E13 - Chris Jones: Welsh rugby hard-man | Banned for life twice
We are marking the return of the Six Nations with a foray into the world of rugby union for the latest Christians in Sport podcast, but this month’s interviewee has a far from conventional tale to tell.
Danno meets wildman turned inspirational youth coach Chris Jones. Although a Welsh junior international, Chris was soon far better known for his violent antics on off the field, which earned him the dubious honour of being banned for life twice.
Chris, whose story has been well-chronicled in print, was renowned for carrying an axe in his kitbag and prided himself in being among the hardest men in the Rhondda Valley. Here he speaks of how the culture he grew up in led to him seeking to earn admiration in the best way he knew how – as a thug. Chris’ behaviour came to ahead at the most unlikely of places – the Brecon Jazz Festival – after which his life was turned upside down when he came to faith in Jesus.
After his first life ban, a journalist put it to Chris that his influence on the young people of the Rhondda Valley was terrible. Chris’ reply at the time was “I don’t care”. Decades later, he is having a very different impact as he puts his faith into action as Rhondda’s rugby development officer. On becoming a Christian, Chris initially felt rugby was his problem and that he needed to abandon the sport, but then he came to realise how God could use him in the world he once terrorised.
Listen to this fascinating podcast as Chris talks about:
Why he carried the axe in his kit bag (1 min 40 secs)
How he looked to earn the respect of his peers (3.45)
His numerous sending-offs and brushes with officialdom (7.20)
The unlikely turning point in his life (13.00)
The influence of a Christian work colleague and his great reaction when Chris came to faith
His doubts about getting back involved in rugby as a new Christian (22.30)
The doubts school teachers had when he became the local rugby development officer
What he loves most about his coaching role (27.40)
His regrets at not coming to faith earlier (30.00)
And much more…
#sixnations #rugby #wales #danno #grahamdaniels