Timeline

Golden Era
Scarlets Regional
Stradey Park
Supporters
The Early Years
War Time
  • The Outside Half Factory

    The Outside Half Factory

    The most talked about position in Welsh rugby is certainly outside half. It is a position that has seen a number of the greatest players over the years, with many of them also wearing the Scarlet number 10 shirt. In 2002, former Welsh international Eddie Butler compiled his list of the 10 greatest outside halves in the history of rugby union, with Llanelli’s Phil Bennett, Barry John and Jonathan Davies coming in second, third and fourth place, only trailing Australian great...

    A Centenary of Rugby

    A Centenary of Rugby

    Llanelli Rugby Club celebrated its centenary season in 1972-73. There is some debate about the exact beginning of the club in the 1870s. Records show the first meeting of the club was held in 1875 but it is claimed that...

    Cup Kings of the 1970’s

    Cup Kings of the 1970’s

    The 1970s was one of Llanelli RFC’s golden eras. With players like Delme Thomas, Ray Gravell, Derek Quinnell, JJ Williams and Phil Bennett, it was certainly one of the Scarlets’ most successful periods with a team known for skill and...

    The Carwyn Effect

    The Carwyn Effect

    Llanelli were one of the first clubs to introduce coaching and training during the 1960s when Ieuan Evans became head coach and Tom Hudson the fitness coach in 1966. Former Llanelli outside half Carwyn James took over from Evans at...

    Worldwide Reputation

    Worldwide Reputation

    The days of touring teams playing club sides seem to end during the 1990s, due to the number of competitions that clubs are now involved in. Before the days of the Welsh league or Challenge Cup, matches against touring teams...

    The day the pubs ran dry

    The day the pubs ran dry

    Tuesday 31 October 1972 is a day that will never be forgotten in Llanelli. It is a day that will go down in history as one of the finest achievements in Welsh club rugby as Llanelli rugby club defeated the mighty All Blacks at Stradey Park, but also a day when the town managed to completely run out of alcohol. The 26,000 people who were at Stradey Park that day will no doubt speak of the special atmosphere. It was...

  • The Best Team in Britain

    The Best Team in Britain

    Going into a new season, players and coaches can never know what to really expect from the campaign. In September 1992, who could have predicted the season that would follow for Llanelli? Looking back, it seems that the signs were there: a strong coaching team of Gareth Jenkins and Allan Lewis with 10 years of experience and a group of players that had won the Welsh Cup the two previous seasons. The season 1992-93 will go down as arguably the best...

    The Production Line

    The Production Line

    Throughout its 140-year history Llanelli RFC has been known for producing local talent, with a long list of players that have gone on to represent Wales and the Lions. This tradition continues to this day as the now semi-professional Llanelli...

    Semi Pro

    Semi Pro

    With the introduction of regional rugby in Wales before the 2003-04 season and the creation of the Scarlets regional side, Llanelli RFC became a semi-professional club playing in the Welsh Premiership. In 2012 the league was restructured to 12 teams...

    5000th Not Out

    5000th Not Out

    With a rich history of almost 140 years of rugby, Llanelli and the Scarlets reached another significant landmark in September 2011 when they played their 5,000th match. Since the club’s very first match in 1876, Llanelli has become a town...

    A new Dawn, A new Trophy

    A new Dawn, A new Trophy

    The 2003-04 season was a landmark season in Welsh rugby as it saw the introduction of regional rugby, moving away from the tradition clubs of South Wales to regional sides. This led to the birth of the Llanelli Scarlets, leaving...

  • Last Match at Stradey Park

    Last Match at Stradey Park

    October 24th 2008 marked the end of a famous chapter in the long history of rugby in Llanelli as Stradey Park closed its gates for the final time. Home of Llanelli RFC since 1879, Stradey developed over the years into a theatre of Welsh rugby and a ground firmly placed on the map of world rugby. The early 21st century was a time of great change in Welsh rugby. In 2003 the Scarlets regional side was born. The region enjoyed success...

    Funeral of Ray Gravell

    Funeral of Ray Gravell

    Thursday 15 November 2007 will forever be remembered as one of the most emotional days in the history of Stradey Park, Llanelli’s rugby ground for over 120 years. Ray Gravell from Mynydd y Garreg had been a Scarlets man since...

    International Matches

    International Matches

    The home of Llanelli since 1879, Stradey Park has been used on occasions for international matches. In 1887 Stradey was chosen to host Wales against England in the Home Nations Championship and a temporary stand was erected to accommodate paying...

    A Welsh Theatre of Dreams

    A Welsh Theatre of Dreams

    Llanelli’s first home was People’s Park, where the club played its first match in 1876 against Cambrian Club. At the time some matches were also played in Felinfoel, but in 1879 it was decided that the club needed to find...

    The Stradey Park Score Board

    The Stradey Park Score Board

    Built in November 1969 as a gift from then President W. John Thomas, the Stradey Park score board stood at the town end of the ground until the final match at the famous stadium in 2008. The historic manual score board...

    Who beat the Wallabies?

    Who beat the Wallabies?

    It seems that the Scarlets enjoy playing Australia. Throughout the rich 140-year history of the club, the Scarlets have faced a number of touring sides since the New Zealand Maoris were the first overseas visitors to Stradey in 1888. They left Llanelli defeated and several other teams have left these shores having succumbed to the ‘bois y sospan’. The Maoris have, in fact, never left Llanelli with a victory during their 3 visits. New Zealand have proven tough opponents, but were famously...

  • Good Old Sospan Fach

    Good Old Sospan Fach

    Llanelli, often referred to as ‘Tinopolis’ was long known as a town in which tin was manufactured, and in fact saucepan making was one of Llanelli’s biggest industries throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The ‘sospan’, as it would become known locally, developed into the emblem of the town and along with it came the famous Welsh song “Sospan Fach. The exact origin of the song is unknown. It is claimed by the mid Wales town of Llanwrtyd Wells,...

  • A New Wave Moves North

    A New Wave Moves North

    After the steady flow of players leaving for Rugby League in the first part of the 20th century, with players like Ike Fowler, Bryn Williams and Frank Evans moving north, fortunately star players like Albert Jenkins and Ivor Jones resisted moves north and remained with Llanelli. A new wave of departures began in the late 1940s and 1950s with Lewis Jones being a high profile departure in 1952 when he joined Leeds for £6,000. With Northern Union clubs offering big money...

    Beginnings

    Beginnings

    Llanelli Rugby Club was formed at a meeting held in the Athenaeum on 11 November 1875 in which around 30 people were present. Local industrialist John Henry Rogers chaired the meeting and it was decided that he should be named...

    The Club and Industry

    The Club and Industry

    In the 1870s Llanelli was a town centred on heavy industry with the growth of Copper and tinplate works in the town, with coal mining in the surrounding area. Two of the main founding members of Llanelli rugby club were...

    The Brewing Town

    The Brewing Town

    As well as the tinplate industry, Llanelli is also well known for its brewing, with both Felinfoel and Buckley’s having long traditions in the area. Buckley’s Brewery claims to be Wales’ oldest brewery. It appeared in the town in the late...

    A Timeless Tradition: The Bath Rag Doll

    A Timeless Tradition: The Bath Rag Doll

    Throughout the Scarlets’ rich history matches against English teams have always been closely contested due to cross-border rivalries, but one quirky tradition involving matches against Bath has lived on for nearly a hundred years. The Scarlets first faced Bath in 1896...

  • Players and the Military

    Players and the Military

    With the outbreak of the Second World War, a number of Llanelli players joined the military and played for military sides. Les Williams and Griff Bevan played for Devonport Services. Williams also played for the Navy and the Combined Services. Llanelli first played against Devonport Service in 1922 and they faced several military sides when fixtures resumed in 1945, such as R.A.F sides and the Royal Navy. One Llanelli player was awarded the Military Cross during the Second World War. W...

    Wartime in Llanelly

    Wartime in Llanelly

    Llanelli’s only fixture of the 1939-40 season, a 16-8 victory away to Felinfoel, turned out to be their last for six years, as war was declared the following day. In late September 1939 the Welsh Rugby Union declared a ban...

    Wartime Honours

    Wartime Honours

    It was declared by 1915 that over 30 of the 50 odd players that had played for Llanelly during the 1913-14 season had enlisted for war. The First World War saw three Llanelly Rugby Club players awarded with the Military...

    Enlisting for War

    Enlisting for War

    With the outbreak of the Great War in 1914, rugby fixtures were halted by Llanelly Rugby Club during the Committee Meeting of 1 September 1914. The minutes read: “That this committee of the Llanelly Rugby Football Club unanimously agree to cancel...