Doctor Gerald Davies CBE DL
DLC in Physical Education, 1966
Hon DLitt, 2008
Doctor Davies, Welsh international rugby player and British Lion, is considered one of the best wingers rugby has ever seen.
Winning two UAU titles whilst studying at Loughborough, he went on to play for Cambridge University, Cardiff RFC, Llanelli and London Welsh, captaining Cardiff for three seasons during the 1970s.
Gerald made his international debut in December 1966 against Australia in Cardiff, playing in the centre during his early career.
He was switched to the wing by Welsh coach Clive Rowlands during their 1969 tour of Australia and New Zealand, and his famous side-step and rapid acceleration led to him dominating the Wales wing for the remainder of his career.
Davies was a British and Irish Lion in 1968 and 1971, one of a raft of Welsh players alongside Barry John, Gareth Edwards and JPR Williams to enter into the folklore of both the Lions and Wales.
He is perhaps best remembered for his last-gasp score against Scotland in the 1971 Five Nations, crossing in the corner before flanker John Taylor added the extras with the “greatest conversion since St.Paul” for a 19-17 Wales win.
He toured with the British Lions in 1968 and on the winning tour in 1971, took the principled step to withdraw from the team ahead of the 1974 tour of an apartheid-divided South Africa. He returned to Lions duty in South Africa in 2009 as Tour Manager.
Since retirement, he has enjoyed success as a journalist – working with the BBC and writing for The Times – and has published several books. He serves on a number of boards including Welsh Rugby Union, and International Rugby Board, and has served as chairman of the Wales Youth Agency. Gerald was awarded an honorary degree by Loughborough in 2008 and served as Manager for the British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa in 2009.