On a day dedicated to the memory of a long-serving club stalwart, Barry RFC raised £2,560 for the Marie Curie Hospice in Penarth.

William Colin Lewis Knapman, known at the club as Colin or Knappers, filled many roles at Reservoir Field, joining the club as a player after moving from Ebbw Vale in the 1980s. He served as team manager, chairman of selectors, membership secretary and committee member.

Knappers, described by club chairman Mike Prosser as “a bonafide Barry legend”, sadly passed away two years ago, and the day in his memory had to be postponed because of the Covid pandemic, although the club has been raising funds for Marie Curie in that time.

Knappers’ Day on Saturday, as well as raising funds, saw the unveiling of a framed photograph and caricature alongside the fund-raising wall of names he introduced to the club, now known as ‘Knappers’ Wall’.

The unveiling was performed by wife Paula, and children Rhys and Carys in front of a large gathering of present and former players and families.

“I’m overwhelmed really with today,” said Paula. “He came here in 1986 and didn’t know anybody. But as it developed, he knew far more people than me, and I’ve lived in Barry all my life. He was sociable and very well liked.

“Considering he’s not from this town, he really made his mark. I think you have to be extra special to do that.”

Rhys, who plays for the club, said his father “enjoyed the extended family that the club gave him. He was always someone to get involved. It was very much a community spirit he tried to bring to the club.

“That was his vision in terms of what he wanted for the club. It’s about continuing his ideas and getting everyone involved. He would be extremely proud of where the committee have taken the club in the last two years.”

The club’s next fundraising event for Marie Curie will take place on February 19 next year, which would have been Colin’s 72nd birthday, a 50km for £10k challenge, a walk from Ebbw Vale to Barry. The same journey Colin took in 1986.