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Last Updated: Monday, 23 April 2007, 15:20 GMT 16:20 UK
'Broken back' in last rugby game
Bryan Davies  (picture; Daily Post)
Bryan Davies was airlifted to Wrexham Maelor hospital
A rugby player has suffered a suspected broken back playing for his team for the last time before retiring.

Bryan Davies, 49, had been made honorary captain for his final game as hooker for Bala rugby club before Saturday's accident.

Gwyndaf Hughes, secretary of Bala RFC, told BBC Wales that the injury happened in the first scrum in the first five minutes of the match.

Mr Davies is receiving treatment at Walton hospital, Liverpool.

"I think Bryan realised because his first words to the players were 'don't move me, I'm in trouble' - I think he realised something quite serious had happened," said Mr Hughes.

It's a very sad day for the club, community and everyone concerned with and north Wales rugby
Gwyndaf Hughes, Bala RFC

Mr Davies was a devoted family man and a "true stalwart" of the rugby club, he added.

"He's the sort of man where it's easier to list what he doesn't do than what he does do.

"He's in charge of maintenance, the pitch - the cutting and the markings - and he's almost running the junior section single handed, coaching three or four teams and refereeing some games. The work he does is truly invaluable."

Mr Hughes said he had been told that with a spinal injury the first 48 hours were crucial and the "general prognosis at the moment was not very good."

"The ironic thing here is that it was his last match and he was going to retire from the game after the match.

"It's a very sad day for the club, community and everyone concerned with and north Wales rugby."

Club president and local MP Elfyn Llwyd said everyone was waiting and praying for good news.

'Terrible shock'

"We are all waiting for news, but there is no good news at the moment.

"Everyone in the Penllyn and Meirionnydd area is praying that he'll get better."

Following the injury Mr Davies was flown by air ambulance to Wrexham Maelor hospital and was later transferred to Walton hospital in Liverpool.

A Walton hospital spokesperson said they would not be releasing any details about Mr Davies' condition at his family's request.

Mr Davies' employers at Ifor Williams Trailers in Cynwyd, Denbighshire, said their thoughts were with him and his family.,

"The news about Bryan's accident has come as a terrible shock to all of us.

"Our thoughts and best wishes are with him and his family at this extremely difficult time," the spokesman added.

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