Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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JENKINS , ALBERT EDWARD ( 1895 - 1953 ), rugby player ;

b. 11 Mar. 1895 at Llanelli, Carms. , he became the town's idol. His talent on the rugby field flowered when he played as full back for the 38th Division during World War I , but it was as a centre for Llanelli club that he came into prominence. Llanelli was the most successful club for a period during the 1920s , with men like Dai John , Ernie Finch and Ifor Jones in its ranks, but it was ‘ Albert ’ who inspired them. Although he was not tall (5 foot 8 inches) he weighed over twelve and a half stone. He could sprint, had a powerful tackle, and a kick like a donkey from the hand and from the ground. He could time his pass to his wing perfectly. He was never selfish but he could change the course of the game on his own. Between 1920 and 1928 he won 14 caps for Wales , and could have won many more but for the foolishness of the selectors of that time. It was generally thought, both then and since, that he was one of the best centres Wales ever had. He captained Wales on his last international appearance, at the age of 33, against Ireland in 1928 . He refused more than once an offer to play rugby league. He d. 7 Oct. 1953 , and was honoured with a civic funeral by the borough of Llanelli .

Sources:

  • J.B.G. Thomas , Great rugger players, 1900-1954 , London, 1955 (1955) ;
  • David Smith and Gareth Williams , Fields of Praise. The official history of the Welsh Rugby Union 1881-1981 , Cardiff, 1980 (1980) ;
  • Llanelli Mercury , 8 Oct. 1953 .

Author:

Professor Gareth W. Williams, Aberystwyth

Published date: 2001