Flint Rugby Club has paid tribute to a founding member of the club and original owner of Billy Jeans cafe.
Billy Morgan was a member of the Flint Rugby Club for 53 years spending time as a player, chairman and later president.
Billy, who was originally from Pontypool South Wales, became a member of the club in its humble beginnings as the Halkyn village side.
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The club paid tribute in a heartfelt facebook post: “The club is saddened to announce the passing of a true club great and legend Mr Billy Morgan.
“All our thoughts are with Billy’s family at this sad time.”
The current club president, Tony Nichols reflected on Billy’s legacy in North Wales rugby.
He said: “As a player, Billy had many highlights in his playing career, amongst them being selected to represent Flintshire in 1972, but the one he remembered best was our first win against Bangor in 1974.
“Bangor fielded a team including brothers Tony and David Grey.
“Tony being a full Welsh international in 1968 and later in 1985 to 1988 was head coach of the Welsh National team.
“As we left the field Tony Gray shook Billy’s hand saying ‘your front five won that game for you’ a great achievement.”
“Billy enjoyed the Isle of Man tours and became a popular figure on the Island with those that traveled with him and amongst all competing teams.
“Even as Billy got older he was still a force to be reckoned with, the Flintshire Leader reported that, during a Vets game against the South Wales team Cwm ’61 year old Billy Morgan ran a full 10 meters to score under the posts’. ”
He said Billy wasn’t just a player, “he was a clubman, taking interest in our Youth Players who showed promise.”
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Mr Nichols added: “Billy might have left us, but he will be remembered with affection throughout North Wales and the Isle of Man, by all who knew him as a Rugby Player.”
Aled Davies, aged 61, who is now the head coach of the Flint RFC, said Billy “left a legacy in a number of ways”.
Mr Davies said Billy had been a huge part of his life from the age of 17 and was “ a real character in North Wales rugby.
“He set the platform on the field and as a club.”
Speaking of the fallen legends of the club, Mr Davies said: “To honor them we’ve got to keep it going.
“Rugby is a community sport, it gives you good friends for life.”
The club currently holds training for its senior players on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and juniors on Friday evenings.
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Billy Morgan was also the founder of the then truck stop Billy Jeans cafe in The Nant in Halkyn.
Billy’s larger than life character was well-known and according to new co-owner of the cafe Briony Cardzis, Billy was a natural cook and known for his “legendary big meals.”
Briony and her husband Rob Cardzis took over the cafe in July 2020 however decided to keep the iconic name.
She said: “Everyone knows Billy Jeans.
“We still get customers from all over who are retired and bring their children who remember Billy.”
Billy’s funeral is set to take place on Thursday (July 7th) at 3pm at the Northop crematorium.