VILE, THOMAS HENRY (1882 - 1958), rugby player

Name: Thomas Henry Vile
Date of birth: 1882
Date of death: 1958
Gender: Male
Occupation: rugby player
Area of activity: Sports and Leisure Pursuits
Author: Gareth W. Williams

Born 6 September 1882, in Newport, Monmouth. His rugby career was outstanding, as a player (8 caps for Wales, 1908-1921), referee (12 internationals, 1923-28), and administrator (president of the W.R.U., 1955-56). His playing career was extraordinarily long. He had his first chance with Newport in the third team in 1900. By 1902, he was a scrum-half in the first team. In 1904, he went with the British team to Australia and New Zealand. Because of the presence of Richard M. (' Dickie ') Owen in the Welsh team, he had to wait until 1908 before gaining his first cap. He became captain of the Newport team in 1909, and the partnership between him and Walter Martin was one of the most brilliant ever known. He had an acute tactical mind. He steered Newport to their historic win (9-3) over South Africa in 1912. To his own, and everyone else's astonishment, he was recalled as captain of the Welsh team in 1921, when he was 37. He had a notable career as a soldier, businessman, and social administrator. He was High Sheriff for Monmouthshire in 1944. He died in Newport on 30 November 1958.


Published date: 2001

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