THE NORMAN GALE (1939 – 2005) COLLECTION
The following lots have been entered for auction by the family of Norman Gale.
Norman Reginald Gale was born in Gorseinon, Glamorgan 24 July 1939 and was a former Wales hooker and captain and a major figure in the history of Llanelli RFC. Brought up in Gorseinion, he was educated at Gowerton Grammar School and, after playing for Gorseinon seniors, joined Llanelli RFC, whom he led in the 1964/65 and 1967/68 seasons, despite a brief spell with Swansea.
He made his debut for Wales against Ireland in Dublin in 1960 with a close victory and while still with the Swansea All Whites. He played for Swansea against South Africa in 1960 but the next season went back to Llanelli. He did not receive another Welsh cap for another three years until finally being selected against England in 1963. From then on, he made the position of hooker his own.
In 1964 Wales shared the Championship with Scotland and then won it outright in 1965 and 1966, with Gale saving the game at Murrayfield in 1965 - in the closing minutes he dived over in the corner to give Wales a 12-10 win over Scotland.
When New Zealand toured Britain in 1967, he was picked as captain of Wales and astonishingly took a successful second-half penalty. However, Wales lost 13-6 and his captaincy was restricted to one more game - an 11-11 tied match with England at Twickenham in ‘68.
Having also played for Wales against New Zealand in 1963, South Africa in 1964 and Australia in 1968, he ended his international career with the tour to the Southern Hemisphere in 1969. In the first Test against New Zealand he replaced Jeff Young after Young’s jaw was fractured. He played in the second Test and against Australia at Sydney, he made his 25th and last appearance for Wales in a 19-16 victory.
After retiring as a player, he joined the Llanelli coaching staff and was assistant coach to Carwyn James when they beat the All Blacks in 1972 and when ‘the pubs run dry’. Gale was Head Coach at Llanelli between 1974 and 1978. He was Chairman at Llanelli between 1986 and 1989 when the club won the Welsh Cup in 1988 and were runner up in 1989, team manager on the club’s Australia and Fiji tour in 1986. He was also President of the Former Players Association at Scarlets.
Outside of rugby, Gale had worked as a fitter for British Steel, and then as landlord of the White Horse Inn in Llanelli before retirement. He died in 2015, less than 48 hours after watching his beloved Llanelli Scarlets defeat Munster in a Celtic League match
ITEMS RELATING TO THE 1969 WALES RUGBY UNION TOUR OF NEW ZEALAND & OCEANIA comprising official blazer bearing embroidered WRU crest and `New Zealand 1969` (with some handwritten notes on paper found in the inside pocket), white silk neckerchief, a red tour towel bearing NZ silver fern and `1969`; programme for Wellington v Wales, collection of black and white photographs which includes (1-2) two photos of the Wales party boarding a BOAC flight with Norman Gale looking at the camera and in the background JPR Williams gazing from the flight-steps, (3) JPR Williams, Gareth Edwards and others outside the colonial, now demolished, Criterion Hotel, New Plymouth, (4-6) three photographs of the team relaxing and posing on a New Zealand beach in WRU sweaters, (7-8) two by the pool of a hotel, (9) some of the team including Gareth Edwards relaxing at Mt Taranaki against the Arthur Hamilton-Ambury monument, (10) a small photo including John Taylor, JPR Williams and others enjoying a night out in a Fijian bar, (11) Norman Gale posing with hundreds of Fijian school-children, (12) the official regimental band performing before the start of Fiji v Wales XV in Suva, (13-14) two photographs of this match (believed), (14-17) three further photographs believed to be related including Norman Gale in action against the All Blacks, Norman Gale suited with officials holding an All Blacks shirt, and another (17 total)¦Provenance: from the family of the late-Norman Gale (1939 - 2005), former Wales captain. The 1969 tour was Wales` first ever trip to New Zealand and was dubbed the `suicide tour` because of the distance, the jet-lag, the formidable New Zealand side and an earthquake that occurred when they arrived at their base in New Plymouth