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Regarded as rugby’s first real superstar, Barry John had everything in his game: the ability to kick off either foot, intuition, great hands and a side-step that regularly left would-be tacklers clutching at thin air.
John formed one of the most celebrated half-back partnerships in world rugby with Gareth Edwards at Cardiff and Wales. First capped in 1966, John went on to play in 25 tests for Wales and five for the British and Irish Lions.
John’s first Lions tour to South Africa in 1968 was cruelly cut short because of a broken collarbone, but he more than made amends three years later in New Zealand, where his stunning contribution earned him the nickname ‘The King’.
Tired of the fame that came with such lofty status, John shocked the sporting world when he decided to retire from rugby at the age of 27.