Cardiff RFC were saddened today to hear of the passing of Graham Hale at the great age of 97. He passed peacefully at Ty Coch Nursing Home in Llanishen where he was very well cared for, with his family around him.
Hale was the oldest surviving Cardiff RFC player and the last link back to the pre-war team of Wilf Wooller. He made 59 appearances for Cardiff in the 1938/39, 1945/46 and 1946/47 seasons. Had it not been for the War years he would no doubt have played many more. He played in the centre in the 1938/39 season at the age of 18 alongside Wilf Wooller. After the War he played on the wing outside Bleddyn Williams and Dr Jack Matthews. He scored 33 tries
In 1939 he was one of the Cardiff seven which won the Middlesex Sevens at the first attempt, also becoming the first invitation side to do so. He recalled that only Wilf Wooller had ever played sevens before and they had two cursory training sessions with him before going to Twickenham
Hale played in three “Victory” Internationals after the War – against France at Swansea in December 1945, against New Zealand at the Arms Park in January 1946 and against England also in January 1946 at the Arms Park. Caps were not awarded by the WRU for these and he even had to return his shirt after the games This great sporting injustice was corrected in 2013 when Hale, along with Billy Darch and others (posthumously) received their President’s Cap from the WRU in recognition of their appearance against France. A very proud moment for him and his family.
Our thoughts are with his family at this sad time. His funeral will take place on Wednesday 31st January at 11.30 am at Christ Church, Radyr, followed by internment at Radyr cemetery.