21st November 1953, Bleddyn Williams led his Cardiff team out in front of a crowd of 50,000 at the Arms Park to face the mighty All Blacks.
Defeating the All Blacks had been an ambition for Cardiff ever since they had narrowly lost to the famous New Zealand ‘Originals’ in 1905. The Springboks had been beaten by Gwyn Nicholls’s great Cardiff team in 1907 and Australia had been defeated numerous times by the Blue and Blacks. But victory over the most iconic team in world rugby had until then proven elusive.
A new comic, co-written by East Terrace editor James Stafford, tells the story of Cardiff’s famous 8-3 triumph over the fourth All Blacks. Bleddyn was co-written with Steve Coombs (DC Thompson), drawn by Gary Erskine (Marvel, DC, Vertigo) and lettered by Rob Jones (Image Comics, Penguin, DC Thompson).
Published 70 years after that immortal sporting day, Bleddyn is available to buy online now at bleddyn1953.co.uk/.
The comic contains a 12-page full-colour story with an additional eight pages packed full of photographs, biographies, features, stats and articles. In addition to the online shop, the comic will be available at the Cardiff v Bath match at Cardiff Arms Park on 16 December.
It can be bought as either a standalone comic or a special edition bundle (with cover variant) that comes complete with three A3 art prints. The prints are also available as individual items.
Cardiff’s victory over New Zealand in 1953 wrote the names of Bleddyn and teammates into rugby folklore. The match itself was an epic. A first half burst of classic Cardiff daring, with gifted backs running at the dazzled All Blacks from all over the pitch. Followed by an hour of relentless tackling as the bigger All Black forward pack tried to crush the Cardiff men. Every player in blue and black was a hero that day.
Stafford and Coombs are already at work on a follow up project, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled either to the Bleddyn 1953 Twitter account, James Stafford’s Twitter or The East Terrace. The creators would love your support for this project so please do forward the news on to any rugby fans, comic lovers or collectors you think may find of interest.