MONMOUTH RFC club secretary Byron Hapgood is celebrating having secured third place in the 2016 Peter’s Welsh Rugby Hero contest.

Having been shortlisted from more than 100 entries from 85 rugby clubs by a panel of judges, Hapgood finished third and secured as a prize £2,000 of Under Armour kit for his club.

Described as the ‘heart and soul’ of the club, Hapgood has been with Monmouth RFC for 45 years as player, captain, coach, chairman and now secretary.

As an architect, Hapgood was also instrumental in both extending the clubhouse and developing the new pavilion.

Commenting on the prize, Hapgood said: “I would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who voted for me.

“Monmouth RFC is a great club, and it has been my pleasure to help out over the years.”

The Peter’s Welsh Rugby Heroes contest asked the rugby community throughout Wales to nominate individuals from their local clubs, who go the extra mile to support grassroots rugby.

Peter’s selected 15 finalists and the public then voted for their favourite.

In first place was Brecon RFC’s Andy Lewis, winning £5,000 of Under Armour kit and equipment for his club, Brecon RFC.

And in second place came Neil Cole of Clwb Rygbi Cymry Caerdydd, securing £3,000 of Under Armour kit. The remaining 12 finalists each received £100 of Under Armour kit vouchers – and all finalists received a Welsh Rugby Union jersey.

Presenting the cheque to Hapgood, Peter’s marketing manager Peter Townsend, said: “A huge congratulations to all our Peter’s Welsh Rugby Hero finalists – and of course, our top three.

“The response throughout the entire competition has been extraordinary.

“We were inundated with nominations from clubs, players and fans from across Wales all with humbling stories of why their hero should win the competition.

“The judges had a tough time whittling our nominees down to the final 15, but the public did a great job in helping to make the final decision.

“We thank everyone who took the time to nominate or vote for someone. The calibre of entries was extremely high and it shows us just how much passion there is in Wales for rugby.”