Sadness at death of Neil Jenkins' father.
FRIENDS and family of former Wales international Neil Jenkins have voiced their sadness following the death of his father, Roger. People in the close-knit community where he lived described Mr Jenkins, 62, as a "wonderful character". He died at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital. A popular figure in Church Village, near Pontypridd, Mr Jenkins was a scrap merchant before he became a driver and fitter with the Llantwit Fardre-based Edwards Coaches. The company's commercial director and close family friend Jason Edwards said: "I had the pleasure of knowing Roger for more than 30 years. "Roger ended up working for our family company in the workshop and was a huge part of the team. "I have fond memories of Roger, who would always have a huge smile on his face and have a view on how the Wales rugby team were doing. Roger stopped me nearly every day to talk about his granddaughter Georgia and how well she and her horse were doing. "He was very proud of his family and his world revolved around his family, horse racing and rugby. We are all still in shock at the loss of a wonderful character." Mr Jenkins had close links with the Llantwit Fardre Rugby Club and chairman Barrie Laskey said: "He was a lovely chap. When he played for us, he was involved with the scrap dealing business and would often turn up for matches still wearing his working clothes." Mr Jenkins' brother Alan said: "He was fiercely proud of Neil and was always quick to defend him against any criticism of the way he played." Neil, who played for the Llantwit Fardre youth team, went on to represent Wales and the British Lions as well as playing for Pontypridd. He is now kicking coach for the Wales team. Mr Jenkins' sister Kennis White said: "It is a very sad time for all of us. Roger was hugely popular in the village and Neil is very upset because he was close to his dad."
PICTURE: Nick Treharne