Rugby legend Roger Blyth is honoured by Swansea University

Roger Blyth

Rugby legend Roger Blyth has been awarded an honorary degree by Swansea University

Mr Blyth was presented with the MSc (Master of Science) award today (Monday 9 January) at Swansea University’s Great Hall by Professor Iwan Davies, Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor at Swansea University during the degree ceremony for the College of Arts and Humanities. 

Capped four times by Wales, Roger played for Swansea RFC over an incredible 21 year period and in close to 400 games between 1968 and 1989, becoming the club’s second highest all-time points scorer with 2374 points – a record he still holds today.

After retiring from playing, he was a director of industrial safety wear company W A Blyth Ltd among other international business interests.  Having served as a director with Swansea RFC following his retirement from playing, he was influential in the formation of the Ospreys in 2003, serving the region as Joint Chief Executive and Managing Director, before being appointed Chairman in 2013.

He was at the helm when the Ospreys enjoyed their so called ‘galacticos’ period when he brought to the club superstars of the game such as Justin Marshall, Marty Holah, Lee Byrne, Mike Phillips, Ryan Jones and the late Jerry Collins.  Roger has now helped guide the region to a more sustainable structure by working on the development of world class youth and development from within of staff and coaches. He was also a driving force in working with the city to build the Liberty Stadium. 

The Ospreys region has been the most successful in Wales on a number of fronts.  They have been widely acknowledged for being the one true region in Wales in defining themselves away from the history of Swansea and Neath rugby clubs and establishing their own identity, something the other Welsh regions have struggled to do.  They have become a sustainable business being the only Welsh region to show profits.  And from a rugby perspective the region have been the most successful in terms of championships, winning the Celtic Championship on four occasions and the Anglo Welsh Cup on one occasion. 

On receiving his award, Mr Blyth said: “I am naturally extremely honoured to be receiving an Honorary Degree from Swansea University. Sport has always played a big part in my life and especially sport in Swansea which I regard as the capital city for sport in Wales.  Over the years Swansea University has contributed greatly to the sporting success of the city and given that enhanced sporting facilities are an integral part of the University's impressive growth plans I would be pleased to assist in any way possible to help them achieve their sporting objectives.”

Professor Iwan Davies said: “Roger Blythe is part of the fabric of Welsh rugby.  He has served rugby in this region with distinction for more than four decades and has been instrumental in giving to south Wales the might of The Ospreys. 

There are few that have made such a momentous contribution to sport in the region.  Roger Blythe is one of those few, and he is entirely deserving of this award.”