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-2008 was a year
-of legendary moments.
-that we'll remember forever.
-A Welsh winger who shone on the
-rugby fields all over the world...
-..with not only one,
-but many moments of pure wizardry.
-Late in November,
-it was officially acknowledged...
-..that the little wizard from
-Ammanford, was a giant of the game.
-Who is you successor
-as player of the year?
-Ladies and gentlemen,
-IRB player of the year 2008...
-When you think of all the
-rugby players in the world...
-..it's an honour
-to be named best player.
-I still can't believe it.
-It's a very special feeling.
-I've accomplished something
-I never thought was possible.
-No-one can take it away from me.
-I'm very proud
-and I have been very lucky.
-I love my job and it's always easier
-when you enjoy what you're doing.
-I've worked hard.
-I haven't always had it my way
-but I've succeeded.
-2008 was Shane Williams'
-A reward for representing Neath
-and the Ospreys for a decade.
-A chance to earn pocket money, grand
-dinner parties, testimonial games...
-..and an auction to sell some
-treasures from the golden era.
-Treasures that are valuable
-for their memories.
-Memories of unforgettable moments.
-Of course, the first shirt
-I wore will be in the auction.
-Someone's phoning me again!
-This is my first Ospreys shirt.
-That's the rugby kit I wore
-at the 2003 World Cup...
-..against Jason Robinson -
-he's signed it.
-You can see from that name
-at the bottom that it's genuine.
-This is the only one which has been
-made with the yellow togs.
-It says on the base that it's a
-limited edition - yellow boots.
-41/41 - there were 41 tries!
-That's the reason this has been
-made and it's unique.
-These are the shirts I wore
-during the Grand Slam in 2008.
-is in gold for some reason.
-It's probably because it was
-the final game of the Grand Slam.
-Looking at them makes me
-want to keep them.
-I may change my mind before dinner!
-you only need one second...
-One second of wizardry.
-Wales v Scotland
-I don't know if any other player
-in the world...
-..could have done what Shane did
-when it was crucial.
-What I do is try to push
-my opponents away first.
-If you can get them out of the way,
-there's usually a gap behind them.
-His space is diminishing,
-he doesn't have much left...
-..to get him to the line.
-He knows exactly where he is
-on the field...
-..even though things are moving so
-quickly and defence is so tight...
-..even though the line is so close.
-I don't even think about it.
-I just want to get over the line.
-He was in the air.
-No part of his body
-was touching the ground.
-The try against Scotland - perhaps
-I wouldn't have scored that try...
-..if I'd never done gymnastics.
-I stretched myself in that corner
-and I was lucky to score a try.
-That one moment of genius...
-..made a stadium full of
-people - 75,000 people...
-..all hold their breath
-at the same time.
-They were open-mouthed.
-They could hardly believe
-what they were seeing.
-Shane Williams is through the gap
-and going for the corner.
-He's in for his second.
-The try came out of nowhere.
-As we've seen in recent years, Shane
-had the spark at the right moment.
-He was born on 26 February 1977
-He was a big baby.
-They said he was going to be small.
-But when he was born,
-he was nine pounds.
-He was a big baby.
-He's Shane Mark -
-named Mark after his father.
-I wanted to give him
-an unusual name, so I chose Shane.
-He didn't like toys
-when he was little.
-He liked being outside all day.
-After school, I used to go home,
-change, have something to eat...
-..then I'd be out all evening.
-I'd either be playing football
-or rugby in the park.
-We'd play johnny knockers, fox
-and hounds, hide and seek and so on.
-Whatever it was, I'd be there.
-When I went home, Mum would go nuts
-because I'd be so dirty.
-I was always having
-to change my clothes.
-All he ever wanted
-to do was play sport.
-He was talented at football,
-gymnastics, athletics and boxing.
-He was BMX champion.
-He did fun runs, rugby - everything.
-But not cricket.
-For some reason, I hate cricket.
-Every sport I've done has helped me.
-Playing soccer has helped me
-with my kicking game.
-Everyone loves playing soccer.
-We needed a goalie
-and Shane decided to go in goal.
-That's how he started playing
-for Cwmamman Football Club.
-He always wanted to come out
-and take penalties and corners...
-..or free kicks
-or anything rather than be in goal.
-He could catch well and throw -
-he could do it all.
-I never thought I was talented.
-I played these sports
-because I liked them.
-It was a chance to meet up
-..keep off the streets...
-..and play a couple of games.
-"well, this is bloody easy".
-From the first day I saw him kicking
-the ball on the ground...
-..and saw his footballing skills...
-..he could head the ball well too...
-..I realized there wasn't anything
-he couldn't do.
-But his left foot was his strongest
-not his right.
-He developed other skills
-He often looks up to see
-what's happening on the field.
-In football, you tend to have your
-head up far more than in rugby.
-In rugby, you keep your head down
-and your behind in the air.
-That's how rugby is played,
-especially when you're young.
-Gavin Henson has played some
-football, as has James Hook.
-Those boys have plenty of vision.
-So perhaps it does help.
-I think he could have played
-football at a high level.
-He was quick and he had the skills.
-I think he would have gone
-a long way.
-I wasn't good enough to play
-for Manchester United...
-..so I started playing rugby again.
-At Amman Valley School, the great
-entertainer found another talent...
-..and love for another sport.
-Like so many other stars, he was
-lucky to have excellent teachers.
-One of these was his gymnastics
-teacher, Dai Beynon.
-Mr Beynon was important to everyone.
-He was a good teacher and he helped
-me not only with gymnastics...
-..but he taught me rugby, football
-and other sports.
-If people don't give you a chance
-or any hope of doing something...
-..it's very difficult.
-You begin to hate the teacher then
-and sometimes the sport as well.
-Could you do it now?
-I expect I could attempt something.
-It's nice to see
-the trampettes out.
-I used to like doing things
-on the trampette.
-After half an hour's practice, I'm
-sure you'll be able to do it easily.
-I'd need to do a few stretches
-Maybe not today - I've a few
-important games coming up.
-I used to like gymnastics.
-I used to come in at lunchtime
-to do it, so I must have liked it.
-I remember this gym
-as being much bigger.
-You were smaller then.
-Yes, I was a bit smaller.
-I remember when you started here,
-you were small for your age.
-But you were a bundle of energy.
-I loved doing it.
-It was a chance for me to do things
-like Oliver as well.
-You remember Oliver, do you?
-You remember Oliver, do you?
-I'll never forget it.
-My grandmother's still
-got the video.
-Every time someone talks about
-Oliver, she talks about the video.
-It happened the first night.
-I remember it well.
-I was at the side of the stage
-watching. We'd rehearsed so much.
-We had check marks and you hit one
-of the check marks with your foot.
-I don't remember.
-It was the wrong foot.
-I just hoped the piano teacher
-was okay after I fell on her.
-You had something that
-a lot of people don't have.
-You had vision
-and spatial awareness.
-We called you "the cat" in private.
-We compared you to a cat.
-If you throw a cat in the air,
-it'll always land on her feet.
-You were the same.
-You always knew where you were.
-I'm not sure about that -
-I fell on my head a few times.
-Not when I was here.
-I can only think of two players from
-Wales, Britain or maybe the world...
-..who could do the things
-you can do now.
-Both of you were good gymnasts.
-You and Gareth Edwards.
-You've both had the honour of being
-named best players in the world.
-Well done you.
-Rugby was the main sport
-at Amman Valley School.
-And on the old playing fields,
-with his former teachers...
-..the memories come flooding back.
-I played for the first team
-a couple of times.
-I played scrum-half at school.
-Some of the players
-were a lot better than me...
-..such as Dylan Davies
-who was in the year above me.
-He always played in the first team.
-I knew he was better than me, so I
-usually played in the second team.
-There's nothing wrong with that.
-That's the way it was.
-I wasn't good enough.
-You mostly played scrum-half
-in Years 7, 8 and 9.
-I think you played on the wing
-up in Doncaster.
-I scored five tries against them
-the first time we went there.
-I played on the wing there.
-Did you have a girlfriend up there
-or shouldn't I mention that?
-Shane is a perfect example of
-someone who wasn't a superstar...
-..when he was in school.
-We've coached loads of boys
-who have played for the county...
-..especially in Years 7, 8 and 9
-and who haven't developed further.
-Shane has stuck at it.
-He switched from playing soccer.
-He always enjoyed his games
-He came to rugby
-when he was a bit older.
-It's important to enjoy
-what you do at that age.
-Looking back, it was wise to take
-a year or two out to play football.
-You came back to it fresh.
-One second. It only takes
-one second to do something.
-One second of wizardry.
-Wales vs Ireland
-At Croke Park, I felt it was a game
-we should win.
-We had to win it.
-I didn't want to go home and say
-"what a pity!" again.
-We've been to Dublin and lost.
-And that glittering moment came.
-If Wales hadn't scored then,
-they might have lost the game.
-The game went up a gear
-when he got the ball.
-He made the difference in that game
-and put Wales in the lead.
-He thinks so quickly
-and does things so quickly.
-Things happen in a millisecond.
-He has no space, there are
-three or four in defence...
-It's his strength as well as he
-pushes the tackler out of the way.
-It was the first time
-I'd beaten a player with a hand-off.
-It was quite a special feeling.
-And yet he found his way past
-all of them and crossed the line.
-When he needs to, he can remember
-everything he's done...
-..read the situation in front of him
-and take the right course of action.
-He knows, in that second,
-that he could make a mistake too.
-That's his greatness -
-having faith in himself...
-..and to be able to feel
-that he can take on...
-..and defeat these opponents.
-He isn't afraid of failing.
-"He's scored his fortieth try
-It's the first Saturday morning
-It's a frosty morning...
-..and all the games in the valley
-have been called off.
-The best rugby player in the world
-has come to Cwmamman Park...
-..to play touch rugby
-with his mates and the local boys.
-After Christmas, everyone's drunk
-too much and eaten too much.
-It's a chance for the boys to
-come out today and have some fun...
-..and blow away the cobwebs.
-How many Wales players come to play
-touch rugby at their local club?
-It's easier to go to the gym.
-But Shane is here with his friends.
-I don't think there are many people
-who have reached his level...
-..and who are well-known
-at international level...
-..who have stayed close to their
-roots and to their local community.
-He's a nice chap and would do
-anything for this area.
-You can't buy what's available here.
-It's a disadvantaged area -
-there is poverty here.
-Yet so many of the important things
-in life are available in this area.
-You can't put a price
-on those things.
-I think Shane appreciates that.
-It was obvious
-that Shane was talented.
-He had the skills back then.
-He was the smallest in the team,
-but his skills were amazing.
-It was a pleasure
-to watch him play.
-I remember once,
-I was watching in the stand...
-..I'm a bit younger than Shane...
-..he took the ball into his own
-22, chipped it over one player...
-..caught it, chipped it again,
-caught it again and scored.
-That moment sticks out in my mind.
-People started coming to matches...
-..who wouldn't normally have come
-to see Amman play.
-Once the word got out
-that we had this great player...
-..it attracted people to the club.
-I think he's created that kind
-of excitement throughout his career.
-I was in my own 22
-and in a bit of bother.
-Shane picked up the ball and I
-wondered what he was going to do.
-He started to dance around the 22.
-It was a bit like
-that film, Billy Elliot.
-He was dancing and all of a sudden,
-he ran the length of the pitch.
-He was under the posts
-sitting on the ball.
-The referee said, "Sorry boy, you've
-just wasted your time. No try."
-He asked why and the referee said he
-hadn't grounded the ball properly.
-The last thing I used to tell the
-boys as they went on the pitch...
-..was "look after Shane"
-because he was so small.
-I think everyone knew very early on
-that he would go a long way.
-But it's hard to believe sometimes
-just how well he's done...
-..especially in the last year
-with everything he's won.
-But everyone at the club and in
-the village is very proud of him.
-No, he hasn't forgotten his roots.
-No, he hasn't forgotten his roots.
-He's still the same Shane.
-He hasn't changed
-since he was a boy.
-He's a nice chap. One of the boys.
-Former Neath player, Alan Edmunds,
-was the coach at Amman at the time.
-A message came from him saying that
-he had a very talented player.
-I invited Shane to come and play
-for Neath against Pembrokeshire...
-..one evening as a scrum-half.
-I remember him coming in.
-He was small and weak.
-He played and you could see
-he wasn't a good scrum-half...
-..but he could play.
-He scored a try
-50 yards from the scrum.
-He got under the posts,
-he could sidestep, he was fast...
-..and I thought "wow",
-he's got something.
-But he wasn't a scrum-half.
-I got a phone call
-from Lyn Jones...
-..asking me to do
-a couple of sessions.
-I went down with him...
-..and I ended up signing a contract
-with Neath for four months.
-I was getting paid every week.
-It was a "see how it goes" contract.
-When you see a player like that,
-you have to find a place for them.
-I struggled a bit
-in the beginning...
-..because the standard was much
-higher than what I'd been playing.
-It took me a while to settle.
-The first thing I did was
-take him to Stadium Garage...
-..and got him a new car.
-I had a banged up Fiesta 1.1
-with scratches down the side.
-Very soon, the small lad from Amman
-lit up the Gnoll...
-..with his fantastic running.
-The rugby world began to recognize
-his unique talent.
-I heard from my brother-in-law,
-Dai Beynon, about this new player.
-He said that he was very fast
-but quite small.
-But Dai told me that he thought
-he was like me when I was a boy.
-I remember the first time
-I saw him play for Neath...
-..against Cardiff, Shane had one
-chance with the ball in his hand...
-..and before you knew it,
-he was dodging around.
-He scored a try
-from the halfway line.
-He dodged around all his opponents.
-He made the Cardiff players
-look old and slow.
-As I was watching,
-I thought "Gerald Davies".
-But the general impression was that
-this lad had something special.
-That is, the ability to beat any man
-on the field in a confined space.
-Can you manage that, guys?
-Careful! We don't want any more
-injuries in the Ospreys.
-So, who is going
-to start me off on 3,000?
-Do I have 4,000?
-Again, I have five on the phone -
-thank you very much indeed.
-Five thousand on the phone.
-I keep things in the house,
-but seeing things being sold...
-..is very hard sometimes.
-But I don't have enough room
-in the house.
-What I want to see
-is multidimensional rugby.
-We don't want plodders.
-We don't want set piece players.
-We want guys who will run all day.
-Earlier this century, Graham Henry
-was the saviour of Welsh rugby.
-And the little wizard had a chance
-to make an impression...
-..in a test game at St Helens.
-I was very nervous because I was
-in the possible probables team.
-So it was a big game.
-I thought this was my chance
-to play for Wales.
-It was a big night for me.
-A number of former Welsh players
-got together at St Helens...
-..to see this test match.
-It was difficult
-going into the match.
-I was trying things but I couldn't
-get my hands on the ball.
-The ball was always going
-the other way down the field.
-So I thought I'd missed my chance.
-But in the second half,
-I looked more for the ball...
-..and things went my way.
-In the end, I had quite a good game.
-On Monday night,
-he called us together...
-..and we sat around
-the dinner table.
-Shane Williams was
-a bit nervous to begin with.
-He has bags of gas.
-Looks comfortable on the ball.
-There were four wingers
-at the trial.
-Thomas was one.
-I'd go for Shane Williams
-as my second one.
-He's got so much pace and he could
-handle international rugby.
-They started reading out
-the names of the first team.
-Three quarters - Gareth Thomas,
-Cardiff, Mark Taylor, Swansea...
-..Jason Jones Hughes, Newport,
-Allan Bateman, Northampton...
-..Dafydd James, Llanelli,
-Shane Williams, Neath.
-He said, "well done,
-..and I thought "oh shit!"
-It was a very special feeling.
-After that, I wrote him a letter to
-congratulate him and wish him luck.
-I told him I hoped he'd get
-what he wanted in the future.
-I looked up to Gerald Davies,
-so getting a letter from him...
-..was very special.
-That gave me confidence going into
-the Six Nations matches.
-Coming off the bench in that game
-and playing for Wales...
-..for the first time
-was very difficult.
-I just wanted to stay on the bench.
-I was wearing Dai Young's shirts
-on the day...
-..and they were about
-three sizes too big.
-He was only a kid then.
-But he always had that X factor.
-The ability to beat people - to step
-and create things out of nothing.
-I felt at the time,
-that he was picked for Wales...
-..because the press wanted him
-to be picked.
-The entire nation, almost,
-wanted Shane to play.
-The coach didn't believe in him, but
-they put him on against France...
-..for his first cap
-to keep people quiet.
-He had about one second
-of beating someone on the wing...
-..and the crowd were instantly
-on their feet.
-Such was the relationship
-Shane had with the crowd...
-..that the coach seemed
-I remember talking to Shane because
-I've got a lot of time for him.
-I told him, "Unless you express
-yourself out there...
-"..you can't get in this team. You
-can't be conservative in this side".
-I started to think that perhaps
-I was good enough to play...
-..at that level and that I could
-compete with the best in the world.
-Within quite a short time, I'd gone
-from Amman United to Neath...
-..and then to Wales
-and all within a year a half.
-Every time I went up a level,
-I was asking myself...
-..whether I was good enough.
-Wales v France
-In the game against France,
-again, it was very tight.
-France put the pressure on.
-Shane can make
-something out of nothing.
-He can do it at any time
-and change the game completely.
-Very unexpected again,
-but he came in defensively...
-..and kicked the ball through.
-The first thing was to try
-and kick whatever I could.
-He moved so quickly
-and the ball was on the ground...
-..and you never know
-how a rugby ball will go.
-It was a perfect bounce.
-The first kick landed in the 22.
-He slowed down.
-He'd been running fast.
-It was those soccer skills again.
-How to control that ball
-and get it over the line...
-..without it going long
-or stopping short...
-..so that he could score.
-He brings some unconventional skills
-to the game...
-..and this sets him apart
-from the others.
-The ball has gone forward.
-Can Shane Williams do it again?
-Shane Williams is on course -
-Shane Williams has scored!
-He knows he's scored.
-He's broken Gareth Thomas' record.
-There was a lot of pressure on me
-the week before that game...
-..from the press.
-Everyone was talking
-about the record.
-Scoring that try
-was quite a relief in the end.
-It was very special because,
-of course, we won the Grand Slam.
-And he's scored against France.
-The only one
-of the main countries...
-..that he hadn't scored
-After a season in the Welsh shirt,
-there was a dark period.
-Henry and his successor,
-Steve Hansen said plainly...
-..that the little wizard was
-too small for international rugby...
-..and he needed to grow a bit.
-It certainly came as a blow
-..and he began to doubt his ability.
-Did he have the right physical
-attributes to compete...
-..at the highest level?
-It was certainly
-a worrying period for him.
-For someone to tell him
-that he was too small...
-..and that he wouldn't be able
-to do this or that...
-..when he knows that he can do
-these things, it's frustrating.
-Graham wasn't happy with his size.
-Shane wanted to grow.
-He tried everything to grow
-and put weight on.
-It was very difficult.
-I tried things like creatine
-and protein shakes.
-I had protein shakes
-I was having six shredded wheat
-in the morning.
-I put on weight.
-I was two stone heavier
-than I had been before the injuries.
-I had problems with my hamstring
-and something else.
-I was trying too hard on the field.
-I was slower
-because I had put on weight.
-I was drinking a lot more
-than I was supposed to.
-I was going out all the time.
-I couldn't do weights
-because of my hamstring...
-..and because I fell off my bike
-and injured my arm.
-So I wasn't doing anything.
-I was just getting up in the morning
-and eating and doing nothing.
-He wasn't depressed exactly...
-..but he was down in the dumps.
-When you grow up as a person, you're
-going to make mistakes in life.
-I remember a lot of things
-that happened to Shane.
-He fell off his bike.
-He had a scrambler and he'd been
-out of rugby for a few months.
-He'd been fighting
-in the village too.
-But these things happen to people.
-They have to get through it...
-..and come out the other side
-as a better person.
-That's what Shane's done.
-I woke up one morning
-and thought "I have to grow up".
-"I have to work hard,
-have the physio...
-"..and get my legs working, so that
-I can do something at the gym...
-"..and get back to training."
-I grew up on that day.
-I wanted to play rugby
-again for Neath...
-..and I wanted
-to play for Wales.
-I wanted to prove
-a lot of people wrong.
-He could have given up
-and never gone any further.
-Or he could choose to prove
-that they were wrong about him.
-Shane made the right decision.
-He had the confidence
-and he wanted to be successful.
-It was in his heart
-and in his blood.
-Thank goodness it was and that he
-felt he could prove them wrong.
-In no time at all,
-I was training again.
-I started playing matches and
-enjoying being on the field.
-I worked hard and it all came back.
-Shane Williams is there.
-Despite shining for Neath, he wanted
-to get back in the Welsh shirt.
-Miraculously, he was chosen
-for the World Cup in 2003...
-..as the third scrum-half
-in Hansen's squad.
-I went to the World Cup
-as a water boy, I think.
-That's all I did there anyway -
-that and holding tackle pads.
-At an unimportant group match,
-Hansen fielded his second team.
-Shane got his chance against
-the favourites, New Zealand.
-I'm pretty sure Hansen didn't
-expect anything from that game.
-So there was no point in wasting
-the first team players...
-..against the All Blacks
-because they'd lose anyway.
-Then there was this performance.
-If you want attention, you have
-to perform against the All Blacks.
-Wales started to play in a way
-we hadn't seen for years.
-They played the rugby
-that comes naturally to us.
-No-one showed their ability
-more than Shane.
-Shane was at the top of his game.
-He was constantly looking
-for something to do.
-No-one could touch him.
-His runs and his sidestepping
-I saw a chance
-and I went for the gap.
-That's what I did
-every time I got the ball.
-I tried to break through.
-Although Hansen said
-it was all planned...
-..there's no way it was planned.
-Shane never figured much
-in his plans.
-I was just glad to prove a point.
-I could now put two fingers up
-to my detractors.
-The important thing for me was
-that I was playing for Wales again.
-Inevitably, you always want
-the underdog to win.
-On the rugby field,
-the little man is the underdog.
-It was nice to see the little man
-get his moment of glory.
-Amman is like a twilight zone -
-you can't move out of the area.
-A lot of my friends have moved away.
-But most have returned.
-Something pulls them back to the
-area though they don't know what.
-Not many live in the area
-but everyone enjoys living there.
-Everyone knows each other
-in Glanamman and Garnant.
-But, sometimes they know too much.
-There are gossips in the area
-so you must look out for them.
-You probably get that everywhere.
-I've moved to Betws.
-It's a little outside the area.
-But I'm in Glanamman and Garnant
-almost every day.
-So I get pulled back
-every time I try to leave.
-I've always been close to Mam.
-She's always helped me.
-My parents split up
-when I was young.
-So I was always
-the man in the house.
-So I'm very close to Mam.
-The Ospreys and regional rugby...
-..was the new stage for the little
-wizard after the 2003 World Cup.
-The whole world now appreciated
-his incredible talent.
-The Ospreys' success and ambition
-meant he was happy to stay at home.
-I think Shane's similar
-to Ryan Giggs.
-Ryan Giggs could've gone to Italy
-or Spain and earned more money...
-..or done the same as David Beckham.
-He may not have earned
-as much as some players...
-..but the respect people have
-for Ryan Giggs is huge.
-I think there's a parallel
-with Shane's career.
-If Shane signed for a French club...
-..he could earn
-300,000 - 350,000 a year.
-The Ospreys said I could talk
-to other clubs.
-I went to Castres in France
-to take a look at the set-up.
-He said he was going
-but I knew he wouldn't move there.
-He went for a couple of weeks
-The money they were throwing at me
-was clean off ridiculous.
-There's a lot of money out there.
-He's a home bird.
-He doesn't want to leave.
-He likes wanting to go
-but when it comes to the crunch...
-..he'll never leave.
-He was up against
-the World Champions.
-They play against the best from New
-Zealand and Australia every week.
-is one of the best in the world.
-He had no right to score that try.
-He had no support.
-He couldn't turn to anyone.
-He couldn't do a dummy pass -
-there was no-one around him.
-It isn't always good
-to have too much time.
-I remember the defence were there -
-five or six of them.
-How did he bamboozle all of them
-without being touched?
-I thought I'd get smashed
-in the corner.
-That's the trick - to move inside...
-..slow the defence
-and make them rethink.
-After that, they're not as quick.
-there was only one winner.
-They'd given up
-as Shane was in control.
-It was stunning. Incredible.
-Poetry on legs!
-The Boks' supporters
-were on their feet.
-They knew there
-was something special about him.
-A chance, a half-chance. He's away.
-Will he get his second try?
-Superb! Magnificent! Marvellous!
-That's what Shane Williams
-I saw Shane shortly after the game.
-I didn't know what to say!
-I was speechless!
-The little wizard
-has lit up the world with his magic.
-But back home in the Amman Valley,
-he's one of the boys.
-You get the feeling that
-he's happiest on his home patch.
-It's a strange dichotomy.
-The quiet man at the bar is
-the best rugby player in the world.
-He's come a long way.
-The boy who was too small
-for international rugby...
-..is the confident performer...
-..whose naked, muscly body
-is on posters across the world.
-Back in Amman Valley he enjoys
-a pint and a cheese roll...
-..with the boys after the game.
-The same man was given a testimonial
-match at the Millennium Stadium.
-It was very special. It's one of
-the most special things I've done.
-The testimonial was exceptional.
-You can't get two men
-from such different backgrounds...
-and Shane Williams.
-One is a global glamour boy. But
-they mutually respect each other.
-Marshall more than Shane maybe,
-respects what he represents.
-It's been a pleasure to referee him.
-He's an affable person.
-He never moans on the pitch
-and doesn't backchat, as some do!
-Everyone's turned up just to support
-me. My family were up in the boxes.
-Most of the Amman Valley
-had travelled there by bus.
-Georgie didn't know what was
-happening but she enjoyed the day.
-Having her out there and carrying
-her off the pitch was very special.
-I'll never forget that.
-I hope Georgie won't either.
-What a lovely sight.
-It's a family occasion.
-The man himself receives the crowd's
-applause and appreciation.
-Justin Marshall is here, as well
-as players from across the world...
-..just because they want
-to pay tribute to him and thank him.
-You have to have
-that special knack and talent...
-..to find space when it's not there.
-His footwork and speed are the best
-I've seen in the time I've played.
-If I referee a game
-where he gets the ball...
-..I sometimes get as excited
-as the crowd.
-I think, "Where's he going? Where
-does he want me to go to keep up?"
-When he picks up speed
-and beats defenders...
-..there's no hope catching him up
-however fit or fast you are.
-I certainly prefer to have him
-on my team than play against him.
-I think he's the ultimate pro
-and is resilient.
-He's tough - he doesn't often
-get credit for that.
-He's mentally very strong.
-There aren't many players
-who can single-handedly turn a game.
-If I was in a phone booth with him,
-he would still sidestep me...
-..and I probably
-still couldn't catch him.
-Pound for pound, he's one
-of the strongest men playing rugby.
-He's so powerful, very agile,
-quick and has great speed.
-Those are the special qualities that
-Shane has that not many people have.
-He is a winner as an individual
-and as a player.
-Because of that...
-..he's been in very successful
-Welsh teams that have won.
-He was part
-of two Grand Slam-winning teams...
-..and he's entertained
-all the way through.
-It's very unusual to get players
-in the professional era...
-..who tick both boxes.
-The third box
-he ticks remarkably well...
-..is the fact he's a real gentleman
-and a lovely guy.
-I don't think anyone has such quick
-feet. He's so fast off the mark.
-If more players were like him, we
-would win the World Cup every time.
-I don't think I've ever
-been so nervous. I don't know why.
-And I play in big games!
-The IRB Awards
-was the climax to the year.
-Proof that he's overcome
-all obstacles and reached the top.
-The rugby world recognizes the
-greatness of the great entertainer.
-IRB Player of the Year for 2008 -
-The way he conducts himself...
-to contribute on the field...
-..and his professionalism off it
-are qualities that I respect...
-..and which earn him a lot
-of respect in world rugby circles.
-She's often nervous, as I am.
-But I think Gail
-was more nervous than me.
-Yeah, very nervous!
-I enjoy seeing it,
-and it happens quite often...
-..the big fellas see this little
-fella - "I'll get my hands on him."
-They never quite do it.
-as he doesn't run through our team!
-You've known each other
-since you were young.
-What it's like to be married
-to the World Player of the Year?
-A little boy from Amman Valley
-has won the IRB Player of the Year.
-Something in him links him
-with men who love rugby...
-..whether they come
-from England, Brynaman or Timbuktu.
-The fact he's small adds to him.
-It'd be a disadvantage to most.
-He's turned a lack of height
-into an advantage.
-Analysis of the Welsh team shows
-where opponents must stop Wales.
-Yet, he can still do it.
-He makes supporters
-to get up from their seats.
-you're seeing something special.
-It's worth the ticket price alone
-just to watch him play.
-He can light up the play
-in every match.
-If I chose a team of the best
-players I've seen play for Wales...
-..I'm convinced, especially
-after the last twelve months...
-..that the two wingers would be
-Gerald Davies and Shane Williams.
-I can't praise the little man
-from Amman Valley more than that.
-I've been very lucky.
-Looking back, I never thought
-I'd have a year like this.
-I'm very proud of the life I lead
-and where I've come from.
-I wouldn't change a thing.
-I'm still a homeboy.
-I still waste my time
-with Amman United!
-And I still enjoy being there.
-I'll probably never leave the area.
-S4C Subtitles by Testun Cyf.