Barry John, the Welsh rugby legend, has died aged 79.
He died peacefully in hospital on Sunday.
A household assertion learn: “Barry John died peacefully today at the University Hospital of Wales surrounded by his loving wife and four children.
“He was a loving Dadcu [grandfather] to his 11 grandchildren and much-loved brother.”
The rugby union fly-half gained three Five Nations titles, a Grand Slam and two Triple Crowns – whereas additionally enjoying 5 Tests for the British and Irish Lions on their 1968 and 1971 excursions.
Nicknamed The King by New Zealand journalists after he impressed the Lions’ well-known 1971 Test collection victory over the All Blacks, John gained 25 Wales caps between 1966 and 1972.
He performed his membership rugby for Llanelli after which Cardiff, the place he struck up a half-back partnership with Gareth Edwards that went on to flourish for Wales and the Lions.
John was partnered by Edwards in 23 of his Wales worldwide appearances, plus all 5 Lions Tests – one towards South Africa and 4 towards New Zealand.
He introduced his shock retirement on the age of 27, citing pressures of fame and expectation.
Considered one in all rugby’s first superstars, Edwards wrote in his autobiography that John “had this marvellous easiness in the mind, reducing problems to their simplest form, backing his own talent all the time.
“One success on the sector bred one other and shortly he gave off a cool superiority which unfold to others within the facet.”
Another revered Wales and Lions colleague, Gerald Davies, mentioned: “Whilst the hustle and bustle went on around him, he could divorce himself from it all.
“He saved his feelings in examine and a cautious rein on the encircling motion. The sport would go in response to his will and no-one else’s.”
‘One of the greatest’
The rugby world paid tribute to John after news of his death was announced.
The British and Irish Lions said in a post on X that John was “really one of many best”.
“Barry impressed so many and can ceaselessly be remembered for the way a lot he gave to the game. All our ideas are together with his household and pals.”
Jonathan Davies, one of the famend Welsh gamers of the Eighties and Nineteen Nineties, paid tribute to John, writing on X: “RIP Barry – another one of my heroes sadly gone. #BarryJohnTheKing.”
Born within the village of Cefneithin in Carmarthenshire to a mining household, John was one in all six youngsters. All three of his brothers – Delville, Alan and Clive – performed rugby.
He made his first staff debut for Llanelli in 1964 simply two days earlier than his nineteenth birthday. His first cap for Wales got here two years later, earlier than transferring to Cardiff in 1967.
He recalled his early retirement to Wales Online, saying: “I was the first rugby pop star, superstar, call it whatever you want.
“I used to be third in BBC Sports Personality, then a month later I used to be the primary rugby participant to be the topic of This is Your Life.
“I didn’t want to retire, but it was the circumstances. People didn’t understand how you had to go to work, how you had to be fit for international level rugby.
“I used to be getting torpid, drained. You cannot be like that on the worldwide stage, particularly at quantity 10.
“The invitations just flew in thick and fast. I had no time to myself, just knew I wasn’t as sharp mentally or physically as I wanted to be.
“I used to be up there [in North Wales] doing a promotion for the financial institution. Youngsters have been out, plenty of individuals to greet me. I mentioned just a few phrases, and as I used to be being launched to somebody, she curtsied. Not a serious one, a little bit one, however a curtsy nonetheless.
“That convinced me this was not normal. I was becoming more and more detached from real people. I didn’t want this any more.”
He remained in rugby after retirement, reporting and writing columns for the Daily Express and Wales on Sunday.
John, who lived in Cardiff, is survived by his spouse Janet and kids Kathryn, Lucy, Anna and David.
His dying comes simply 4 weeks after one other star of Welsh rugby’s golden period, full-back JPR Williams, died aged 74.