Rugby legend JJ Williams dead at 72 as tributes pour in for Wales and Lions icon

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JJ Williams has sadly passed away at the age of 72, one of his former rugby clubs have confirmed.

Bridgend announced on Thursday morning that the Wales icon had died.

They posted: “All at Bridgend Ravens are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of former player JJ Williams.

“Alongside the honour of playing for Bridgend, he went on to represent Wales and the Lions.

“Our thoughts are with JJ’s family and friends at this tough time.”

Veteran rugby journalist Peter Jackson wrote: "I write this with the heaviest of hearts. The great JJ Williams passed away this morning.

"His most famous feat – 4 tries in the same 4-match Lions' Test series – ensures he will be talked about as long as rugby is played."

Elsewhere, former Wales second row Craig Quinnell took to Twitter to say: “It’s with a heavy heart I write this.

“My God father. My friend. My mentor and a inspiration to me passed away today. He was a legend to all. RIP JJ.”

John James Williams, who was best known by his initials, scored 12 tries on his way to 30 caps for Wales and appeared seven times for the British Lions.

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He also played a major role in the 1974 invincible series for the Lions against South Africa, scoring two tries in each of the second and third Tests and earning the title the Welsh Whippet.

In 2012, Williams was awarded an MBE in the New Years Honours and even admitted at the time he thought he’d been forgotten by the Queen.

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