With Rhodri’s passing, Wales and Welsh Labour has lost someone who is simply irreplaceable.
Through the good times and the bad, Rhodri was not only a friend, but a supporter, a mentor and source of selfless support.
Rhodri was simply fantastic when Angharad and I went through such difficult times, always on hand with a wise word, a smile or a story. I emailed Rhodri once when Angharad was living in Te Anau in New Zealand, and told him of the life she was living there and how much I was missing her. We couldn’t chat often and she seemed so very far away. Rhodri quipped that it sounded like she was living in a café in West Wales! (Te means tea in Welsh).
Every time I’ve stood for Welsh Labour, Rhodri supported me in the kindest of ways. The video we made during the European election campaign is one I will treasure forever.
But it was away from the politics that I will remember him most fondly. The occasional chats about our shared passions of marathon running and every sport imaginable – Rhodri was as passionate as he was knowledgeable. Or the times he’d pop over to present the Squash Wales trophies on a Sunday on his way home from Riverside Market.
The sense of loss in Rhodri’s passing is matched only by the joy that memories like this bring.
My thoughts are with Julie and Rhodri’s family.