Barry John

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Barry John
Barry John
Player information
Full name Barry John
birthday January 6, 1945
place of birth Cefneithin , Wales
Nickname The King
society Career ended
position Connection half
Clubs as active
Years society Games (points)
Llanelli RFC
Cardiff RFC
National team
Years National team Games (points)
1968, 1971
British and Irish Lions
25 (90)

Status: March 25, 1972

Barry John (born January 6, 1945 in Cefneithin ) is a former Welsh rugby union player. He is considered to be one of the finest connector players in the history of sport and was nicknamed "The King". John played for the clubs Llanelli RFC and Cardiff RFC and was active for the Welsh national team and the British and Irish Lions . He was known for his dexterity, his wit and his pronounced kick game and together with Gareth Edwards formed a strong duet for Wales.

John started his career in Llanelli, but soon moved to Cardiff, where he also played at the club with Edwards. In 1966 he made his debut for Wales against Australia . At that time, the Welsh national team lost many of their games. Despite this relative failure, John was nominated for the 1968 British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa . However, he was seriously injured early on, so that he was out for the rest of the targeted games.

In 1969, a new era in Welsh rugby dawned in which the team managed to take on a dominant role in world rugby. The first step was to win the Five Nations tournament . Successful tours to the southern hemisphere followed, to the outcome of which Barry John played a significant role in the early 1970s. In 1971 he was nominated again for the Lions and made for the only victorious tour of a British selection in New Zealand to date . During this time he was also nicknamed "The King"; he had now risen to a television star and was considered the greatest talent in rugby.

Just a year later, however, Barry John surprisingly announced the end of his career at the age of 27, shocking the Welsh public. The reason for the abrupt end of his career was the hype around him, which he could not withstand. Ultimately, decisive for his resignation was the moment when a young girl curtseyed to him and bowed, alluding to his nickname. At a press conference, he said:

“Everyone thought it was wonderful. But if I needed something to show me it had all gone way over the top, that was it. "
( "Everyone thought it was all wonderful. But when I needed something to show myself that it was all going too far, this was it.")

At the end of his career he withdrew completely from the public.

He was inducted into the International Rugby Hall of Fame in 1997 .


  1. BBC: 'Fame monster' forces Barry John to retire at 27

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