Tom Jones

Tom Jones. The only northwalian to date to be President of the Athletics Association of Wales, and one of us!
Tom served the Athletics Association of Wales for a total of 12 years, as Vice President, President, Past President and finally as Vice Chairman.
A Ruabon lad, Tom attended Ruabon Council School and having sat and passed the 11+ examination Tom entered the school in 1946, one of the first to qualify under the 1944 “Butler” Education Act. Tom wasn’t enamoured with the ethos of a grammar school education until given an ultimatum when in Form IV – pass your school certificate and get a job or you are destined for Hafod!
Reality set in and under the regime of two new teachers to Tom – Mr RE Davies and Mr RR Pearce – his work ethic changed and he successfully gained his School Certificate in 1950.
Tom loved athletics and football, and as we have heard from previous guest speakers times were hard in the 1940’s. Hand-me-downs were the order of the day and sports equipment almost non-existent. If selected to represent the school at the County Championships competitors had to make their own numbers and sew them onto a white vest; the school was number 13.
Tom was a member of the school’s middle section (ie forms IV and V) athletics team and represented the school in the 1949 and 1950 championships which were held at the RWF’s Hightown Barracks in Wrexham. He was also middle school Victor Ludorum in 1949 and 1950 competing mainly in field events: triple jump, javelin, cricket ball and relay.
Tom also played for the school’s football team on rare occasions, as he mostly played for Ruabon Youth Club. The school played matches on Saturday mornings and the Youth Club on Saturday afternoons when the school rules mandating not playing two games on the same day!
Much later – when living in Hawarden – the Latin master at Hawarden Grammar School, one Mr Eric Lawson (who was a friend of Mr RR Pearce) agreed to invite Tom to become an Honorary Member of Hawarden Grammar School Old Boys’ Association, which he did. Tom never learned the contents of that conversation – but he played football for them in the Flintshire league, which may give the reader a clue.
After school Tom played for Ruabon Athletic FC between 1952 and 1956. Tom is very proud to have been a founder member of Deeside Amateur Athletics Club in 1974 which is now a very strong club with over 200 athletes – with a waiting list for membership – and more than twenty qualified coaches.