BY DEFEATING a strong and ambitious Saint Joseph’s RFC in the second round of Division 2 East Central, (see match report by Peter Weston) at the weekend, Penarth RFC have retained the newly-launched “Jack Bonello Challenge” trophy, which rewards the winner of the match between the two clubs.

John “Jack” Bonello, who made his debut for Penarth as a teenager just before the Second World War in 1939, was also one of the founders of St Joseph’s RFC, a club he helped form in 1959.

Bonello had a distinguished rugby pedigree and his family had strong bonds with the seaside club.

His maternal grandfather was John ‘Hockey’ Driscoll of Cardiff RFC fame, and when Jack made his debut for Penarth in 1939, his two uncles, the Driscoll brothers, were still playing for Penarth.

After the war Jack Bonello returned to Penarth and re-joined the club, becoming one of the pillars of a very strong team.

According to his son Frank Bonello, who also played for Penarth, Jack was very much in the mold of a rugby missionary, having formed a rugby club in Welshpool, in Montgomeryshire, before his return to Penarth.

The fifth member of this extraordinary rugby dynasty to play for Penarth was Alyn Bonello, a talented wing-forward, whose injury forced his premature retirement from the game.

The Bonello trophy will be played for every time the two clubs meet either in the league, cup, or friendly.