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Rugby star who became 'doyen of local journalism'

A former rugby player who became the “doyen of local journalism” has died aged 94.

Harry Davies played scrumhalf for Llanelli RFC and went on to record some of the club’s most memorable achievements for the Llanelli Star and South Wales Evening Post after first taking up a reporter’s job in the 1930s.

He was known around the town as Harry Scarlet and seen as a hero to the many journalists whom he helped to mentor over the years.

Harry was also a member of the local Rotary Club and a founder of the Talking Newspaper branch.

Former Llanelli Star editor Robert Lloyd said: “Harry was a local legend in his lifetime and a hero to all those connected with the world of newspapers and the media in West Wales.

“The nickname Scarlet was appropriate because Harry played for the old Llanelli RFC.

“A tricky and nimble scrumhalf, he was Scarlet through and through and a member of the Llanelli Former Players Association.

“His career at the Evening Post was long and distinguished. Regular readers will fondly remember the clarity of his knowledgeable rugby reporting and a weekly column which focused on aspects of Llanelli’s social history.

“Harry’s words of advice and encouragement to young lads like me – he did so love to call most of the journalists he mentored ‘lads’ – provided the cornerstone to many careers.

“He was a font of local knowledge and guided many careers onto a successful path. He was the true professional as a journalist and a master craftsman with words.

“There are journalists galore who owe Harry a deep and sincere debt of gratitude.”

Former Llanelli Star sports editor Barrie Thomas added: “When I first began my career in journalism as a trainee, Harry was my mentor and a man who taught me an awful lot.

“He was a gentleman, and knew exactly how to approach people and interview them. I would describe him as the doyen of local journalism.

“He was well known and liked by rugby fans, by his fellow journalists and by people in the town.

“He was one of Llanelli’s characters, and he will be greatly missed by everyone.”

  • You can leave your memories of Harry in the comments below or on his page at Lasting Tribute.