Welsh rugby league mourns Melling
Dr Phil Melling, a pioneer of rugby league in Wales, has died after a year-long battle with cancer.
Born in Wigan in 1947, the son of a miner, he moved to south Wales in the late 1970s and established the game at Swansea University, where he was a lecturer and professor in American studies, in the face of hostility from the Welsh Rugby Union.
The inaugural chairman of the Welsh Amateur Rugby League, he oversaw the formation of the Welsh side who played in the 1989 Student World Cup under coach Clive Griffith and managed the Great Britain student team in 1990.
An author and playwright, he leaves behind his wife Sue, three children and a grandchild.
Wales Rugby League president Mike Nicholas said: “Our thoughts and sympathy are with Phil’s family at this sad time. Rugby league in general is all the poorer from losing such a staunch and stalwart supporter of our great game.”