Football is full of characters, and Ton Pentre has lost a big one today (28 December) as it with heavy hearts that the Bulldogs inform you all of the passing of Kevin Reynolds.
Kevin was a lifelong Ton Pentre fan and his family have been heavily linked to the Bulldogs through much of the Club’s history, from his brother Mark and father Eynon to the many family members who have helped over the decades and beyond.
Kevin himself has been ball boy, kit man and a match steward. He was recognised as one of the familiar faces at Ynys Park on match days and knew many opposition players and always had a friendly chat to the match officials when they arrived.
Kevin adored Ton Pentre, as did his entire family, and he would walk for miles around the Valleys delivering match posters to display in shop windows.
He was also entrusted with the keys to Ynys Park and assisted not only the Bulldogs, but Ton & Gelli BC too, who also play out of the famous football ground.
If you sat back at a football match or looked on in the Clubhouse afterwards, it was incredible to see just how many people Kevin knew. Everyone always said “hello” to him. This was mainly due to his popularity throughout the game but also because of the pool and darts teams that he joined with his brother Mark, which took them everywhere throughout the Valleys.
Kevin and Mark were inseparable and did everything together. They had each others backs and in addition to being brothers, they were best friends. Kevin was, and always had been, incredibly upset at losing his brother back in November 2012. There is certainly some comfort in knowing that they are reunited once again.
Since the news broke of Kevin’s sad passing, tributes have been pouring in via the Club’s social media accounts.
Amongst those to leave a tribute is former Bulldogs captain Andrew Hughes. He wrote: “To say this is a huge loss to Ton Pentre is an understatement. A permanent fixture at Ynys Park ever since I first set foot inside the old place. He was respected along with his brother by all the players of my era and of my dads. RIP Kev, Bulldog forever.”
Geraint Thomas, a friend of Kevin’s, wrote: “So sad, I’ve had the privilege of knowing Kev all my life. From our early years in Gelli School to sharing a beer recently in the football club. Always a gentleman, he’ll be truly missed by everyone who knew him. Rest in peace Kev.”
Meanwhile, Becky Sims added: “Such sad news and a massive loss to the club and community. Sleep tight Kevin.”
Match officials have also been leaving tributes to Kevin, which is a testament to his friendly nature. Assistant Referee Lee Evans wrote: “Saddened to hear the news, will miss my chats and banter about by flagging offsides with Big Kev, RIP buddy, a great character at Ynys Park.”
Referee Paul Walters commented: “So sad. Kev was always the first person you saw when you went up the steps to the changing rooms. He’ll be sadly missed by whoever met him. RIP Kev.”
Another Welsh League match official, Mike Ford, added: “As an official turning up to Ton you were always met with a smile. RIP Kev.”
If you would like to read further tributes or leave a message of remembrance please visit www.facebook.com/TonPentreAFC.
The thoughts of everyone connected to Ton Pentre AFC are with Kevin’s family and friends at this difficult time.
Kevin Reynolds. May you Rest in Peace.