A Cardiff grandmother, who has not missed a home rugby game since she was 14, has had a city centre pub named after her following being crowned one of Brains’ ‘Real Welsh Legends’.
The Old Arcade, Brains’ premier sports pub, will be renamed ‘The Lyn John Arms’ for one week after Lyn, 71, was voted by the Welsh public as the overall winner of the ‘Real Welsh Legends’ campaign which is celebrating local characters from towns and pubs across Wales.
Lyn was surprised by rugby player Jamie Roberts at the former Old Arcade on Church Street, Cardiff, who presented her with a series of money can’t buy prizes. Her prizes include the chance to brew a limited edition ‘Legends’ beer, a year of free beer, a private tour of the Brains brewery, tickets for the Captain’s Run at the Millennium Stadium and tickets for the Wales vs Italy rugby match on 5th September.
Lyn, who is a retired teacher, has not missed a home game since she was 14 years old, apart from the 2004 France v Wales match, which she watched from her son’s wedding in Australia. She also has debenture tickets at the halfway line at the Millennium Stadium and one of her claims to fame is that she once taught rugby legend, John Taylor, how to do a side step during an away game in Edinburgh in the 70s.
She said: "I can’t believe that I’ve won, especially since I would never have even dreamed of putting myself forward in the first place. My daughter, Elin, nominated me, and she lives all the way in Washington in America! I’m sure that helped, getting votes from America, Wales, and from Perth in Australia, where my son Owen lives.
"My daughter always checks the Welsh news because she loves and misses Wales, which is how she found out about the competition, and nominated me because I love my rugby and I’ve almost never missed a Wales match.
"I’ve been so amazed by all the support, and want to thank everyone that voted for me. I’m so happy to be a Real Welsh Legend."
Bruce Newman, Head of Marketing at SA Brain & Co Ltd said: "What could possibly be more Welsh and more legendary than not missing a Six Nations game for 57 years? Lyn’s knowledge of Welsh rugby is enough to put the most avid rugby supporters to shame and it is this dedication to the sport and pride in Wales’s sporting heritage that makes her a worthy Real Welsh Legend.
"The Old Arcade is one of our flagship sports pubs so, given Lyn’s unrivalled passion for rugby, it’s a great fit for The Lyn John Arms."
Bruce added: "Our Real Welsh Legends campaign was designed to discover and celebrate those unsung characters who are at the heart of our towns and villages and, with the help of the public, we did just that. We have had a fantastic response and we’d like to thank everyone who nominated and voted for their favourite Welsh legends."
A further three ‘Legends’ were chosen by public vote; Lou Krizan, a 90-year-old ex-miner from Ystrad Mynach, Captain Beany, a baked bean superhero from Port Talbot and Wendy Morris, a woman who followed in her mother’s footsteps as mayor of Aberystwyth.