Former Penallta RFC captain Rob Moore has died at the age of 55, the club has confirmed.
Moore, who played as a hooker for the club, was left paralysed in 1995 after a scrum collapsed during a home fixture against Dowlais.
In a statement, the club described him as “a warrior on the field” and said he was “an inspiration to everybody associated with the club”.
“The fight Rob faced to survive the injury was awful and completely life-changing for him and his family.
“Rob’s warrior spirit enabled him to somehow survive those life-threatening first few months and then face down those hellish years of almost total paralysis that followed.
“He demonstrated an incredible resolve to battle through those dark days and manage to live a positive and inspiring life thereafter, eventually returning to the Penallta RFC dressing rooms to inspire the boys before big games.
“Lesser souls would never have been able to do what Rob did, his strength of character really was remarkable.”
The statement added: “Rob was helped through those brutal, awful years by his close and loving family, who supported him all the way.
“His mother Pat, his dad Ron and his younger brothers Colin and Philip were with Rob every step of the way and their support helped Rob watch his son Daniel, who was just a baby when Rob got hurt, grow up to become the lovely young man he is today.
“As tragic and horrific as Rob’s injury was it is undeniable that it was the catalyst for the great decades of success Penallta RFC has enjoyed since. The way Rob fought back from the brink in 1995 was such an inspiration to the younger players at the club that it bound in them a steel and resolve which underpinned a series of on-field successes that have continued until this day.
“Rob was a captain, a friend, a warrior, an inspiration and a hero of Penallta RFC and he will continue to be an historic and inspirational figure to all of those who had the pleasure to meet him and play alongside him.”