Swansea born centre forward Ben Beynon played football for Waunwen and signed as an amateur for hometown Southern League club Swansea Town before the First World War, playing his first game for The Swans on 28th November 1914. Beynon played the most notable game for Swansea when he was selected to face First Division Champions Blackburn Rovers in an FA Cup tie in January 1915, Swansea won 1-0 in a shock giant killing at The Vetch Field, Beynon scoring the goal, his only goal in four FA Cup appearances, totalling 55 appearances for The Swans both sides of the War.
After the First World War Beynon returned to The Vetch Field and played a season of Southern League football before making his Football League debut for The Swans against Norwich City in November 1920, scoring a hat-trick in a 5-2 win. However his appearances over the next two seasons were limited and he made a total of 26 appearances scoring 12 goals before moving to non league Mid Rhondda United in 1922.
Beynon played rugby union for Manselton and then for his hometown club, Swansea RFC, playing his first game in 1913 and his last match in 1919. He was first selected to represent Wales on 17th January 1920, when he faced England at St. Helens. Wales ran out comprehensive winners, mainly thanks to Newport’s Jerry Shea scoring 16 points on his own. His second and last cap was against Scotland at Inverleith three weeks later. When he turned professional as a footballer with Swansea Town that summer, this prevented him from playing rugby union.
The Welsh Rugby Union even withheld his actual cap to commemorate his appearance as they believed he was professional before he represented Wales at rugby union. He subsequently changed codes and played professional rugby league for Oldham RFL. In so doing Beynon was the first Swansea player to turn out for rugby union, rugby league and association football teams.
Beynon played in Oldham’s 16-3 victory over Hull Kingston Rovers in the 1925 Challenge Cup Final at Headingley Rugby Stadium, Leeds on 25th April 1925, in front of a crowd of 28,335. He played 94 matches for Oldham between 1922 and 1926, scoring 77 points.
He, Albert Brough (with whom he played at Oldham), Ted Bateson and Dai Davies are the only four players known to have played both top level football and rugby league.
NB in the photograph he wears the colours of Oldham Rugby Football Club.