air above Church Bank, which they all did with smiles on their faces.
Arwel – o’i gyfarfod unwaith, fe’i cofier am byth, unwaith yn Borthmon wastad yn Borthmon
There will be further opportunities to record Arwel’s huge contribution to the Drovers and indeed the community at large and to celebrate his, all too short life, but in the meantime we are sure everyone associated with the Drovers will be taking a few moments of their own time to reflect on how we have lost a great young man and how our loss can only be a fraction of that felt by Laura, Owen, Sofia, Ioan, Catrin, Eirian and Martin. Our thoughts, our prayers are with you today and always.
Peter Rees, Chairman Llandovery RFC and Carwyn Jones, Chairman Llandovery Junior Drovers