Serendipity. Never gave it much thought until I saw a film of the same name and had my interest piqued by a certain Kate Beckinsale (check the film out it’s well worth a look).
It turns out that it means fortunate happenstance or pleasant surprise, which are both terms I can now vouch for having recently interviewed one of my rugby heroes… Sir Gareth Edwards.
Now I have been a hack for 15 years in all so seldom do I get nervous before an interview but I must admit that I had a few butterflies – or maybe magpies ─ flapping around my stomach as I called the great man up on the phone to ask him to give me his thoughts on Terry Davies.
It turns out that the nerves were down to the fact that the interview was for my own project – The Terry Davies Story.The biography of the famed Wales and Lions fullback from the 1950s.
Sir Gar (makes him sound like an infamous racehorse that went missing) has agreed to write the foreword as he remembered him from when he was a boy. The nerves came from the fact that I wanted whatever he said to be a) interesting and b) long enough to cover 2 pages. Bingo! Sir Gareth delivered Big Time ─ as he always did as a player!
When he started telling me that he remembers running onto Stradey Park after a game to get Terry Davies’s autograph in that instance the word serendipity looked as beautiful as Kate Beckinsale.
Here’s an extract…
One of my friends growing up in Gwaun Cae Gurwen, at the top of the Swansea Valley, was a boy called Huw Llewelyn Davies, who went on to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a respected rugby broadcaster. At that time Ike Davies did the radio reports on matches and quite often we would go along with him to grounds such as St Helen’s, The Gnoll and Stradey Park to watch our heroes of the day. We all had heroes as children. I wasn’t a scrum half as such at that age, far from it, I just played rugby and you would follow all your heroes; if Cyril Davies has a good game you wanted to be a centre or, Ken Jones, you wanted to be a wing or Terry Davies, a fullback.
As kids at the end of games you had a wonderful opportunity, especially down Stradey Park, to run onto the field and try to get an autograph. I can remember, vividly, getting Terry’s; it was a wonderful experience as he was someone who stood out for me from a lot of exceptional players who were around at that time.