Valley pays tribute to a sporting great
7:02pm Monday 21st October 2013 in Sport
The Amman Valley rugby family has come together this week to pay tribute to Phil John, the man who played an instrumental role in nurturing young talent for the Ospreys and Wales.
Originally from Gowerton, Phil moved to the area after marrying sweetheart Sharon and became an integral part of the region’s sporting scene.
Glanaman’s Wales wizard Shane Williams was just one of the many youngsters whose understanding of the game was shaped by Phil.
“I was fortunate enough to have known Phil for a long time,” Shane told the Guardian.
“He mentored me as youngster and was actually one of the most qualified coaches around so it goes without saying that he taught me an awful lot.
“But more importantly I could call him a friend. We shared many a conversation and pint or two in the Amman club.
“He will be massively missed and I send my condolences and best wishes to Sharon and the family.”
Amman United’s Alun Rees was club captain when Phil joined the club.
“I had the pleasure of working closely with Phil while I was captain at Amman Utd, “said Alun. “No more so than during our Centenary year in 2003/2004.
“Everything Phil did was based on discipline, high standards and a good work ethic.
“It was a culture shock for us to find we were expected to be on time and smartly dressed for games all of a sudden.
“Phil's professional attitude and coaching ability made you realise that it was only a matter of time before his services would be sought after elsewhere; later taking a position with the Ospreys Academy.
“I can think of no better person to develop the game's emerging young talent.
“His no-nonsense attitude on the training field was matched only by his sense of humour off it. Phli was always prepared to give anyone a chance.”
Amman United club chairman Darrel Campbell added: “Phil was one of the game's genuine good guys; a gentleman who will be greatly missed in our valley and beyond.”
WRU colleague Jeff Roach said: “It’s a total shock for the whole of the Amman Valley.
“I worked closely with him, he was a friend, a colleague and a top guy who will be sorely missed.”
Phil died last weekend after a short illness.
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