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Brian Mills (Millsy)

Llanharan RFC are sad to report the passing of former Coach, Team Manager and President of the club Brian Mills. Former club Press/Media Officer Hugh Smith, has written a fitting tribute to Brian:

It was my privilege to be press/media officer over some four decades when Brian was involved with the club – as coach, team manager and president.

Millsy was a tremendous character. You knew exactly where you were with him. To coin a phrase, "he wore his heart on his sleeve". But his views were always underpinned by strong principles, and in particular, a passion for Llanharan RFC.

On the playing side, he contributed hugely to our finest years, the pinnacle undoubtedly our advent to the Premier league.

However, Brian was wise enough to realize that a unique era when our modest village boasted so many talented home products, was passing, and that if we wanted to remain one of Wales’s top community clubs then the squad would have to be strengthened.

It was a policy that did not find favour with a small number in the club, but Millsy made it clear that locals good enough and committed enough could be part of it. In fact, many were soon spring-boarding from Llanharan to play at a higher level.

But he had a clear vision of the type of person welcome in the club, not just good players but also worthy of wearing that black and blue shirt. I know of some who were ‘shown the door’ because they didn’t personally meet Brian’s high standards.

He also did much for the club that was never known to the rank and file, investing his time, expertise, and sometimes his money for the cause.

On a personal level, Brian and I didn’t always see eye to eye on press/media matters. We sometimes had a bit of a shindig over our different views, but once given a good airing it would be ‘come and have a pint Scribe (his most common name for me)’. And he did occasionally tell me where I could put my pen! But he harboured no grudges and our dialogue was punctuated by humour and jovial leg pulling.

The former scrum half, good enough to play the first-class game for the likes of Newport, will go down in the annals of Llanharan greats, his fervour unmatched and his input unequalled.

Of course, he had the support of Gail and the family he adored so much. I would sometimes rib this man of Gwent about stealing one of the village’s prettiest girls, Gail hailing from just a stone’s throw away from the club!

And it is to Gail and the family that our thoughts now turn – may they be comforted by the colossal regard in which Brian is held at Llanharan RFC.

A legend has left us, but the legacy of Brian Mills lives on in the thriving enterprise that is Llanharan RFC today.

Hugh Smith

Former Press/Media officer (Scribe) and Life member

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