Tributes to 'salt of the earth' Wales fan Kevin Davies, who died on World Cup trip

Kevin Davies, who sadly died in Qatar yesterday, was a proud member of the Red Wall. <i>(Image: Facebook/PA)</i>
Kevin Davies, who sadly died in Qatar yesterday, was a proud member of the Red Wall. (Image: Facebook/PA)

A shocked community has been paying tribute to the Pembrokeshire football fan who died suddenly yesterday while in Qatar for the World Cup.

Kevin Davies, 62, who lived in Boncath and was a passionate champion of the Welsh language and culture, had travelled to watch the tournament with his son Gerallt Dafydd and friends.

He felt unwell yesterday morning, Friday November 25, so did not attend the Wales-Iran game. When his son and companions returned to their accommodation, they found him unresponsive and he was rushed to hospital by ambulance, but sadly passed away.

Mr Davies was a widely-known and hugely popular figure in the north Pembrokeshire area around Crymych and Boncath, where he was described in one tribute as ‘halen y ddaear’ – ‘salt of the earth’.

He spent many years as Lifelong Learning manager of the Preseli Community Education Centre in Crymych before his retirement in January 2020.

He took over the role from Des Davies, who said: “The shock at Kevin’s death is coming from all directions in the community.

“He was such a popular person, very busy and always gave 100 per cent to everything he did.”

Kevin Davies, was married to Catrin and in addition to son Gerallt, they also have a daughter, Einir Dafydd.

He was particularly involved in youth activities, for many years leading Aelwyd Crymych, the local Urdd group, through which he organised visits to destinations including Canada and Russia.

He was a deacon and treasurer of Blaenffos Chapol, sang with Crymych Choir and as well as supporting the Wales football team, championed Crymych’s Under 13s team, accompanying them on exchange visits to the community’s twin in Brittany.

“Kevin was a keen supporter of Wales,” said Des Davies. “He went to every game in the Euros and he was so looking forward to going to the World Cup”.

His travelling companions are due to be flying back to the UK today as planned, with Gerallt and another relative staying on to make the necessary arrangements.

The family are being supported by the FAW and the British Embassy.

The Football Supporters Association Cymru’s Paul Corkrey told the PA news agency that Mr Davies was "part of the Red Wall and we’re all devastated for him and his family.

“We’re all like one big family and we lost one of our family members today.”

And Fan Embassy Wales tweeted: "Unfortunately, we have lost one of the Red Wall yesterday in Qatar. Our sincere condolences go out to his son here in Doha and his family back in Wales.

"May he rest in peace."