The Wales rugby legend, Phil Bennett, has died aged 73 after a long illness.

The Scarlets announced the news on Twitter - he had played for the club 410 times over 15 seasons. 

On Twitter, the club released a statement about their president saying: "It is with the deepest sadness that we announce the passing of club legend, former captain and Scarlets President Phil Bennett. Phil passed away peacefully at his home on Sunday evening surrounded by his close family.

"Our thoughts are with Phil’s wife Pat, sons Steven and James, family and friends at this incredibly sad time.

"Widely regarded as the greatest player to wear the Scarlets jersey, ‘Benny’ played 413 times for Llanelli RFC from his debut against Swansea at the age of 18 to his final appearance at his beloved Stradey Park in 1981."


Regarded as one of Welsh rugby’s finest players, Mr Bennett, affectionately known as ‘Benny’, won 29 caps for his country between 1969 and 1978. He featured in two Five Nations Grand Slam-winning teams.

One of his most iconic achievements came in 1972, when he helped Llanelli defeat the All Blacks 9-3. 

In April, a statue of Mr Bennett was unveiled in his home of Felinfoel in Carmarthenshire. 

Felinfoel Rugby Club secretary Clive Richards had come up with the idea of a sculpture in his honour, and said: "He has lived in the village his whole life, he epitomises the whole village and he would do anything for the village." 

At the time, the former Wales centre Tom Shanklin remarked the statue should have been engraved in gold rather than wood. 

Mr Bennett is survived by his wife and two sons.