A LARGE number of former rugby stars returned to a Colwyn Bay school for a special event in celebration of two legendary figures.

The Rydal Penrhos Vikings Rugby Reunion Dinner took place on Saturday, January 25, which was held to honour the careers of Mike Leach and Phil Mather and saw 145 people lend their support to the occasion.

There was also a special guest in the form of Welsh international Jonathan Davies, who has amassed 81 caps for his country to date and held a special question and answer session with ex-professional Andrew Fenby and Invictus Games medallist Nathan Jones.

Mr Leach and Mr Mather spoke about their favourite Rydal Penrhos memories, and a number of ex-pupils who could not attend also contributed with video messages.

Marcus Copeland, Rydal Vikings’ chair, said: “When Andrew and I sat down in June and discussed organising a Vikings tribute dinner for Mike and Phil, not in my wildest dreams did I think that seven months later we would be hosting such an amazing event.

“It was probably the biggest gathering of alumni at the school since the Centenary Dinner in 1985, which goes to show the sheer volume of love and respect that staff and ex-pupils share for Mike and Phil.”

Each former pupil gave a personal message on two frames that will be given to Mr Leach and Mr Mather, and those that were unable to attend sent video messages to the duo, who are two of the most significant influencers behind Rydal Penrhos’ rich tradition of rugby success.

Mr Fenby, added: “What an event it turned out to be. I thought we were being ambitious targeting an audience of 120 so to get 145, whilst hearing the efforts people had made to make the dinner, shows the esteem with which Mike and Phil are held by so many.

“For me, the most important thing achieved on the night was giving two of our own the send-off they deserve.”