Bryn Goldswain was born on 3 August 1922 in Merthyr Tudful, the son of Reginald Stephen Goldswain, a miner and then a policeman who died as a young man, and his wife Catherine (née Jones, 1897-1981). The family moved to Aber-craf in the Swansea Valley when Bryn was four years old. He was educated locally and at Ystalyfera Grammar School. He played rugby union for Aber-craf, before going to work for a company of accountants in London. In 1939, when the war broke out, he volunteered for the Armed Forces. In addition to his duties as an aircraft navigator, he had the opportunity to play some rugby and football while serving in the RAF. As a member of the Bomber Command Squadron he was watched by Wolverhampton Wanderers for a while, and he was invited for trials at Molyneux under the famous club manager Major Frank Buckley (1882-1964). But he was determined to play rugby again, and after recovering from a hand injury he was persuaded by an officer in the Air Force to renew his rugby activity. This officer, a man named Ted Bedford, was a personal friend of Sam Adams, manager of Hull Kingston Rovers, and on the recommendation of Bedford the young Welshman went for a trial period to Hull at the end of the war.
Within a few weeks Goldswain was to sign a permanent contract with Hull KR as a professional player. He postponed for the time being his intention to pursue a teaching course as rugby league paid better. In his first game for Hull KR he scored two tries, and soon developed into one of the top second row forwards in rugby league. During his first season he won two caps for Wales in international games played at St. Helen's, Swansea. In 1948, after playing 122 times for Hull KR, the successful Oldham team was looking to strengthen their squad and a significant sum was paid to Hull KR to secure Goldswain's transfer. As part of his contract with his new club he was given the opportunity to pursue a teacher training course in Liverpool. He became a great favourite at Oldham and was appointed captain of the club in September 1950. He played 228 games for Oldham between 1949 and 1956, and was captain of the team for eight successive years. During the same period he added to his tally of international caps, and by 1955 he had played 16 times for his country, and had been its captain several times. After 1955 Wales did not have an international team for many years, and Goldswain was forced to play for the 'Other Nationalities' team.
He left Oldham RLFC in 1958 on his appointment as manager of Blackpool Borough RLFC. He finished his career as manager of Rochdale Hornets RLFC, and later Doncaster. From 1954 he fell back on his qualifications as a teacher, teaching at Hollins Secondary Modern School, Oldham, Lancashire. He retired in 1982 as headmaster of Red Bank Community Home, Newton-le-Willows, a residential school for young offenders on the outskirts of Liverpool.
He married Margaret Magdalen Muriel Vaughan (1921-2000) at St. Michael's Church, Aberystwyth on July 24, 1942. In the church register Goldswain's address is given as 15 Morgans Street, Abercrave, and his spouse was a daughter of Roderick Charles Vaughan, a postman, of 8 Gogerddan Cottages, Aberystwyth. It seems that their only child - Roderick W. (Rod) Goldswain (b. 1954 at Oldham), headmaster of Northampton School for Boys - was named after his grandfather. Roderick also played rugby union for Northampton Saints RFC.
Bryn Goldswain and his wife retired to 60 Bryncastell, Bow Street, Ceredigion in January 1983, but he died on 24 April 1983 at the age of 60 after a short illness. Following a public service at St Michael's Church, Aberystwyth on April 27, he was buried at Aberystwyth Municipal Cemetery, where his wife and mother are also buried.
Published date: 2020-09-22
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