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Tommy Stone


His Life Through His Scrapbook

 

 

   

CONTENTS

1.     DROWNING 1913

1.1.      Plucky Rescue from Glamorgan Canal

2.     SCHOOLBOY 1923 

2.1.      Highfield Results  (Protestants 4 Catholics 0)

2.2       Hooliganism    Disgraceful Scenes at the Park.

2.3       Cardiff Boys.

2.4       Dewar Shield Final

2.5       Wales Boys.

3      CARDIFF RFC  

3.1       Best Rugby Club in the Country.

3.2       Fixture  Reports.

3.3       Representative Games.

3.4       Internationals.

4..... WELSH CAP CANDIDATES 

4.1       Stone deserves a glance.

4.2       Welsh Trial

4.3       Stone Ignored.

4.4       Stone Selected.

5      WEDDING  

6..... An International who never was.

7      The last word  ? 

G V Wynne Jones  1974    Tommy was ahead of his time.

APPENDIX  

Extracts from Rugby League Contract

 

1.   DROWNING 1913

1.1.           Plucky Rescue from Glamorgan Canal      

“Tom Whatley of Blackweir, Cardiff

Employed by the Glamorgan Canal Company who dived into the canal and rescued a child named Stone (inset)”

Little child in dire peril”.  About 4 o-clock Tommy Stone (3) son of William Stone, a foreman of the canal company was playing with some other children near the lock when he slipped and fell into the water.   The water was running at great pace and the child was washed through the culvert and out into the water of the canal. 

Several people saw the accident and their cries attracted the attention of a youth named Wm. Whatley who was working some 300 yards away. Whatley ran as hard as he could along the canal bank and, reaching the spot where the child was being washed backwards and forwards in the current coming from the weir, he dived in and succeeded in bringing the little child to the bank.

The child who had been in the water for a full four minutes was unconscious, and, while a messenger went for the doctor, artificial respiration was resorted to by several men who had hastened to the scene.  For an hour their efforts met with no success but when they were almost giving up hope they noticed twitching in one of the little boys eyes and doubled their efforts.   A little later the doctor arrived and the boy was taken into his home.  An hour later the doctor reported that due to his good constitution the child was out of danger.

Young Whatley who is 18 certainly deserves recognition for his brave deed. He is very popular amongst his fellow workmen at the Cambrian yard.   As for Mrs. Stone she could not find words adequate to express her gratitude to young Whatley.  All she could say was ‘He’s a brave little hero and I shall never forget him”.

2.         SCHOOLBOY        1923

2.1.           Highfield School Results  (Protestants 4 Catholics 0)

Cardiff Lads 100 Points for 9 Matches

St. Monica’s

From a scrum the ball was sent out to the Highfield threes, and Brown got over for an unconverted try.  Shortly afterwards Stone raced over with another unconverted try.   The visitors were not long in adding to their score, Stone steadying himself dropped a lovely goal.    Prior to to-days game, Stone, the Highfield centre had scored 95 points for 9 games played and his 7 points this morning made his total so far this season 102, a very creditable performance. Tom Stone’s try was easily the best.  He was the outstanding boy on the field and should be a strong candidate for international honours again this season.”

Final score:  Highfield 11    St. Monica’s  0           

St Albans   

Last Saturday Highfield met St. Albans in the Ingram Rees cup and ran out winners by 48 points to nil.   Tom Stone, who should be an absolute certainty for a Welsh [schoolboy] cap this season, scored eight tries and converted two. 

Ninian Park

The first few minutes of the game when these two schools met were full of incident.  Norman Fender opening the scoring for the Park with a try wide out.  Whilst Tom Stone brought the scores level a minute later with a fine try.  No further scoring took place until about ten minutes before the end when Tom Stone, after being tackled practically on the line, dropped a smart goal although having very little room to work in.

 Final score:  Highfield   7   Ninian Park   6  

St. David’s

Highfield had had the better of the exchange in the opening half, but failed to press home their advantage.   Early in the second half Tom Stone, the Welsh international full back playing at centre in this game dropped a pretty goal which decided the match.  

 Final score Highfield 4 St. David’s 0.

2.2           Hooliganism

Disgraceful Scenes at the Park

The replayed match between Highfield and St. David’s Schools in the final for the Cardiff Schools Rugby Shield at the Cardiff Arms Park on Monday evening, were productive of scenes almost without parallel in the history of schoolboy rugby. A small rowdy element amongst the spectators made it’s presence felt during the game and especially so, at the conclusion of the game.

The match ended in a win for Highfield by a dropped goal to nil after a keen struggle between to fairly evenly matched sides and the result was a fair reflection of the game.  However, the decision did not please the section already referred to and there ensued scenes which were a disgrace to the fair name of the sport, and which might have had serious results. As it was the referee was roughly handled by hooligans before he could obtain assistance and he was escorted off the field by members of the scholastic profession.

The boys of the winning side were also subjected to maltreatment and a stone was thrown at Tommy Stone whose dropped goal gave Highfield the victory and was carried off shoulder high by his colleagues.  Another lad was tripped from behind and thrown heavily.  So threatening was the behaviour of certain of the spectators that the police had to be sent for. The ill humour of the hooligans also found expression in threats and bad language used towards the headmaster of Highfield.

The scenes were such as should never be repeated, if rugby and especially the schoolboy game is to retain its hold upon the players an spectators and it is to be hoped that precautions will be taken to prevent any such occurrence on future occasions.

 

2.3           Cardiff Boys

Schoolboy Trial                               

Cardiff Lads prepare for Mountain Ash.  Although not in his accustomed place at three quarter, Stone the B full back, was a tower of strength to his side and repeatedly saved them by some keen tackling and long touch finding.  

Final score    B Team 0    A Team 22

Cardiff v Mountain Ash                    

T Stone selected to play for Cardiff boys against Mountain Ash

First Round

The tit bit of the first round match, occurred about three minutes before half time when Cardiff scored through their full-back, Tom Stone.   Play was near mid-field when the Cardiff full-back received the ball.  Instead of kicking to touch, he elected to test his vis-à-vis with a big kick and a smart follow up. The Mountain Ash full-back was tackled by Johnny Ring and fumbled, Tom Stone got possession and dashed for the line evading a would be tackler on his way and scoring a remarkable try. Stone played a fine game, kicking and tackling superbly.

Second Round.

Cardiff defeat Mountain Ash in the second round. Had Cardiff paid more attention to scrumaging the probabilities are that the score would have been a good deal heavier than it was. As a compensating factor there was the brilliance of Stone the Highfield  full-back.

2.4    Dewar Shield Final

 

 

The Cardiff boys fought gamely with Stone playing finely but the All Blacks win the  Dewar Shield

Mid Glamorgan v Cardiff Supporters

The outstanding player was Tommy Stone, the schoolboy international full back who played in the unusual position, for him, as outside half.

2.5           Wales Boys

Welsh Schoolboy’s Trial

 

 

Tom Stone, probable full back, is the captain of the undefeated Highfield school team. He was reserve full back for Wales last season.

Cardiff Boy Rugby Player Tom Stone, who is captain of the undefeated Highfield School team, has scored 140 points this season in twelve games.  For his school he plays centre three-quarter but as Cardiff’s full back he has made himself famous.  He was reserve full back for Wales last season and is well in the running for his cap again this season.

He is playing in the preliminary Welsh trial, East v West, at Treherbert on February 23rd. The Welsh schools Rugby Union recognised his abilities last season, and if he keeps up his present form there is no doubt that further honours await him this season.

Stone selected in probables for final Welsh trial at Abertillery.

 

T Stone, a fine footballer and particularly safe in fielding the ball, is an accurate kicker, and a most resourceful player.   He has scored 140 points this season playing at full back and centre, a performance that speaks highly of his all round abilities.

Stone has played some brilliant games at full back for Cardiff’s Rugby Schoolboys and last Saturday distinguished himself in the East side.

 

 

3       CARDIFF RFC

3.1    Best Rugby Club in the Country

 

 

“Full back Stone was in fine form, his handling and kicking left nothing to be desired for one who is on the small side, being clean, and of a good length. While he rarely fails to find touch”

“Tom Stone at full back for Cardiff played excellently, fielding the slippery ball, accurately tackling well and kicking a fine length.  Everything he did stamped him as a footballer of great promise.”

3.2    Fixture  Reports

Newport

Stone electrified the crowd with a “Remarkably fine display on a quagmire”.     Stone saved his line on numerous occasions when under pressure from forward rushes.  Stone’s play is not far below the best international standard, and he is as good as any other Welsh full back except Bassett.” 

“In the opening minutes of the half, Stone electrified the crowd of 20,000 with am amazing run in which he covered 60 yards after fielding the ball in his own 25.  The full back darted clean through the opposition, but when he finally passed a Newport man snapped up the ball.  Stone’s brilliant effort, however paved the way for a Cardiff score, and this was obtained in the next movement when A T Thomas dashed over in the corner after B R Turnbull had paved the way.  Stone failed to convert. 

Final score:  Newport   0    Cardiff   5.

 

             

Contender for international honours

“Stone the Cardiff full back was great and he should certainly become a contender for international honours.”

Tommy Stone, the Cardiff full back, was outstanding in the match won by Cardiff by two tries to nil at Newport on Saturday.  Many are the fine games he has played for his club, but the probability is that he has never before shown such perfection in positional play, such accuracy in fielding and kicking and such sound judgement on when and whom to tackle

Final score  Newport ?  Cardiff ?

Stone dropped a truly great goal

Though beaten by Newport for the second time this season, Cardiff had one consolation.  They had the most popular and admirable player on their side and he contributed the most spectacular incident of the match.  He was their full back, Tommy Stone, who played a perfect game and dropped a truly great goal.    He was severely tested by Newport’s kicking to the open and by the dashing work of the Newport forwards but his sense of position was sure, his fielding excellent, and his touch finding accurate”  

Final score Newport 11   Cardiff 4.

Great Tackles by Tommy Stone

Newport, specially in the first half, frequently had the Cardiff defence running in the wrong direction.   But always, there was little Tommy Stone or Hughes, both grand defenders to crop up and bring off a decisive tackle”

 Final score Newport 3 Cardiff 3.  

“Tommy Stone, the Cardiff full back was the best man on the pitch and almost won the game for them”

 

 

Rhondda

“Tom Stone saved Cardiff several times with his fine tackling” .

Final Score Upper Rhondda 0   Cardiff 3.

Torquay

Splendid game at Torquay Stone plays well at full back and did much stylish work in the second half. 

Final score Torquay 8  Cardiff 11.

Bristol

Bristol Defeat Cardiff but the outstanding man on the field was Tommy Stone, who was magnificent in all he did. The Bristol full back was eclipsed by the great display of Stone who was loudly applauded by the crowd at the close.

Tommy Stone, the youthful and versatile Cardiff Rugby player originally operated at outside-half but lately, due to the injury to Trevor Lee has played phenomenal football at fullback.

Then came a delightful piece of work by Stone, the visiting full back, who darted away from the scrum, beating several opponents.   So elusive was his running that he got almost under the posts before being stopped”

“Cardiff were splendidly served by T Stone, whose form at full back make it difficult to understand why he has failed to find favour with the Welsh selectors.”

Final score Bristol 6  Cardiff 4

Stone and Bowcott shine in a thrilling game. Perhaps the outstanding feature in the play of Cardiff’s back contingent was the display given by young Tommy Stone.   Last week we had occasion to call attention to his magnificent exhibition at Torquay, and he kept up the high standard in no uncertain way at Bristol, adding to his good defence and kicking qualities, by some unorthodox attacking movements, in one of which, he nearly got through the whole of the Bristol team, after a run of nearly half

 

 

the length of the field. There is no questioning the fact that Stone is a bundle of versatility and able to adapt with uncanny fitness to any position among the backs. 

Final score Bristol 5   Cardiff 0.

Llanelly           

Tommy Stone, who will play for Cardiff against Llanelly on Saturday, is one of Cardiff’s own.   He played for the Highfield School and secured his schoolboy cap at full back in the same year he was one of the outstanding successes of the Cardiff boys’ team.  Leaving school he became one of the stars of the supporters ex-schoolboys.   Not yet twenty years of age he has figured for the Cardiff premier team this season

Stones Brilliant defence

“Stone was playing a magnificent game at full back for Cardiff, his touch finding being faultless.   On at least half a dozen occasions in this half he got his side out of difficulty by clever pick-ups and lengthy kicks to touch”

Final Score Llanelly 5  Cardiff 3.  

Stone in International form against Llanelly.

“Stone plays brilliant game at full-back.  A tussle between the Llanelly attack amd the Cardiff defence ended in a win for the Scarlets by a dropped goal.  Stone was in brilliant form at full-back for the Taff siders.  The Scarlets fully merited their victory.  Had they piled on another 10 points no one could haggle over the result.  From start to finish the game was one long tussle between Llanelly’s attack and Cardiff’s Defence.  Stone, the Cardiff full back played a miraculous game; he was here, there and everywhere to frustrate the Llanelly’s attacking efforts.

“There was, however one Cardiff back who added to his reputation.  This was diminutive full back Tommy Stone.  Cardiff owe a good deal to him, and how many Llanelly attacks he pulled up I can not count.   More that once he was not content to kick to touch.  He started perhaps the most dangerous Cardiff attacks which the game produced.

“I watched Cardiff last Saturday  at Llanelly.  Then they were a side which had lost all the sparkle and lustre I have seen them show.  They had one great player in this match, this was young Tommy Stone their full back.   Very many worse men have worn a red jersey, and Wales could be quite safe with Stone in the last line.  Stone is not afraid of the unorthodox.  It is extraordinary when you think how the vast majority of our full backs are wonderfully content with just the defensive side of football.”

Final score   Llanelly 4   Cardiff 0.

Stone never wavered

“There was great merit in Llanelly’s display on Saturday; adopting tactics suitable to the muddy ground and slippery ball, the Llanelly forwards directed the trend of play throughout.   Their fierce yet well concerted rushes swept aside the Cardiff defence time after time, and it was only the heroic play of Tommy Stone, the diminutive Cardiff full back, which repeatedly saved the visitor’s line.    He was harried by the fast Llanelly forwards as, probably never before, yet he stuck to his task magnificently.

Final score  Llanelly 15  Cardiff 5.

Old Merchant Taylors

Stone at his best, was the greatest stumbling block to the visitors, repeatedly gathering the ball at their feet and driving them back with long touch kicks.   His display all through was polished.

Final score OM Tailors 3  Cardiff 27.

Swansea

“T Stone defies Swansea, Cardiff full back stands out."

Cardiff were slightly the better side and just deserved their 3 points to nil victory.   There was not much to choose among the forwards but the Cardiff backs were faster and handled better.  The outstanding player of the whole game was T Stone the Cardiff full back, who proved a veritable stone wall through which the Swansea attack could not penetrate.  He was always ready for the ball and nearly always got touch with a good length.”  

Tom Stone takes his chance,  Swansea mistakes help Cardiff.

The game was robbed of a great deal of interest by the conditions, which were so bad that only 20 minutes play was possible in the second half.   Stone, at full back for Cardiff, was the outstanding player, his kicking and fielding being particularly clever.”

“Stone and Herbert both fielded the treacherous ball magnificently and, Stone in particular, kicked with Bancroftian accuracy and length.”

Final score   Swansea 6  Cardiff 6.

Gloucester

Stones Great Try for Cardiff.      

Gloucester outplayed in second half. Tommy Stone played a great part in a Cardiff victory over Gloucester at Kingsholm to-day, for besides scoring a remarkable try which he also converted, the full back also added the extra points to tries by Thomas and Jones. A remarkable triumph was then secured by Stone.  He fielded a punt, broke clean through the Gloucester defence , and ran half the length of the field .  He then punted and there was a great race to the Gloucester line .  Mackay fumbled and Stone who was at his heels beat him and scored one of the finest tries seen at Kingsholm for a long time.  He was loudly cheered for his great exploit.”

Outstanding Full back              

At the end of the match the name of T Stone,  Cardiff’s full back, was on the tongue of most of the spectators.  He gave a scintillating display, and without exaggeration might be said to have played the principal part in Cardiff’s victory..  His positioning and fielding were perfect and he kicked a good length with  excellent judgement, but it was the manner in which he eluded would-be tacklers and gained large slices of ground by clever running, which was the feature of his play.”

Gloucester face a gifted back in Stone.

The outstanding Cardiff player was Stone the full back.   His touch finding was perfect and his try which resulted from a run almost the length of the field ending in a clever punt over an opponents head was a great effort.

Final score Gloucester 3  Cardiff 15 points”

“Tommy Stone was the hero of a keen and fast clash in which the Gloucester side played desperately  but unsuccessfully against a sound defence.  It was a great day for Tommy Stone.  He was always in position and what few attacks Gloucester made found him ready and able to clear. He fielded cleanly, and cleverly eluded Gloucester’s rushes. He also used the touch line to advantage

Blackheath           

Cardiff lose their record, Stone plays superb game. There were two outstanding features and both were to the credit of Cardiff.  Tommy Stone played a superb game.  No words can fully do him credit.  He never put a foot wrong; his fielding and kicking were grand and his tackling saved at least two tries in the first half when Aarvold and Tallent were all but through.”

“Little Stone played a great game, fielding, dodging and kicking safely and employing a sense of anticipation to such effect that repeatedly the Blackheath people looked to be feeding him with direct punts” 

Final score Blackheath 6 Cardiff 3.

T. Stone the Strong Man of Cardiff.

Final Score Cardiff 3  Blackheath 0.

“Radcliff, the home full back played quite a good game, and yet in comparison with Tommy Stone, the Londoner was outclassed.   In fielding high kicks in a treacherous wind, in kicking and in defense, Stone was a host in himself and was given an ovation by the sportsman like crowd.”  

“In commenting on his play the London critics stated that Stone’s display was masterful, and if Wales had better full backs they are lucky.”

Final Score Blackheath  5   Cardiff 6

Plymouth Albion

Full back Stone a Fine Stand –Off

“Plymouth Albion, with a clear lead of 6 points at the interval seemed likely to beat Cardiff comfortably but in the second half , T Stone, the visiting full back and Gabe-Jones the stand off half, changed places, and the transfer and stones’ brilliance won the game for Cardiff.”

Final Score  Plymouth Albion  6  Cardiff 8

Stone in Form

Cardiff had a remarkably good ‘midget’ back in Stone with a kick out of all proportion to his inches and a bulldog tackle.    The marking and tackling were as keen as anyone could imagine, and there was no one more sure or certain in his tackles than Stone, who played a great game for his side.  Stone had a lot to do with movements at the end of the game when the Cardiff backs gave a glimpse of their real selves in several delightful bouts of passing, one of which sealed the Albion’s fate.”

Final Score  Cardiff  8  Plymouth Albion 3.

Richmond

The home team got no fewer than sixteen of their 23 points in the concluding stages, and Tommy Stone, the full back, had the distinction of figuring amongst the getters.  Stone again came to his side’s rescue when Webber put in a kick ahead.   The Cardiff full back took the ball easily dodged two would be tackles, and found a long touch. Stone a great little full back particularly impressed with his positional play.”

Final Score  Cardiff   v   Richmond.

Full back scores clever try

The home forwards gradually wore the opposition down and following a remarkably fine try by Bassett easily the fastest man on view, Cardiff ran riot and tries were scored in quick succession by Brown and Spence whilst in the last minute was obviously the most popular try of the day was scored by Stone who converted it.

Final Score  Cardiff 23  Richmond Park 3

Neath

Tommy Stone magnificent

Cardiff had the honour of taking Neath’s ground record on Saturday, and were able to perform the feat b exhibiting an all-round superiority in every position at forward, which was not represented in the final score.  The hero of the game was Tommy Stone, the Cardiff full back who was magnificent in all that he did and a rock upon which the fierce rushes of the home forwards spent them selves in vain. “No custodian playing the game could have improved upon the display given by Stone in this match.”

“I must not forget Tommy Stone,  Cardiff’s wonder full back.  He was definitely  one of the heroes of the game, and his pluck forced Neath to cheer. 

Final Score  Neath 3  Cardiff 6.

Coventry

Cardiff and Coventry draw blanks.  The rival lines of threes seldom made much headway, yet one brilliant movement was only held up when Stone brought the house down with a beautifully timed tackle that prevented Roberts making full use o a pass from Campbell. 

Final score  Coventry 0  Cardiff 0.

Falmouth   

“Stone was taken off with an injured ankle but returned a little later, playing in the three quarters . Stone played his usual sound game.”

Final Score  Falmouth 3  Cardiff 22.

Penzance

Penzance did better for a time but responding to calls of ‘ Come on Tommy Stone’ Stone had a go at scoring on his own, being brought down within inches of the line

Final Score Penzance 0  Cardiff 23

 

Barbarians  

T Stone acts as giant killer to Aarvold.

The talent of four nations combined to make the Barbarians a formidable side against Cardiff and the football they played was quite in keeping  with their  reputation.  Except perhaps at full back where little Tommy Stone played grandly for the home team, the visitors were superior in all departments. T Stone was outstanding for Cardiff, and the way he tackled Aarvold, who was nearly twice his size was a joy to the fine holiday crowd of 10,000.”

“ Stone continued to be the star man of the Cardiff side, his safe hands, and splendid sense of position gaining him many rounds of applause.   He was admirably safe with his kicks but was a little ambitious when he attempted to drop a goal from half way.”

Final Score  Cardiff 8  Barbarians 14.

3.3    Representative Games

Monmouthshire  

“The wings, too gave no cause for complaint in any direction but Bayliss had a most unhappy afternoon.  Stone at the other end made several glaring errors and occasionally sliced the ball, but he was along way in front of Bayliss.”

Final score  Glamorgan  26   Monmouthshire 9

East Midlands v  Barbarians

One of he most coveted honours in Rugby has been offered to Tommy Stone, the Cardiff full back, who has accepted it.  Barbarians have written to the Cardiff club offering Tommy Stone a place in their team to play East Midlands in the Mobbs memorial match on March 4th.  

3.4    Internationals

SPRINGBOCKS  1931

 

Little Stone with a Great Heart

Critical Match...  Interesting contrasts are provided in the Cardiff team.  The forwards, who include such famous Welsh caps as A Skym and B Barrel average 18 stone, but the full back, T Stone, is at 5 foot 2 inches the smallest man playing first class rugby in this position. Stone is, however strong and sturdy, a plucky tackler and a good kick

Twice in the first half, when Cardiff were the better side a sprinter might have rounded off the attack, while on a third occasion, a minute or two before the interval, Stone (who played his best game of the season and did not suffer in comparison with Brand) with the assistance of Barrel and Skym, ran for over half the length of the field and failed to find a speedy man on the right flank to accept a pass when all the defence had been left behind.

“Cardiff as a team played nobly and Stone and Boon played heroically”

Little full back’s amazing pluck, went down to rushes of giant forwards.   Although Cardiff did not beat the South Africans, they made them go all out to win by 2 goals and one try to 1 goal.  Over 30,000 spectators attended.  The man who caught the most, though was Stone, Cardiff’s diminutive full back  He did not miss-field a single ball and went down to rushes in plucky style.  On this display he must be the best full back in Wales to-day”

Final score Cardiff 5South Africa 13

 

 

New Zealand

 

4       WELSH CAP CANDIDATES

4.1           Stone deserves a glance

Tommy Stone, Cardiff’s diminutive full back was born in Llandaff North. He attended Highfield school and in 1924 gained his Welsh School boy international cap.  He began his career in senior football through the medium of the Cardiff supporters XV.  Stone was then outside half and it was such that he first appeared in the Cardiff first XV in 1926.   He alternated between fly-half and full back before eventually settling in the last line from where he is now making a serious bid for a cap.   Though on the small side, this does not prevent him being a splendid player.  Stone is a fine kick, a full blooded tackler, and if he has one fault it is that of being unnecessarily daring in endeavouring to defeat oncoming opponents “

“Cardiff’s brilliant full back. If he is judged by his form against Newport, T Stone the Cardiff full back is bound to be considered for a place in Wales match against England  at Twickenham.” 

“For years Stone has been playing up to international standard without getting the honour so richly deserved.  I have been following rugby for over 45 years and have never known another player so treated   Newport Supporter.”

“Tommy Stone, the Cardiff full back deserves a glance. There are of course Scourfield, Bayliss and Bassett ready to hand;  Stone has one advantage over these three ; his former experience as a fly-half makes him a much more constructive back than any of them.    I am tending to the opinion that the great full back of the future is going to be a very real part of the attack.   Full backs ignore attack too much.  Someone will arise one day and alter that.”

4.2           Welsh Trial

                        Gwyn Bayliss (Pontypool)  v  Tommy Stone (Cardiff)

More problems for the selectors as Possibles beat the Probables.  The second Welsh trial match at Cardiff provided a surprise, the Possibles beating the Probables  by fifteen to ten, and the run of the play indicated that the selectors have been set more problems to solve. Tommy Stone, with his speed and his kicking showed Bassett to be an ‘old man’.  

“The man of the moment who could slip into Bassett’s shoes, and fill them with some considerable credit is Tommy Stone of Cardiff. I have seen him play half a dozen times this season, and I go as far as to wonder whether or not he is Bassett’s equal. In my view Stone stands out above all the candidates and, provided he retains his form, I hope to see him gain his first cap.”

Final score Possibles  10  Probables   15.

4.3           Stone Ignored

Mention of the full back position brings up the topic of Tommy Stone.   Perhaps we of Newport have been unlucky (or lucky enough to praise without bias) in that Stone almost invariably has shown his best form in Cardiff Newport games.   That was the case yet again on Saturday and I do not think there is any doubt that Newport followers generally believe that Stone is still quite easily the best full back in Wales.  Yet he is still only a reserve for the Swansea trial.

There must be some prejudice in the selector’s minds against Stone, perhaps they are fearful of his audacity, preferring stodgy efficiency, but if the little Cardiff full back ends his carer without winning a Welsh cap it will be possible to say with perfect truth that he is one of the finest uncapped man who has ever played.  When we remember the questionable credentials of so many internationals honoured even in Stone’s time, we can not but sympathise with a grand little player.

4.4           Stone Selected

 

Tommy Stone, the Cardiff full back is to play for Wales against Ireland at Belfast on Saturday. The official announcement was made on Wednesday.  Stone has been on the fringe of international honours for several seasons.  He secured them now through the chosen full back, V J G Jenkins, having intimated that he will be unable to play owing to a sceptic knee.  Until this season, Stone has been one of the most unfortunate of players in the matter of the highest honours.   Although he played in many Welsh trials it was not until January that he secured a final trial cap.”

“Of all the honours accorded to Cardiff men none has given such satisfaction as that of an award to Tommy Stone.  True, he secured the coveted honour by being brought in from the reserve list instead of as an original selection, but that matters little.   For years Cardiff supporters have urged that Tommy Stone  really deserved a cap. Doubtless, he would have had it ere this had it not been for the fact that he happened to be playing at a time when Wales was particularly well off for full backs.  The honour has come, somewhat belatedly, though it Is non the less welcome, and it can be safely asserted that the satisfaction felt at the inclusion of Stone in the Welsh side is more wide spread than had been the case in regard to any other player in recent times.

“ I learned yesterday that the admirable club full back, Tommy Stone, has never been given a final trial cap.  This, in my opinion is an injustice to one of the most consistent players in the country.”

5       WEDDING

Football team at wedding, Guard of honour for vice-captain an bide. The bride  was Miss Marjorie Smith of Radyr Road, Llandaff North, given away by her brother Mr Gwyn Smith she wore a gown of ivory ring velvet with a draped corsage, with embroidered tulle veil and wreath of orange blossom.   She carried a bouquet of flame tulips and this was the colour chosen for the velvet gowns of her two bridesmaids, Thelma Cook and Joyce Smith.  Mr Bert Walters, brother in law of the bridegroom was the best man.

 

“I have not had my International cap , but what does that matter when compared with the kindness I am receiving from my club mates.  This was the reply made by Tommy Stone, the Cardiff full back, when he was presented with a canteen of cutlery and a Westminster chiming clock by the players and committee men of the Cardiff Rugby Club at Cardiff on Saturday.”

6       An International who never was.

Picked by Wales and never capped.   That was the bitter blow dealt out to stubby and powerful Tommy Stone, who played nine seasons at full back and fly half for Cardiff between 1928 and 1937.   It was in his last season for Cardiff that Tommy received the news that every player cherishes – he was picked to play for his country.

Selected to appear against  Ireland in 1937 in place of the injured Vivian Jenkins,  Stone even made the journey across the Irish sea only for the fickle weather to prevent him wearing the coveted red jersey. Heavy snow falling on the Ravenhill ground wiped out all possibility of the match being played and Stone, together with his team mates returned to Wales empty handed. By the time the rearranged international was played a few weeks later Stone, in his disappointment had gone north an  Walter Legge of Newport stepped into the breach to win the first of his two caps.

“The scouts had been after me for years” he explained “and in my disappointment in not playing in Ireland I thought I might as well get something out of the game so I signed for Barrow at a fee of £300.” He turned out to be one of Barrow’s most costly buys.  After no more than a dozen games for the rugby league club he strained the ligaments in his knee and was unable to play another game of rugby.

7      The last word  ?

Cheery and imperturbable Tommy, his chubby face constantly creased with an engaging grin, has only one regret about his rugby carer -  that he did not turn professional earlier.  “ I was 27 years old when I went north and that was too late” he points out.  “I could have gone as a youngster to either Leeds or Salford for £560 but my father was very ill and I thought it better to stay at home.”

He has one outstanding memory about his playing days and that goes back to the time when he was an outside half for Highfield school. “We won the schools cup at Cardiff Arms Park for three years in succession” he recalls. ”and each time it was  through a dropped goal that went through the same posts.”  It is with some reluctance that Tommy admits that it was he who dropped the match wining goals

 G V Wynne Jones  1974    Tommy was ahead of his time    

“It is a matter of getting the right mixture of individualism  and discipline.   If I had a son who was keen to be a threequarter I would want him to watch Wilf Wooler but learn from Bleddyn Williams.  Wilf was the great individualist, the completely natural player.   Bleddyn was a player who did all the orthodox things well, who could play the team game to perfection and then decide the match with one magnificent side step..

The changes in the game today would have appealed to the people I played within the 1930’s.  Tommy Stone would have been in J P R’s class as an attacking full back.  Tommy who started as a fly half was regarded as too much of a risk as an international full back because he came up with his threequarters too often.  They’d have said the same thing about J P R had he been playing then. .  Now he is rightly regarded as the best full back in the world.”

APPENDIX

Extracts from Rugby League Contract

An Agreement made the 20th day of March One thousand nine hundred and 37 between J.E. Senior the Secretary of and acting pursuant to Resolutions and Authority for and on behalf of the Barrow Rugby Football Club Limited (hereinafter referred to as “the Club” of the one part and W.T. Stone  (hereinafter called “the Player” of the other part).  Whereby it as agreed as follows:-

 

1         In consideration of the stipulations and agreement on the part of the Club hereinafter contained, the Player  hereby agrees with the Club, that he will well and faithfully and to the best of his ability and skill, play the game of the rugby League Football for the Club, either for the First Team, Second Team, or as a Reserve to either Team.   The Player shall do everything necessary to get and keep himself in the best possible condition so as to render the most efficient service to the Club.

 

2         The Player shall observe and be subject to all the Rules, Regulations, and Bye-laws  of the rugby Football League or any other League, Unions or Combination of which the Club shall be a member.

 

3         The Player shall have the right to refuse to play when called upon , if by his playing he would jeopardise is position at his ordinary work or be likely to lose such work.

 

4         In consideration of the Player faithfully observing and performing the stipulations and agreements herein contained, the Club hereby agrees that it will pay the Player for each First Team Match in League or Cup-Ties in which he plays:- Home Matches for a win the sum of £4  0s  0d.; for a draw the sum of £3  0s  0d.; for a loss the sum of £2  0s  0d.   Away matches for a win the sum of £4 10s  0d.;  for a draw the sum of £3  0s  0d.  for a loss the sum of £2  0s  0d.(payment for friendly matches to be left to the discretion of the Club.)  For ‘A’ Team Matches in the Lancashire Senior Competition: Home Matches for a win £1  0s  0d. ;  for a draw the sum of £1  0s  0d.; for a loss the sum of 10s  0d.; Away matches for a win the sum of £1 10s  0d.;  for a draw the sum of £1 10s  0d.; for a loss the sum of £1  0s  0d.  North Western League matches;  for a win the sum of 10s  0d.; for a draw the sum of 10s  0d.; for a loss the sum of 7s  6d.

 

5         The Club will pay, in addition to the remuneration to be paid to the Player under the preceding paragraph, all reasonable travelling expenses incurred by the Player when travelling on the Club’s behalf.

 

6         If the Player shall be unfit to play and such unfitness is caused by an accident while playing for the Club, and renders him unable to follow his ordinary employment, then the player shall be entitled to the benefit of the Insurance next hereinafter provided for.

 

7         The Club shall pay to the Player the sum of £2 10s 0d. per week if such Player be incapacitated whilst playing with either the First or Second Team so long as he is unable to follow any employment.

 

8         The Club shall at its own expense, cause an Insurance Policy against accident at Football to be issued by the Northern League Football Union Insurance Society.

 

9         The Player shall not (except in International, county, or other Representative Matches), without the express written permission of the Club previously obtained, play either in practice or in matches, whether ordinary fixtures or not, the game of Football for any Club or Team other than of the Club..

 

This agreement is subject to the following right of appeal:-

1         A Player shall have the right of appeal to the Council of the Rugby Football League

2         A Right of appeal to the Management Committee of the Rugby Football League


© Adrian Stone, 2009
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