FORMER Newport centre Bobby Owen has died at the age of 89.

Owen made his debut for the Black and Ambers against Gloucester in March of 1949 and went on to play 93 more games for the Rodney Parade side, his last game coming against Cambridge University in December 1954.

He scored 21 tries for Newport and was a key member of the celebrated 1950/51 team that only lost in the last month of the season at Harlequins and Exeter.

Owen, a talented footballer who turned down the chance to play for Manchester City, formed a very effective centre partnership with Bryn Williams.

However, he played throughout the backs in a career that saw him represent Monmouthshire, Crawshays, Newport High School Old Boys, Pontypool, Abertillery, Bridgend and Cardiff.

He was a member of the Newport side that played South Africa at Rodney Parade in 1952 when the Springboks, who lost just one game on their 31-game tour, triumphed 12-6.