Bleddyn Jones, BBC Radio Leicester’s commentator for Leicester Tigers matches for nearly 35 years, has died at the age of 72.
He had previously made 333 appearances as a Tigers player, after which he was inducted into the club’s hall of fame.
Leicester chairman Peter Tom said he was “deeply saddened” by his death.
Born in Brynamman in West Glamorgan in August 1948, Jones moved to Leicester in 1969 to begin his career in teaching.
As he once described, he joined Tigers after his first day in his new role, when he saw players training in the park.
He asked to join in, and so began a 50-year association with the club.
Jones went on to make over 300 appearances at fly-half for Leicester, playing in the club’s first John Player Cup Final, against Gloucester in 1978, before retiring a year later because of an ankle injury.
He almost immediately took over from Van Hopkins as BBC Radio Leicester’s Tigers commentator, and was the voice of Leicester’s huge success through the late 1990s, 2000s and early 2010s.
Until 2017, he had been to every one of the club’s European fixtures, home and away.
“Bleddyn was such a lovely man,” said Tigers chairman Tom. “One of the nicest you could ever wish to meet. He was part of this club for such a long time.
“Bleddyn had a huge number of friends within the game, which speaks volumes for his character. Everyone at the club is deeply saddened to hear of his passing.
“On behalf of players, staff and supporters, I send the Tigers’ very deepest condolences and best wishes to his family and friends.”
As well as his media work, Jones had a 40-year career in education as a teacher and headteacher. He was also known for his dedication to volunteer and charity work.