Gareth Owen Edwards, a renowned Welsh former rugby union player famed for his role as scrum-half, is hailed by the BBC as “arguably the greatest player ever to don a Welsh jersey.”
Making his international debut at just 19 years old against France in Paris on April 1, 1967, Edwards quickly became a mainstay in the Welsh team. Throughout his career spanning from 1967 to 1978, he earned 53 caps for Wales, serving as captain for 13 matches. Remarkably, he retained his position without interruption, demonstrating exceptional consistency and skill, scoring a total of twenty tries in international matches.
Notably, Edwards became Wales’s youngest-ever captain at 20 years old during a victorious match against Scotland in February 1968. He was privileged to play alongside renowned outside halves such as Barry John and Phil Bennett, forming formidable partnerships that led Wales to dominance in the Five Nations Championship, securing the title seven times, including three grand slams.
Acknowledged for his outstanding contributions, Edwards was named Player of the Year in Wales in 1969 and BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year in 1974. His achievements were further recognized with the award of the MBE in 1975. In 1976, he was surprised with a feature on “This Is Your Life” hosted by Eamonn Andrews.
Edwards concluded his illustrious international career on March 18, 1978, against France in the Five Nations Championship, sealing a triumphant 16–7 victory in front of a jubilant home crowd at the Arms Park in Cardiff.
This match also secured Wales’s Grand Slam and a third consecutive Triple Crown, an unprecedented feat in rugby history. To cap off his stellar career, Edwards was honored as the Rothmans Player of the Year in 1978.
Is Gareth Edwards Still Alive?
Yes, Gareth Edwards is still alive. The renowned Welsh former rugby union player was born on July 12, 1947, in Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen, United Kingdom, He is currently 76 years old, and he celebrates his birthday on the 12th of July every year.