Charlie Faulkner

Former Pontypool and Wales players, from left to right, Graham Price, Bobby Windsor and Charlie Faulkner, pictured in 1978. Pic: Getty Images.

Charlie Faulkner Tributes Paid After Pontypool Front Rower Dies At 81

By David Williams

Tributes have been paid to former Wales prop forward Tony “Charlie” Faulkner following his death aged 81.

The former Pontypool loosehead earned 19 caps for Wales between 1975 and 1979, winning four Five Nations titles and the Grand Slam twice in a squad which included the likes of Gareth Edwards and JPR Williams.

Faulkner, who was born in Newport, joined Pontypool from Cross Keys in September 1972, going on to make 210 appearances and scoring 12 tries.

He also played for the Barbarians and toured with the British and Irish Lions in 1977 alongside fellow Pontypool front-rowers Bobby Windsor and Graham Price, who were collectively known as the “Viet Gwent”.

Following his retirement, Faulkner went on to having coaching roles at Newport, Cardiff, Caerphilly and St Peter’s.

“Charlie was a much-loved character and a massive part of the history of Pontypool RFC. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him,” the club said on Twitter.

“Everyone at Pontypool RFC send their deepest sympathy and sincere condolences to Charlie’s family at this very difficult time. “Charlie joined Pontypool from Cross Keys in September 1972 and went on to make 210 Pooler appearances and scored 12 tries.

“He also played for the Barbarians and, in January 1975, made history with his fellow Pontypool front row colleagues, hooker Bobby Windsor and tight head prop Graham Price, to be the first club front row to be selected to play for Wales against France in Paris.

“Together, the Pontypool Front Row played 19 times for their country between 1975 and 1979 and Charlie scored a try against Ireland in 1975.

Pontypool chairman Pete Jeffreys paid tribute to one of the club’s great characters, who was renowned for his scrummaging.

“He was a genuine legend at our club and in Welsh rugby too, but also an absolute gentleman. A genuine nice guy who everybody loved and spoke highly of,” Jeffreys said to WalesOnline.

“I was watching the ‘Slammed 70s’ documentary on TV and it was noticeable how he, Graham Price and Bobby Windsor came in and helped toughen up the Wales side.

“Legend is often an overused word in sport, but not in Charlie’s case. He was a true legend of our game.”

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