Ken Jones

For many he will be best remembered as the man who scored the vital try that helped Wales to beat New Zealand at Cardiff Arms Park in 1953 - the last time Wales beat the All Blacks. The flying Newport winger latched on to a cross-from Clem Thomas with five minutes left to play and transformed an 8-8 draw into a famous 13-8 Welsh victory. 

His rugby statistics include 145 tries in 293 games for Newport, a record 17 Welsh tries in a world record 44 international appearances, three Tests for the British & Irish Lions and two Grand Slams. 

But inter-twined in one of the great rugby careers is a love affair with athletics that led to him being crowned the sprint champion of India, being presented with an Olympic gold medal and winning medals for Britain at the European Championships and Wales at the Empire and Commonwealth Games. 

And let’s not forget he won the Welsh 100 and 220 yards sprint double on seven occasions, the sequence only being broken in 1950 when he was on tour with the Lions in Australia and New Zealand. He won an eighth 220 yards crown and added a 16th title for good measure in the long jump in 1949. He also equalled the English native and Welsh record for 100 yards with a time of 9.8 seconds. 

In quiet moments he would often admit that his greatest achievement was clocking 10.6 seconds in the semi-finals of the Olympic 100 metres in London in 1948. He went on to run in the final of the 4 x 100 metres or Great Britain was actually called out onto the podium to be presented with the gold medal after the Americans were briefly disqualified. 

There was no disgrace in being returned to silver medallists, however, and that medal was soon joined by another silver medal with the British quartet at the 1954 European Championships and a bronze medal for Wales in the 200 metres at the Empire and Commonwealth Games in Vancouver. 

He was the first Welsh Sportsman of the Year in 1955, ran the baton containing the Queen’s speech into Cardiff Arms Park at the opening ceremony of the 1958 Commonwealth Games, was awarded the OBE for his services to sport in 1960 and became one of the inaugural 10 members on the Welsh Sports Hall of Fame’s ‘Roll of Honour’ in the early nineties.

Welsh Athletics Ltd.
Cardiff International Sports Stadium
Leckwith Road
Cardiff. CF11 8AZ.

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