Dictionary of Welsh Biography



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BIGGS , NORMAN ( 1870 - 1908 ), Wales and Cardiff Rugby wing threequarter . Born 3 Nov. 1870 in Cardiff , third son of John Biggs . Educated at University College , Cardiff , and Trinity Hall , Cambridge , he subsequently entered his father's business in Cardiff . He was the most famous of a large family of footballers who all played for Cardiff . He played his first game in the Cardiff XV against Penarth on 9 March 1887 . Between 1889 and 1894 he played for Wales on eight occasions. It is said that Biggs 's best contribution to his country on the field of play was at Raeburn-place , Edinburgh , in 1893 , when his speed and general play were the main factors in securing the first victory of the Principality over Scotland at Scotland , and the winning of this match brought the ‘ Triple Crown ’ to Wales for the first time.

In 1891-2 Biggs played for Richmond , assisted Cambridge University while in residence, and also helped the London Welsh . In 1893-4 he succeeded T. W. Pearson as captain of the Cardiff side, and it was on New Year's Day, during his captaincy, that Gwyn Nicholls played his first game for the Cardiff club .

On the outbreak of the Boer War he volunteered for active service and joined the Glamorgan Yeomanry as a trooper , but was later promoted to the rank of captain . After the South African war he returned to England , was seconded to the Colonial Forces , and later went out to Northern Nigeria as military district superintendent of police . He was killed 27 Feb. 1908 , being hit by a poisoned arrow in a brush with natives whilst on patrol duty .

Bibliography:

  • Cardiff Rugby Football Club History , 113;
  • South Wales Daily News , 4 March 1908 ;
  • The Times , 4 March 1908 ;
  • W. J. T. Collins , Rugby Recollections , 1948 , 116.

Author:

Dr Moelwyn Idwal Williams, M.A., Aberystwyth