IT was a right royal occasion at Llandovery RFC’s Church Bank clubhouse last Friday evening when three of the club’s stalwarts were announced life members by the club’s patron HRH The Prince of Wales writes Huw S Thomas..

Prince Charles was at the ground to unveil a plaque celebrating the club’s 135th anniversary but also found time to present Phil Davies, Handel Davies and Eifion Evans with certificates to mark their huge contribution to Drovers rugby.

Over 100 club members and invited guests including the Lord Lieutenant of Dyfed – Sara Edwards, constituency MP Jonathan Edwards and AM Rhodri Glyn Thomas were at the presentation in which the Prince warmly praised the work of the club in promoting the game in Wales.

He particularly praised the work of Club President Phil Davies, Chairman Handel Davies and former committee man Eifion "Tank" Evans who were added to the enviable roll of honour of life members.

They joined just five others to have been given such an honour – Roland Griffiths, Joe Richards, Barry Williams, Neville Morgan and Twm Jones.

Club President Phil Davies called it one of the proudest moments of his life when he was made a life member by the Prince.

"To have the personal thanks of his Royal Highness was something really special for myself, Handel and Eifion" said the stalwart known to one and all – including the Prince – as Phil The Beast.

"We are just three people out of the dozens who make a very special club tick over. We are a small club who have risen up the ranks thanks to the wonderful ground work done over the years – and we are all dedicated to maintain the club’s standing in Welsh rugby.

And to know that our Patron Prince Charles has our interests at heart is a boost to us all."

The Prince’s final gesture on Friday before he sped off to spend the weekend at his Welsh home Llwynywermod in Myddfai was to unveil a specially commissioned plaque.

The plaque not only commemorates the 135th anniversary of the club which was founded in 1881 –the same year as the WRU - but also marks the 25th year that the club have been at the Church Bank playing fields nd the 20th year since the opening of the Tyssul Williams stand.

Prince Charles commended the club on its outstanding work at all levels and wished the club continuing good fortune and success in the future.