A British and Irish Lion has finally been presented with his cap more than 32 years after pulling on the jersey.
Former Wales international Jeff Whitefoot, who started his career at Bedwas RFC, played for the Lions on April 16, 1986, and faced a Rest of the World XV at Cardiff Arms Park.
The game was set up to commemorate the centenary of the International Rugby Football Board, which would afterwards become the IRB – the International Rugby Board.
The presentation took place recently at Mr Whitefoot’s home in Energlyn after family and friends organised a surprise party – they had to hide the cap for several weeks when it arrived in the post.
Mr Whitefoot, 62, said: “Because it was a centenary game, I never knew if I was recognised for it because it wasn’t an overseas tour.
“We had been due to go on tour to South Africa but couldn’t because of Apartheid.
“I have always considered myself a British Lion, but it is an incredible honour to get my cap.”
Back in 1986, the Lions, managed by Clive Rowlands and coached by Mick Doyle, couldn’t overcome the World XV opposition in wet conditions and suffered 15-7 defeat.
While Mr Whitefoot recalls the game as a bit of a blur he does remember it as “tough” with several injuries to the Lions players.
Despite this being his only Lions appearance, the prop did rack up 19 caps for Wales, as well as appearing more than 300 times for Cardiff. He also played in the first Rugby World Cup in New Zealand in 1987.
Starting in the youth set-up in Bedwas at 15, Mr Whitefoot played for a total of 11 years and was also invited to play for the Barbarians and Crawshays RFC, where he is currently the vice-president.
He added: “They were the best 11 years of my life. The friends that I made during that period of time are friends for life – even the opponents you play against become friends.”