Memories of Albert Jenkins

Rees Thomas, wing forward talking about Albert Jenkins;

“When I arrived home from work, I saw that someone had conveniently left a copy of the ‘Llanelly Mercury’ on the kitchen table.  However, before I had time to pick up and read the newspaper the family rushed in and announced the good news.  Llanelli were about to embark on a tour of Cornwall over the Easter Holidays and I had been chosen to represent the Scarlets.  This was a dream come true because in those days every boy in the area wanted to play for Llanelli. But for me there was also something else – I would be playing in the same team as Albert.

If Albert were alive today he would be a millionaire – he was a genius, a real superstar.  He was a big man, his two hands like spades that came from his job as a Loader in the North Dock.  You should see the way he handled bags of potatoes – anyone would think they were bags of crisps!  As well as being powerful, Albert was also quick, especially over the first ten years and he could kick the ball.  He was as good as George Nepia, which is praise indeed!

He could also read the game astutely, pick out the weakness in the opposition and if some youngster was unfortunate enough to be playing at full back – look out! Despite all the attention he received, Albert Jenkins was a quiet man.  I remember one incident when he played at Newport and after the match we had to attend a dinner at the town’s Westgate Hotel.  All the important people of the town were there and as team captain, Albert was asked to say a few words.  When his turn came, he was nowhere to be seen – he had crept out of the room by crawling under the tables!”

Extract from ‘Stradey Stories’ by Alun Wyn Bevan

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