菲爾-貝內特:在拉內利的追悼會上紀念威爾士和獅子會的偉大人物

3個月前
菲爾-貝內特:在拉內利的追悼會上紀念威爾士和獅子會的偉大人物

最後更新於.從威爾士橄欖球部分

菲爾-貝內特不希望有任何風吹草動。他是威爾士橄欖球的代表人物,但他對自己的偉大之處淡然處之,謙虛至極。

雖然貝內特可能希望保持低調,但這一時刻並沒有淡化,以紀念這位一生為眾多人帶來歡樂的人。

細雨從板灰色的天空中落下,哀悼者被邀請穿上貝內特心愛的球隊--費林格爾、拉內利、威爾士和獅子隊的球衣、圍巾和領帶,為這個場合增添了色彩。

這是一場慶祝活動。慶祝貝內特這個球員,這個遊戲的歷史上最偉大的球員之一,以及慶祝貝內特這個人,一個熱情和慷慨的靈魂。

鮮花被擺放在球場上,拼成 "爸爸"、"10 "和 "本尼",而在追悼會開始前,大屏幕上播放了他無數個天才時刻的視頻。

"Scarlets、威爾士和獅子隊的鈎手Ken Owens說:"我不確定他有多喜歡這樣的活動,因為他是如此的謙遜,但參加活動的人們顯示了他在整個社區的尊重,而不僅僅是橄欖球社區。

"他是一個來自Felinfoel的謙遜的人。你會看到他與人交談,你不會知道他在比賽和生活中取得的所有成就。

"我記得在斯卡雷特隊比賽結束後的休息室里,他將照亮整個房間。人們會聚集在他身邊,聽他講故事。

"他將成為該地區、俱樂部、城鎮、他的家人以及所有認識他的人的巨大懷念"。

歐文斯是那些為貝內特的棺材到來而組成的榮譽衛士之一。與他一起的還有加雷斯-愛德華茲爵士、傑拉爾德-戴維斯和利-哈夫彭尼等人,這是一個名副其實的名人堂。

從1972年讓拉內利隊戰勝新西蘭隊的球員--貝內特將其描述為自己職業生涯的亮點--到威爾士和獅子隊過去和現在的明星,這是一次威爾士橄欖球皇室的聚會。

送葬者包括偉大的德里克-奎內爾,同時還有來自費林菲爾的代表,費林菲爾是貝內特出生的村莊,也是他一生熱衷的業餘俱樂部。

這也是貝內特的持久魅力之一。儘管他非常珍視拉內利和斯卡雷特隊,儘管他為能代表威爾士和雄獅隊而感到自豪,但貝內特心裡始終裝着菲林格爾,永遠忠於自己的根。

"前威爾士飛人喬納森-戴維斯(Jonathan Davies)說:"他是一個偉大的社區人。

"他不僅是一個了不起的球員,而且是一個可愛的人。

"每個人都知道他的橄欖球天才,但任何接觸過本尼的人都知道他是一個可愛的人,一個當地的英雄和一個世界的偉大。

"這是一個非常感人的日子。我一生都認識本尼,從走進菲爾-班尼特的體育用品店只是為了盯着他看,到他給我機會在尼斯打球。

"我對帕特[貝內特的妻子]、孩子們和所有的家人表示同情。這對每個人來說都是一個巨大的損失。"

在這樣的日子裡,悲傷是不可避免的現實,但在這個追悼會上也有一種明確的令人振奮的品質,一種與這樣一個人同時出現在這個世界上的感激之情。

悼詞反映了這種感覺,由胡-莫斯福德牧師和貝內特的前幽靈作家、記者格雷厄姆-托馬斯精彩地講述。

然後,隨着夏日雨水的飄散,Parc y Scarlets迎來了一片寂靜。

德爾梅-托馬斯,這位高大的前拉內利、威爾士和獅子隊的鎖匠,大步走到中線上,把手放在棺材上。

"他說:"我很難站在這裡解釋我對這個小人物的感受。

"對於我見過的最偉大的球員,你能說什麼呢?

"這是件大事,因為我和一些偉大的球員打過球--他們中的很多人都坐在看台上--但菲爾是很特別的。

"他不僅是一個偉大的橄欖球運動員,而且是一個偉大的朋友。

"能在這裡看到這麼多人真是太好了。本尼,我很抱歉站在這裡。我拒絕說再見。

"作為一個基督徒,我希望我們會再次見面,所以上帝保佑你,孩子。"


Last updated on .From the section Welsh Rugby

Phil Bennett would not have wanted a fuss. He was an icon of Welsh rugby but one who wore his greatness lightly, modest to the last.

While Bennett may have wished to remain low-key, there was no downplaying this moment to honour a man whose life had brought such joy to so many.

As drizzle fell from a slate-grey sky, mourners added colour to the occasion as they were invited to wear the shirts, scarves and ties of Bennett's beloved teams - Felinfoel, Llanelli, Wales and the Lions.

This was a celebration. Of Bennett the player, one of the game's all-time greats, and of Bennett the man, a warm and generous soul.

Flowers were arranged on the pitch to spell 'Dad', '10' and 'Benny', while videos of his myriad moments of genius were shown on a big screen before the memorial service began.

"I'm not sure how much he would have enjoyed it because of how humble he was, but the people who turned up showed the respect that he had right across the community, not just the rugby community," said Scarlets, Wales and Lions hooker Ken Owens.

"He was a humble man from Felinfoel. You'd see him talking to people and you wouldn't know all that he'd achieved in the game and in life.

"I remember being in the lounges after Scarlets games and he would light up the room. People would congregate around him to hear his stories.

"He's going to be a huge miss to the region, the club, the town, to his family obviously and to everyone who knew him."

Owens was among those who formed a guard of honour for the arrival of Bennett's coffin. With the likes of Sir Gareth Edwards, Gerald Davies and Leigh Halfpenny alongside him, it was a veritable hall of fame.

From players who gave Llanelli their famous victory over New Zealand in 1972 - which Bennett described as his career highlight - to Wales and Lions stars past and present, this was a gathering of Welsh rugby royalty.

Pallbearers included the great Derek Quinnell, while there was also representation from Felinfoel, the village where Bennett was born - and the amateur club he followed avidly throughout his life.

That was one of Bennett's enduring charms. As much as he cherished Llanelli and the Scarlets, and as proud as he was to have represented Wales and the Lions, Bennett always had Felinfoel in his heart, forever loyal to his roots.

"He was such a great community man," said Jonathan Davies, the former Wales fly-half.

"He was not only an amazing player but a lovely, lovely man.

"Everyone knew about his rugby genius, but anyone who came across Benny knew he was a lovely man, a local hero and a world great.

"It's a very poignant day. I've known Benny all my life, from walking into Phil Bennett's Sports Shop just to stare at him, to him giving me the opportunity to play at Neath.

"My thoughts are with Pat [Bennett's wife], the boys and all the family. It's a great loss for everyone."

Sadness is an inescapable reality on days like these, but there was also an unmistakably uplifting quality about this memorial service, a sense of gratitude to have been on this earth at the same time as such a person.

The eulogies reflected that feeling, delivered wonderfully by the Reverend Canon Huw Mosford and Bennett's former ghost writer, journalist Graham Thomas.

Then as the summer rain drifted away, a silence befell Parc y Scarlets.

Delme Thomas, the towering former Llanelli, Wales and Lions lock, strode on to the halfway line and placed his hand on the coffin.

"It's very hard to stand here and explain how I feel about this little man," he said.

"What can you say about the greatest player I've ever seen play the game?

"That's a big thing to say because I've played with some great players - a lot of them are sat in the stands - but Phil was something special.

"He was not only a great rugby player but a great friend.

"It's wonderful to see so many people here. Benny, I'm sorry to be standing here. I refuse to say goodbye.

"As a Christian I hope we'll meet again, so God bless you, boy."

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