A STATUE depicting Blaenavon-born Lions winger Ken Jones will be taken down after it was damaged by vandals.

Fencing was set up around the statue in October, and since then Blaenavon Town Council has been in discussions with Torfaen council over its repair and the associated costs – the Argus was told in November.

The town council has now announced that the statue will be removed as it is repaired, and talks are ongoing with Mr Jones’ family about relocating it to protect it against future vandalism.

Free Press Series: The Ken Jones statue in Blaenavon has been fenced off for months.The Ken Jones statue in Blaenavon has been fenced off for months.

Mr Jones made almost 300 appearances for Newport and represented Wales 44 times between 1947 and 1957, most notably scoring the winning try against New Zealand in 1953 – the last time Wales beat the All Blacks.

He was selected for 16 tests on the Lions tour of Australia and New Zealand in 1950, scoring 16 tries, and also scored in the Lions’ unofficial game against the Sri Lankan national side. However, he picked up an injury and was unable to play in the Australian leg of the tour.

Free Press Series: Ken Jones playing on the Lions tour in New Zealand in 1950.Ken Jones playing on the Lions tour in New Zealand in 1950.

The Blaenavon star also won an Olympic silver medal with the Great Britain 4x100m relay team at the 1948 Games in London, captained the British 4x100m relay team to silver at the 1954 European Championships, and won bronze for Wales in the 220 yard sprint at the British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Vancouver in 1954.

Mr Jones died in 2006 at the age of 84.

In 2011, the Argus' sister title the Pontypool Free Press launched a fundraising appeal to support the Ken Jones committee’s call to commission of a statue to commemorate the life and achievements of Mr Jones in his home town.

The two-year campaign raised £15,000, before the committee were awarded an £80,000 National Assembly Heads of the Valley grant to complete the project.

Free Press Series: The unveiling of the Ken Jones statue off Broad Street, Blaenavon, in 2013.The unveiling of the Ken Jones statue off Broad Street, Blaenavon, in 2013.

His widow, Irene, and son, Philip, no longer live in the area, but Cllr Alan Jones, Mr Jones’ cousin, is a town councillor in Blaenavon.

“Since October 2021 Blaenavon Town Council have been working in partnership with Torfaen County Borough Council to look at options regarding the repair and relocation of the Ken Jones statue which has been at its present location since 2014,” said a Blaenavon Town Council spokesperson.

“During this period of time the statue has been subjected to incidents involving damage to it, which is completely unacceptable.

“Cllr Alan Jones has been liaising with the family of Ken Jones who are keen to minimise future damage. Subsequently at this stage, the statue will be removed, and a repair completed.

“A decision will then be agreed to potentially re-locate the statue to a more suitable location in order to minimise future damage.”