JPR Williams
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Up and Under

Tackling the sport of rugby

THIS IS YOUR LIFE - John Peter Rhys Williams, rugby union footballer and orthopaedic surgeon, was surprised by Eamonn Andrews and his fellow Welsh international team mates at Thames Television's Teddington Studios.

Playing in the position of fullback, he was noted for his aggressive attacking style. With his long sideburns and socks around his ankles, “JPR” was an iconic figure on the legendary 1970s Wales team.

“Oh, I don't believe it!”

Screenshots of J P R Williams This Is Your Life

JPR Williams autobiography

JPR recalls his experience of This Is Your Life in his autobiography Given The Breaks reproduced here with kind permission of the author...

Bob Burgess was one of the few All Blacks whom we had got to know socially on the tour.

He seemed to spend more time with us than with his own team-mates at the after-match functions and so we were especially relieved to hear he had woken up in Wellington Hospital after the game with no long term injury.

My friendship with Bob was rekindled when he flew halfway around the world to recount this story in the This Is Your Life television programme that was recorded in my honour in 1979.

Appearing on This Is Your Life was very special.

I was tricked into going up to the Thames Television studios in London, supposedly for an interview with my old pal John Taylor, who had gone into broadcasting after his retirement from rugby.

Instead, I remember how shocked I was when my rugby team-mates and Eamonn Andrews ambushed me wearing doctor’s white coats.

There were people present from all walks and periods of my life: Illtyd Williams, my early rugby coach; David Lloyd and Dan Maskell from tennis; and even the unsung heroes who worked with me on the wards.

It was an unforgettable experience.

programme details...

  • Edition No: 518
  • Subject No: 515
  • Broadcast date: Mon 4 Apr 1979
  • Recording date: Mon 28 Mar 1979
  • Broadcast time: 7.00-7.30pm
  • Venue: New London Theatre
  • Series: 19
  • Edition: 24

on the guest list...

  • John Dawes
  • John Taylor
  • Gerry Lewis
  • David Richards
  • Terry Holmes
  • John Richardson
  • Allan Phillips
  • Allan Martin
  • Elgan Rees
  • Gareth Davies
  • Mike Roberts
  • Gerald Davies
  • Dr Scilla Williams – wife
  • Sister Janice Rees
  • Dr Peter Williams – father
  • Dr Margaret Williams – mother
  • Dr Phil Williams – brother
  • Dr Chris Williams – brother
  • Mike Williams - brother
  • Billy Morgan
  • Illtyd Williams
  • Bob Leyshon
  • David Lloyd
  • Dan Maskell
  • Dr Neil Poulter
  • Dr Phil Evans
  • Dr Andy Goodall
  • Scott Fletcher
  • Andy Evans
  • Bob Burgess
  • Elaine Williams – sister-in-law
  • Lauren – daughter
  • Annie - daughter

production team...

  • Researchers: John Graham, Tony Lee, Sue Jerrard, Catherine Parnall
  • Writer: John Sandilands
  • Directors: Royston Mayoh, Terry Yarwood
  • Producer: Jack Crawshaw
names listed in bold indicate subjects of This Is Your Life
Series 19 subjects: Alice Goldberger > Michael Parkinson > Mary O'Hara > Barbara Kelly > Terry Scott > Jimmy Shand > Eric Newby > Patricia Neal > David Bellamy > Muhammad Ali > Vera Lynn > Naomi James > Leslie Thomas > James Galway > Elaine Paige > Lord Lovat > Kevin Keegan > Stephane Grappelli > Robert Powell > Shirley Crabtree > Peter Barkworth > Robert Law > Dinah Sheridan > JPR Williams > Joyce Pearce > Ian Ogilvy > Margaret Kelly