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Swansea University has awarded an honorary degree to Welsh broadcasting legend Huw Llywelyn Davies.

Mr Davies was presented with the award today (17 December 2019) during the degree ceremony for the School of Management.

Huw Llywelyn Davies was raised in Gwauncaegurwen, in the Swansea Valley. He was educated at Pontardawe Grammar School and gained an honours degree in Welsh from University College of Wales, Cardiff.

He was initially a teacher but in 1974 he left the profession to follow a career as a broadcaster with HTV as a presenter on the Welsh language news programme Y Dydd.

In the late 1970s, he moved to BBC Wales to concentrate on sports presenting and became a household name as a rugby commentator, initially in Welsh with BBC Radio Cymru and later in English with BBC Wales. He launched his international rugby commentary career in 1979 with Radio Cymru.

With the launch of S4C in 1982, he made history by providing the first live television Welsh-language commentary of a rugby match – the 1983 match between Wales and England. He was paired with Ray Gravell, the Llanelli and Wales legend, and their partnership was instrumental in establishing S4C as a serious rugby broadcaster. During his career, Huw commentated on three Grand Slams, five Lions tours and five Rugby World Cup tournaments. Having covered 360 international matches, he delivered his final international commentary in 2014 when Wales took on Scotland.

In addition to covering sporting events, he is well-known for presenting Dechrau Canu, Dechrau Canmol (S4C’s Welsh-language equivalent of the BBC’s Songs of Praise). He also anchored the annual National Eisteddfod’s coverage by BBC Cymru Wales for 33 years, between 1980 and 2012. In 1987 he was made a member of the Gorsedd of the Bards at the National Eisteddfod of Wales, and then promoted to the white Druid robes in 1994.

On receiving his award, Mr Davies said: “There were two obvious feelings when I received the kind and totally unexpected offer to receive this degree here today. It was a surprise that the offer came from Swansea University as I’m an ex-student from Cardiff University – the arch enemies on the rugby pitch and in the Inter-collegiate Eisteddfod! But also pride that the proposal came from the university closest to my old home at the top of the Swansea Valley, in the coalfield village of Gwauncaegurwen. I feel particularly privileged to be here today receiving a degree in a university very close to my old square mile, and I’d like to thank everyone who was responsible for thinking that I was worthy of such an honour.”