Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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TREW , WILLIAM JOHN ( 1878 - 1926 ), Wales and Swansea rugby centre three-quarter ;

b. 1878 , he was one of the most distinguished of a famous band of rugby centre three-quarters who played for Wales at the beginning of the present century. Trew was first ‘capped’ for Wales in 1900 and by 1913 he had appeared in no fewer than twenty-nine international matches and had captained the Welsh XV on many occasions. Although primarily a centre three-quarter , he at one time shared the duties at half-back with R. M. Owen (q.v.) , and together they developed an attacking technique which invariably bewildered and confused their opponents. Trew captained the Swansea team on the famous occasion in Dec. 1912 , when, after Wales had lost to the South Africans , Swansea beat that famous combination by a try to nothing. A great incident in Trew 's career was the demonstration following on Wales winning the Triple Crown in 1908 . After Wales had beaten Ireland at Swansea in the last match, Trew was carried triumphantly through the town in a procession of thousands of people. At the time of his death, Trew was the licensee of the Brooklands Hotel , Oxford Street , Swansea . He was married and had four children. He d. 20 Aug. 1926 .


  • W. J. T. Collins , Rugby Recollections (1948) , 15;
  • The Times , 21 Aug. 1926 ;
  • Western Mail , 21 Aug. 1926 .


Dr Moelwyn Idwal Williams, M.A., Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959