Sad news: Keith Westwood

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Sad news: Keith Westwood

Roy Lewis pays tribute to Keith Westwood who died this week:

“The passing of Keith Westwood who played with distinction for Ebbw Vale in the sixties, and went on to become club coach, has saddened those who played with him or had the pleasure of watching him. He joined us from Newbridge, as did his brother-in-law Ray Knott who sadly died not long ago. With Ray in the centre and Keith at full-back or wing, we had an attack of the highest quality.

The sixties were great years for the Ebbw Vale and Newbridge clubs who shared the same policy to play fast, exciting rugby. The game in the Western Valley had continued through the Second World War years when the steelworks and the collieries produced essential material. When it ended, regular fixtures attracted huge crowds and both clubs thrived on and off the field.

Keith was a key figure in an Ebbw team that, in seasons following the war, were Welsh champions on four occasions and known for the speed of the pack and the adventurous style of a back division that was a joy to watch.

Horace Matthews who, after great years as player became a member of the club committee at a time when the Western Valley was throbbing with clubs, and full of wonderful players, said, “Keith was an outstanding player and clubman and it was a privilege to know him and watch him play.”

Allan Foster remembers the keen but always exciting games with Newbridge at a time when Monmouthshire derbies attracted thousands of spectators. “Keith excelled at full-back or wing and, in the time he was with us, he was highly rated as a player, and was an exceptionally nice man.”

The Club sends deepest condolences to the family of Keith who, on or off the field, brightened our lives: a fine player, a great character and one who will never be forgotten.”

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