Everyone at Newport RFC are sad to hear of the passing of Ray Cheney yesterday aged 82 following a battle with cancer. Ray was a prolific points scorer for the club in the 1960’s and played full back in the famous XV that beat the New Zealand All Blacks 3-0 at Rodney Parade in 1963. A game in which he hit the crossbar with a long range penalty.
A naturally gifted sportsman who excelled at cricket and football as well as rugby, Ray joined Newport in 1963 from Pontypool after previously playing for Cross Keys and the RAF. In his first full season with Newport RFC he not only beat the All Blacks but set a club record of 171 points for the season and then beat his own record the following season with 224 points. In 89 appearances in Black & Amber he amassed a wonderful 435 points.
Ray was extremely unlucky not to get a welsh cap after being reserve on 23 occasions. In today’s era he would have had a hatful of caps. Ray left Newport for the short trip to Cardiff RFC in 1965 and was record point scorer at the Arms Park too as well as helping our rivals to an excellent win over Australia.
Ray was awarded the freedom of the city of Newport by the mayor in 2013 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the most famous win in our history.