You were the strength be­hind force of Ir­fon


Bangor Mail - - NEWS - Kelly Wil­liams

THE widow of in­spi­ra­tional cancer cam­paigner Ir­fon Wil­liams was crowned Cham­pion of Cham­pi­ons at a glittering cer­e­mony.

The Your Cham­pi­ons Awards, in part­ner­ship with Trin­ity Mir­ror (North Wales) and Scot­tish-Power Foun­da­tion, cel­e­brates the re­gion’s un­sung he­roes in the com­mu­nity.

Becky Wil­liams was hailed as the “strength be­hind the force that was Ir­fon” who fought for cancer treat­ment in Wales dur­ing his own dev­as­tat­ing bat­tle with the dis­ease. She kept him in good hu­mour and was the one who sup­ported his mis­sion to give back to the com­mu­nity of Ban­gor.

A trained nurse, Becky also shared her hus­band’s pas­sion for men­tal health, and Team Ir­fon’s suc­cess has al­ways laid in Becky’s plan­ning, at­ten­tion to de­tail, knowl­edge and su­perb or­gan­i­sa­tional skills. Pre­sent­ing her with the award at the 20th awards din­ner at St Ge­orge’s Ho­tel in Llan­dudno, broad­caster and host Ar­fon Haines Davies, said: “Ir­fon wouldn’t have man­aged to make such im­pres­sive strides with his cam­paign­ing had Becky not been by his side. Ir­fon’s legacy will live on be­cause of her tenac­ity, good will and re­solve to bet­ter her com­mu­nity and en­sure that oth­ers lead full and re­ward­ing lives as Ir­fon did.

“Becky is a su­perb wife, mother and a friend to many. This should be cel­e­brated, but this is not why she de­serves to be recog­nised.

“Like many, Becky has long been a sup­porter of lo­cal char­i­ties... and has con­tin­ued to be sup­port­ive since Ir­fon passed, ex­tend­ing the reach of Team Ir­fon to the Liver Unit in Ain­tree Hos­pi­tal and con­nect­ing with the Liver­pool Welsh com­mu­nity and oth­ers. She has also been a cham­pion for many of the most vul­ner­a­ble in so­ci­ety.

“At a time when she her­self needed sup­port, she has given a lot of sup­port and hope to peo­ple in North Wales and be­yond.”

The Cham­pion Young Per­son of the Year award went to 12-yearold Luke Ashton, hailed a superhero by best friend, Lil­lie McCabe-Allen who nom­i­nated him. In a let­ter, she branded her pal as “coura­geous and amaz­ing” as he tries to lead a nor­mal life de­spite be­ing di­ag­nosed with stage four Hodgkins Lym­phoma.

The over­all win­ner of the Sport­ing Cham­pion of the Year cat­e­gory was RGC (Rygbi Gogledd Cymru) 1404 who “have been on a jour­ney to suc­cess over the last few years.”

In Septem­ber 2016, RGC en­tered the Prin­ci­pal­ity Premier­ship and in do­ing so be­came the first ever North Wales rep­re­sen­ta­tive team. RGC not only fin­ished fourth in their first sea­son in the premier­ship, they scored the most tries in the league, en­joyed a suc­cess­ful run in the WRU Na­tional Cup and were crowed WRU Na­tional Cup cham­pi­ons when they beat Pon­typridd RFC.

The over­all win­ner of the Cham­pion Team of the Year was the Ynys Mon Ram­blers ‘Sil­ver Slash­ers,’ who have been im­prov­ing the An­gle­sey pub­lic foot­paths for the last 11 years.

The group of 22 men and women are from all walks of life with an av­er­age age of 70. Cham­pion Vol­un­teer of the Year title went to Eric and Em­lyn Baylis. Fol­low­ing re­tire­ment the broth­ers wanted both lo­cals and vis­i­tors of Llan­beris to see the vil­lage at its very best.

They de­cided that it could ben­e­fit from flow­ers, plants and a splash of colour, so have gone about to change things.

Ar­fon Haines Davies said: “Both broth­ers have made a huge con­tri­bu­tion to the com­mu­nity.”

Haf Thomas was named over­all win­ner in the Com­mu­nity Cham­pion of the Year cat­e­gory.

The char­ity Awyr Las said that they wanted “to nom­i­nate a truly fab­u­lous young woman, who is such an in­spi­ra­tion.”

Haf, of Llan­rug, has been sup­port­ing com­mu­nity projects for years and to date has raised over £51,000 for lo­cal and na­tional char­i­ties.

Haf, who has Down’s Syn­drome, is em­ployed full time by Gwynedd Coun­cil.

Becky WiWil­liams, wife of the late Ir­fon Wil­liams, re­ceives her CCham­pion of Cham­pi­ons award from Shane Wil­liams. Inset left, Ir­fon

Luke Ashton, win­ner ‘Cham­pion Young Per­son of the year’ award with his nom­i­nee Lil­lie McCabe-Allen, Ann McKechin of Scot­tish Power and Daily Post editor An­drew Campbell. Mid­dle, Eric and Em­lyn Baylis re­ceive their Vol­un­teer of the year award. Bot­tom pic­ture, the Team of the Year went to Ynys Môn Ram­blers’ Sil­ver Slash­ers

Haf Thomas gets a hug from Shane Wil­liams after be­ing named over­all win­ner in the Com­mu­nity Cham­pion of the Year cat­e­gory

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