Our History

The following was written by Phil James, (Club Chairman at the time), and was printed in the programme notes on Saturday 25th January 1975 when the Amman played a Llanelli side full of internationals at Parc yr Aman in the third round of the WRU Cup Competition. Despite there being an almost 40 year gap in history from when it was written up to the present day, it does give a quick history of the very early years of the Amman United:

The history of Rugby Football in Cwmamman and in particular that of Amman United, is full of great achievements, and a brief account such as this can only cover some of the most important events.

The game was played in the village well before the end of the 19th Century, but the first recorded team was Penybont Rovers, formed in 1894 by Mr Josiah Rogers, who was a native of Glanamman.

The team played on Penybont field, Glanamman, and two members namely, Jack Evans and Percy Lloyd went to play for Llanelli. Interest in the game increased considerably in the succeeding years, and teams were formed in both Garnant (Raven Rovers) and Glanamman (Penybont Rovers), with intense rivalry between both parts of the village.

In 1903, a meeting was held at the Amman Hotel, for the purpose of forming one strong side. This resulted in the formation of Amman United RFC with an administrative committee of members and officials drawn equally from Garnant and Glanamman. The team was captained by Billie Jones and played on Brynlloi field, on which Bryn Seion Chapel was later built.

The scarlet jersey was adopted, and apart from 1924, when the cherry and white jersey was worn, this has always been the Amman colour.

Amman joined the Llanelli and District League soon after its formation, and made its presence felt with some conspicuous performances. Formidable opponents included Mynyddbach, Llandybie, Furnace United and Tumble, and there are some amusing records of incidents, both on and off the field.

Season 1910-11 was particularly successful. Under the captaincy of Dick (Bach) Thomas, who was later selected reserve inside half for Wales, they won the Championship and Challenge Cup of the Llanelli League. Joe Rees at 16 years of age was giving some brilliant performances at full back, a position he filled so well later for Wales.

The club was granted Welsh Rugby Union status in season 1910-11, and through the kind generosity of Lord Dynevor, then President, Cwmamman Park became their home ground. The first game on the park was against Llangennech, and the team remained unbeaten that year under the captaincy of Evan Bevan.

Amman have been members of the West Wales Rugby Union since its formation, and have won the championship twice. Although not quite so successful in the cup competition, they have been finalists five times, including last season when they were beaten by Felinfoel at Stradey Park.

The success of any side is dependent on the quality of its reserves; and Amman have always been fortunate in having a strong junior side as a source of players. These junior sides have often been run by separate committees, but the interest and needs of the premier side have always been recognised. Some of the most successful junior sides included Penybont Rovers; Garnant Rangers – 5 years unbeaten; Amman Rovers – 7 years unbeaten; Prospect Stars; Amman Juniors – 4 years unbeaten; and the present Amman Quins, who have been particularly successful during the last six years.

The club now runs four teams; Amman United, Quins, Youth and Under XV. They also sponsor and provide the necessary facilities for the two local under 11 school sides.

The Club is proud of its considerable contribution to all grades of Welsh Rugby, and many players who started their senior playing careers with Amman won their Welsh caps; among them two Welsh Captains, Joe Rees and Claude Davey. Two members of today’s Amman team, Ken Davie and John Thomas, have played for a few seasons with Llanelli.

In a long Club honours list there appears among others the names of Joe Rees, D.B Evans, Jack Evans, Jack Elwyn Davies, Claude Davey, Will Davies, Emrys Evans, Carwyn James, Owen Jones, Ted Ward, D.M Davies, Billo Rees, and the latest Welsh Cap, Trevor Evans.

The Amman were particularly successful during the early years of The National Sevens Competition, winning the District F Competition three times. They got to the semi-final at Aberavon in 1966 and were beaten in the final in 1967 by Cardiff Training College by one point. On the way to the final they beat Ebbw Vale, Bridgend and Neath.

The Quins won the Junior All Wales Sevens Competition in 1966-67.

This brief history of the Amman would be incomplete without reference to the work of Officials and Committee over the years. The Club is indebted to the foresight and loyalty shown by these men – in good time and bad. Officials like Joe Bevan, Tom E. Howells and Bertie Davies amongst many others were well known, not only in the Amman, but for their work for rugby throughout West Wales.

Recent developments include the opening of the stand in and dressing rooms on Cwmamman Park in in 1961, and the clubhouse in 1967. These are amenities which are necessary for the Club to continue promoting Rugby Football in Cwmamman.

We welcome Llanelli RFC to Cwmamman Park and congratulate them on being one of the best and most attractive sides in the country. They have played Amman twice at Cwmamman Park and lost both times. In 1923 Amman won 3-0. In 1938 Amman won 15-3.

(The Amman lost this fixture 51-0, although Rowland John, who was in the centre and up against Ray Gravelle, claims it was 49-0 as there was a dubious decision on a conversion!).