A PREMIER League football club have sent a “deeply touching” message of thanks to the care home that looked after one of their legendary ex-players in his final days.
Gwyn Jones played for Wolverhampton Wanderers during their glory years in the 1950s, appearing during two seasons in which they finished as First Division champions.
The left-back would later move to Bristol Rovers and help uncover a betting scandal that rocked English football, as he spoke out after turning down a bribe to throw a game.
Gwyn died at the age of 85, having resided at Pendine Park’s Bryn Seiont Newydd care home in Caernarfon since last February after being diagnosed with dementia.
He was laid to rest with his late wife, Margaretta, in the graveyard of St Twrog’s Church, in Llandwrog, where he was born.
Wolves were so impressed by the care Gwyn received that they sent a bouquet of flowers to senior nurse Debbie Parry, who is a loyal Wolves fan.
The message on the card which accompanied the flowers stated: “Thank you to you and your colleagues for all you did to take care of ‘one of our own’, Mr Gwynfor Jones.
“Love from all at Wolverhampton Wanderers FC xx”
Debbie, who regularly attended matches at the club’s Molineux home until the Covid-19 pandemic led to games having to be played behind closed doors, said it was a pleasant surprise to find they had sent such a lovely bouquet of flowers.
She added: “However, in other respects I was not surprised they did such a thing, as Wolves are a good family club who care about their former players.
“The flowers they sent were really nice and there was also a lovely card. It was a deeply touching gesture.”
Debbie built a strong bond with Gwyn during his time at the home, discovering they had plenty of common ground.
She added: “Not only had he played for the club I support during such a successful era, but he also played for Bristol Rovers and I come from Bristol.
“It was amazing really that our paths should end up crossing here at Bryn Seiont Newydd.
“Although he had dementia, it was clear that he still had very fond memories of Wolves and liked to talk about his time there.
“Gwyn was a lovely gentleman, who we all miss.”
Another member of staff who struck up a close friendship with Gwyn was musician-in-residence Nia Davies Williams.
“I know that Gwyn adored Wolves and it is nice to see how much they thought of him,” said Nia.
“But he was also very modest about his football achievements. You wouldn’t have known that he had been such a successful player.
“It was very nice of Wolves to send the flowers and card.
“Gwyn is greatly missed. He was a very special man, a lovely gentleman who had a good sense of humour.”
Gwyn played for Caernarfon Town before catching the eye of Wolves in 1955 and being with the club while they enjoyed major success.
Although not a regular first-team player, Gwyn was a respected squad member during his seven years at Molineux.
He played in the 1959 Charity Shield victory over Nottingham Forest and also made appearances during the club’s successive First Division title successes of 1957-58 and 1958-59.
Gwyn went on to make more than 150 league appearances for Bristol Rovers and was named as captain, with his time with the Pirates coinciding with him acting as a whistle-blower over a betting scandal that shook English football.
After bringing his professional playing career to an end in 1966, Gwyn returned to North Wales to live in Valley and he continued playing for Porthmadog.
He spent 22 years working for Anglesey Aluminium near Holyhead before retiring.
Gwyn enjoyed a happy marriage to Margaretta until she died about 18 months before he did.
The former footballer’s funeral was held at the Chapel of Rest in Valley, belonging to the undertakers Griffith Roberts and Son and Nia Davies Williams played the harp during the service.