In a tribute to the Wales international second row, Newport RFC wrote on their website yesterday: “We received the very sad news this morning that one of our biggest legends, Ian Ford, passed away last night.

“Ian played a massive 482 games for the club during the 1940s, 50s and 60s after first joining the club in 1946 from Bassaleg School.

“With his towering presence in the second row also being recognised by appearances for the Barbarians, Crawshays and also by Wales with a couple of caps.”

Ian Ford in his Newport RFC playing days. Picture: Newport RFC

The club added: “Ian played in the famous victories over New Zealand in 1963 and also against Australia in 1957, as well as the close loss to South Africa in 1960.

“A regular try scorer too, Ian crossed the line 34 times.

“After finishing playing Ian stayed involved in the club in a number of roles as a committee man and his agricultural background was a great help with all pitch matters.

Ian Ford won two caps for Wales. Picture: Newport RFC

“Inducted into the Newport RFC Hall of Fame in 2013, Ian had still been a regular attendee at club and former player association functions until recently.

“A wonderful gentleman with a massive love of his ‘Black & Ambers’ we will never see the like of him again with his allegiance to our club.

“Everyone involved with the with Newport RFC, including the directors, coaches, players and supporters send their most sincere condolences to Ian’s family and friends.”

When he was interviewed by the Argus in 2008, Stuart Watkins, capped 26 times by Wales and a British and Irish Lions tourist, praised his former teammate for the key role he played in Newport’s 3-0 triumph over the All Blacks.

He said: “The Newport pack took them on and gave as good as they got.

“Ian Ford was a colossus that day and he was never given due credit for it.”

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