Welsh Sports Hall of Fame honours Cornishman Cobner


The Welsh Sports Hall of Fame presented Cardiff Metropolitan University's Director of Sport, Dave Cobner, with an award for 'Outstanding Services to Welsh Sport' at their 26th 'Roll of Honour' dinner at the SWALEC Stadium on Friday night, adding him to an exclusive list of recipients.

Cornish-born Cobner has long seen himself as an honorary Welshman, but now has his status confirmed by his adopted homeland after receiving the award which is one of the top honours in Welsh sport.

Cobner found himself in good company as an award winner with Commonwealth Games gold medal winning race walker Steve Barry, who was an Olympian in 1984, England and Glamorgan cricket hero Simon Jones and current Cardiff Met student Frankie Jones, the former British rhythmic gymnastics champion who won five silver medals and a gold at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games last year.

Only two people in the 26 year history of the Welsh Sports Hall of Fame have received the honour handed out to Cobner, the former President of the British Boxing Board of Control, Lord Brookes, and Welsh hockey player, captain and president Ceri O'Donnell.

In the citation read out before Cobner received his award, the Welsh Sports Hall of Fame, whose chairman is the former Wales First Minister Rhodri Morgan, said of the Cardiff Met stalwart:

"Every now and then we come across a compelling case of someone who has provided outstanding service to Welsh Sport that might not merit inclusion on our exclusive Roll of Honour, but we feel certainly needs to be recognised.

"Tonight we are delighted to announce that we have uncovered a servant for the greater good of Welsh sport as a whole whose name we shall be adding to those of Lord Jack Brookes and Ceri O'Donnell who we have honoured in this way in the past.

"Where to start is the thing. Maybe as far back as the seventies I suppose because that is when our special recipient first began lecturing here in Cardiff. Since then tens of thousands of students have come under his influence in his various guises at what is now Cardiff Metropolitan University.

"For the past 37 years he has lectured, inspired and fought for better facilities for his students. Countless champions from a whole array of sports have benefitted from his tireless work.

"Last week he received a standing ovation from the Cardiff Met School of Sport students representing sports from cheerleading to trampolining, swimming to lacrosse, football to triathlon. It was the 37th annual sports award evening – he organised the first and has attended every one.

"It was a moving occasion for everyone involved. His commitment to sport at the University and beyond is incredible and the partnerships he has struck with local authorities and governing bodies have been innovative, ground breaking and of great benefit.

"In his spare time he has also been able to sit on the Sports Hall of Fame committee, which only serves to make this presentation all the more poignant and pertinent."

Wilf Wooller, the former Glamorgan county championship winning captain and Welsh rugby star of the thirties was a posthumous addition to the 'Roll of Honour', which now holds the names of 128 of Wales' greatest sportsmen and women.

One of the 'Roll of Honour' members, the 1964 Olympic long jump gold medallist Lynn Davies, taught Dave, his Dad and his son at Cardiff Met when it was Cardiff College of Education. Lynn joined the Dean of Sport at Cardiff School of Sport, Richard Tong, in handing over the award to a gobsmacked Cobner.