06 November 2017 / Club News

With deepest sympathy

The Green Stars community were saddened to hear of the passing last weekend of yet another club legend, Cyril O'Connor. Cyril's long career with the club began in 1952 as a 16 year old in the back row of St Josephs CYMS RFC under the tutelage of players such as his namesakes Pat and Mike O'Connor and the eagle eye of his brother Rory. Other members of his family were prominent in the affairs of the club, soon to re-adopt the original club name Aberavon Green Stars RFC. Terry was club treasurer for many years and their father Dano always a keen supporter. 

Cyril was captain for five successive seasons starting in 1955 and thus played a major role in building the foundations for the unbeaten period 1962-65. He did, in fact, regain the captaincy in September 1965 for what could have been a fourth successive invincible season. He had the honour to be captain for the 100th game without defeat (that puts the recent achievement of the Celtic FC in perspective) against Morriston at Little Warren on September 4, 1965 thus creating a world record in rugby union.

He had the record for the number of games played in the unbeaten period making 94 appearances in which he scored 90 points. Cyril, like his brother Rory, was an outstanding blind side wing forward, as fast as he was hard, and an astute reader of the game - ideal qualities for a captain and pack leader. Cyril also made his mark outside the rugby world and graduated from his first job in Chidzoys, Bethany Square to become a respected official with the National Union of Blastfurnacemen alongside fellow Green Stars Pat Curran and Tim Donovan. All following in the footsteps of Din Harrington.   

Cyril O'Connor, the Quiet Man, will be missed by many people and our condolences go out to his family Clare, Andrew, faithful companion as well as son, and, of course, Judy - a character in her own right.

Bernard Donovan

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