Tributes have been made from the rugby world to David “Dapper” Power who died on Christmas Eve. The 64-year-old Oakfield resident was cycling on Cwmbran Drive when he was involved in an incident with a vehicle at 10.57 am.
David was well known in rugby circles through his work running the Welsh Charitables RFC. He organised dozens of dinners with famous guest speakers to raise money for charity. Thanks to David’s contacts book rugby fans could enjoy an evening hearing legends of the game talk about their lives on and off the pitch. The charity’s website said that since December 2000 over £120,000 had been raised from their events and donated to charities including WREX The Welsh International Former Players Association, Ty-Hafan, the children’s hospice and The Prince’s Trust Cymru.
Sue Hobbs, David’s sister lives in Fairwater. She said: “He always wanted to make people happy. If he could make them laugh, he loved it, that was David through and through. We were very close, he and I. He would come up here on a Saturday, before Covid, and we would have hot buttered toast and tea. We would be texting and ringing throughout the week. He is going to sorely missed by us all. I’m heartbroken to be honest with you.
“David was and always will be a much-loved brother, brother-in-law, uncle, cousin and friend. He was taken from us far, far too soon due to a tragic accident on Christmas Eve. David loved life and was full of fun. He was so proud of learning Welsh and would greet his nephews and nieces with a cheeky “Shwmae”. To say he liked rugby would be an understatement, he loved it, along with all his many rugby friends of all ages.
“David was also totally dedicated to his work as Honourable Secretary to the Welsh Charitables RFC which he thoroughly enjoyed. There have been so many tributes to him on social media that we are overwhelmed, thank you all so much, they have been a great comfort to us all at this very sad time. Our David has left a huge void in our lives a void that nobody else can ever fill. We are indeed heartbroken. Our only consolation is that he is now reunited with our Dad, Mam and sister Mary. May he rest in peace.”
John Power, David’s nephew, lives in Coed Eva. He said: “David was like a father to me. My dad left Wales when I was 10 or 11. David was always there. Any problems, I would go and see him and he was full of advice, never wrong, always right.
“I last saw him on Wednesday 23 December. He would buy these pasties every week and on Wednesdays, I would go down to his house, have a coffee and eat them and put the world to rights. He was waiting to have a heart operation so I would go and keep him company twice a week.
“When I had the phone call, it was a massive shock to me. I had texted him at 11.13 am on Christmas Eve and said do you want to go out for a bike ride? I then rang him later that day and said I had made a nice bolognese and had some shortbread biscuits.
“I had silly thoughts in my mind as he didn’t get back to me. Then when I had the phone call from my dad, things clicked into place. It was a massive shock to me. I’m a lot better now.”
Meeting Prince Charles
In 2010 the Welsh Charitables RFC celebrated their tenth anniversary with an event at Llandovery RFC with Prince Charles. On 28 November 2020 Dapper sent me a message where he said I should interview him for Cwmbran Life in 2021 to mark the charity’s 21st anniversary. I replied with: “Nice one, Definitely.” Over the years I helped him out with publicity for the events and was lucky enough to attend a number of dinners. They were great fun nights where Dapper would compere the evenings interspersed with his own stories, jokes, facts and figures about the guest speakers.
Since his death a number of well-known people from the world of rugby have shared kind words on social media. You can read some of the lovely things people have said about him here.
Social media tributes to David
Jonathan Davies, former Welsh rugby union and league player, said: “Bloody hell. Just so shocked. What a great guy. So tragic RIP Dai.”
Carolyn Hitt, journalist and broadcaster, said: “Can’t believe it. Very sad news. Dave used the fellowship of rugby to do masses for charity and celebrate legendary players. He also got me involved in speaking at his wonderful rugby dinners at a time when women were never usually asked to do so. He will indeed be missed.
Nigel Owens , rugby referree, said:” This is very very sad. A wonderful genuine man.”
Jim Mills, former Great Britain rugby league player, said: “A great rugby man who was who was chief executive of the Welsh Charitables RFC Charity. I just don’t want to believe it, RIP Dai.”
Phil Davies, former Wales rugby international, said: “So sad to hear. He was such a great rugby man and a true gentleman.God bless and RIP David.”
A post on the Croesyceiliog RFC youth Facebook page said: “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of David “Dapper” Power who sadly passed away Christmas Eve. Dapper was a larger than life character, who headed up the Welsh Charitables Rugby and was a former Youth Co-ordinator with Croesy Youth. His support to us was fantastic over the last two seasons and he will be sadly missed by all who knew him. A huge loss to the Welsh Rugby community.”
Sean Holley, TV pundit and former rugby coach, said: “Sad sad news.”
Gareth Maule, former Scarlet players, said: “RIP David. Irreplaceable loss to the rugby community and charities alike. A selfless man who simply enjoyed helping others.
The Events Room said: “We are absolutely devastated to hear the sad news of the passing of David Power of Welsh Charitables RFC. A fantastic man who supported wonderful charities and rugby greats. A great guy who will be hugely missed. The world of rugby has lost a fine servant of the game.”
Robin Davey, former rugby writer at the South Wales Argus, said: “An absolute legend, a wonderful rugby man, organised so many charity rugby dinners for good causes, a real raconteur. Mr Welsh Charitables.”
Gwent Police witness appeal
A sign appealing for witnesses has been put up near the site of the incident which happened at 10.57am on Thursday 24 December. Call 101 if you have any information.
Thanks to Mark Tamplin, freelance photographer, for permission to use of many of the photos in this tribute.