Gwyn Nicholls Memorial Gates, Cardiff
These gates were erected, by public subscription, at the entrance to Cardiff Arms Park in 1949 to commemorate one of the greatest Welsh rugby players of all time. They were relocated to their present position in 2000 as part of the Millennium Stadium’s construction.
He was born Erith Gwynne Nicholls in Flaxley, Gloucestershire, in 1874, one of seven siblings. His family moved to Cardiff while he was a child and later ran a successful called Victoria Laundries, which lasted until the 1970s. In his era, nobody was allowed to earn their living from playing rugby union.
His older brother Sydney was also a talented rugby player, playing for Cardiff and joining the Wales side in 1888. Gwyn made his inaugural appearance for Cardiff’s first team in 1893.
He played for Wales 24 times between 1896 and 1906. In 1905 he was captain of the Wales side which beat the New Zealand All Blacks 3-0. He also played for the British Isles rugby team during its 1899 tour of Australia.
After retiring as a player, he became a rugby referee and one of the Wales team’s selectors. In 1908 he wrote a manual called The modern rugby game - and how to play it.
In 1923 he dashed, fully clothed, into the sea at Weston-super-Mare to try to save two girls who were in difficulty. He died at his home in Dinas Powys (south-west of Cardiff) in March 1939.
Postcode: CF10 1JA