BBC Wales broadcaster Robert Alun Evans dies aged 86

BBC broadcaster Robert Alun Evans – who delivered the first Welsh language commentary of a Wales football international in 1977 – dies aged 86

  • Evans, known as R Alun, commentated on 1977 Wales vs Scotland international
  • He was the face and voice of Welsh language broadcasting for several years
  • WATCH: ‘It’s All Kicking Off’ – Episode 2 – Mail Sport’s brand new football show

The broadcaster who delivered the first Welsh language commentary on a Wales football international has died aged 86.

Robert Alun Evans – known as R Alun – was the face and voice of Welsh language programmes for many years in the 1960s and 1970s.

Having presented and reported for the BBC Wales’ Heddiw news programme, he took up the microphone for the historic commentary on the Wales vs Scotland World Cup qualifying match in 1977.

The match, played at Liverpool’s Anfield ground because stadiums in Wales were deemed too small, resulted in a 2-0 win for Scotland as they booked their place at the Argentina World Cup the following year. 

Evans would go on to become head of broadcasting for the BBC in Bangor but still went on air.

Robert Alun Evans was the face and voice of Welsh language broadcasting for several years

He delivered a Welsh language commentary on the 1977 World Cup qualifier between Wales and Scotland, which was played at Anfield 

Before joining the BBC, he was ordained as a nonconformist minister and returned to this vocation after retiring from broadcasting.

Evans had a lifelong association with the National Eisteddfod – the annual celebration of Welsh arts, language and culture – and was made a fellow of the institution, its highest honour.

The Eisteddfod X account paid tribute to his ‘lovely affection and closeness’ as well as ‘modern vision’ for the event.

Evans was originally from Llanbrynmair in Powys and was married to Rhiannon for over 60 years.

Tributes rolled in on social media, with one post saying: ‘A huge loss for us as a Nation for sure. A quiet but decisive voice that demanded to be heard every time.

‘He made an incredible contribution to many organisations throughout his career.’

Another said: ‘So sad to hear. He was an accomplished broadcaster, a brilliant Welshman and a principled man.’

Another tribute read: ‘Non-Welsh speaking followers may have gleaned that someone substantial has left us. R. Alun Evans was a brilliant broadcaster in both languages, in Welsh he was without peer. He said it is a privilege to broadcast.’

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