Former Wales international rugby player Steve Blackmore dies aged 58

Steve Blackmore has passed away at the age of 58.

Tributes have been paid to former Wales international rugby player Steve Blackmore who has passed away at the age of 58.

Blackmore had a grade four brain tumour, after first being diagnosed in December 2018.

The former prop made four appearances for Wales and played at the 1987 World Cup.

He played in the bronze-medal match with Australia, which Wales won 22-21, helping to secure the country's best ever World Cup finish.

Blackmore was affectionately known as Wally during his career.

WRU chairman, Gareth Davies, who played with Blackmore at Cardiff, led the tributes to the four-times capped prop.

“Steve was a larger than life character who always had a smile on his face. We played together at Cardiff and I remember him being a very skilful, all-round player who made the most of his talent,” said Davies.

He added, “The ex-players association at Cardiff had a golf day for him last year and his infectious enthusiasm made it a very special occasion for all his former team mates. It was a real tribute to him and he will be greatly missed by all of us.

"Our condolences go out to all his family and friends at this difficult time.”

Blackmore made 169 appearances for the club side during his career with former team mate Mark Ring describing him as the "life and soul of the party".

"We both came into the ranks at Cardiff and even played at the WorldCup together in 1987 when we finished third," Mark continued.

"I've just got happy memories of growing up with a great player andgreat character."

Former player Jonathan Davies OBE also paid tribute to the man who he described as a "great guy".

Blackmore is survived by his partner Louise, his daughters Kendal andKerys, and son Sydney.

When speaking about his illness last year, Blackmore said: "The prognosisjust before Christmas was six to 12 months, but I will give it a bash. That's all I can do.

"I have children and grandchildren and I want to see them grow up. Iwill fight it and see how it goes."