RHAYADER Town have paid a beautiful and unique tribute to chairman Gareth Earp by mowing giant ‘GE’ initials into the club’s pitch following his death last week.

Mr Earp, a highly respected police officer who served as an inspector with Dyfed Powys Police, died, aged 43, after he was involved in a two-vehicle road traffic collision on the A470 between Rhayader and Llangurig at approximately 4.50pm on Thursday, June 29. Mr Earp, who was travelling home from work, died at the scene.

He was a popular figure locally and well known for his involvement with both senior and junior football throughout Powys. He was a youth football coach and official, having played previously for both Rhayader Town and St Harmon, and at the time of his death he was chairman of Rhayader Town Football Club.

And the Red Kites have paid a particularly poignant tribute to him, with the image of his initials, ‘GE’, inscribed into the pitch, appearing on Facebook this week.

The two letters were mown into the turf at the club’s Weirglodd home by first team manager Liam Addison, with footballs dotted around it.

“When I decided that I wanted to take on Rhayader(’s) first team this year as manager, you were straight there giving me advice and you sat chatting with me deciding on how we could make the club the best it could be, like you’ve always wanted,” said Liam in a Facebook post accompanying the pictures.

READ MORE: Rhayader, Powys in mourning after death of football chairman

“Cheers Earpy for all your advice and words of wisdom. I hope that this year I will make you proud and carry on your legacy throughout Rhayader Football Club. RIP mate, thank you for everything.”

He added: “That’s my tribute to Gareth.

“I’m the manager for the season ahead and we had talks and plans (about) how the club needed to go forward. He was with me on the journey and I’m devastated, I still can’t get over it, but this season (will be) one never to forget.”

County Times:  Gareth Earp, who was a Dyfed Powys Police officer for 21 years, died after being involved in a collision on the A470 between Rhayader and Llangurig last Thursday, June 29 Gareth Earp, who was a Dyfed Powys Police officer for 21 years, died after being involved in a collision on the A470 between Rhayader and Llangurig last Thursday, June 29 (Image: None)

Mr Earp had served with Dyfed Powys Police for 21 years. He had been part of the Roads Policing Unit and more latterly been an inspector based in Ceredigion, prior to his move to the specialist operations department at the force’s headquarters in Carmarthen.  He leaves behind wife Tamsin and three sons; Ethan, Theo and Joel.

There has been an outpouring of condolences online from the wider Mid Wales football community following Mr Earp’s death; with Builth Wells, Brecon Corries, Penybont United, Llandrindod Wells, Radnor Valley, Bow Street, Hay St Mary's, Talgarth Town and Aberaeron all posting tributes on their social media platforms.

In a post announcing his death last week, Rhayader Town said the community had been left “numb” by the news.

“Today we woke up to the tragic news that our chairman Gareth Earp has lost his life,” the club said.

“The town is numb, we are all devastated and the town is mourning. We offer our thoughts, prayers and strength to Graham, Mair, Tamsin and the boys we will forever be by your side.”

St Harmon, another of Mr Earp’s former clubs, said: “St Harmon FC would like to pass on our sincere condolences to Tamsin, the boys and all the family and friends after hearing the absolutely tragic news of the passing of our friend Earpy.

“Gareth both managed and played for St Harmon and was a well-liked and respected member of our club before moving on to (being) an active member of our near neighbours, Rhayader Town FC, where he held many positions.

“Gareth will be greatly missed by everyone that knew him, in both his professional and personal life.

Rest in peace Earpy, taken too soon, a huge loss to the community.”


Elsewhere, many groups and organisations within Rhayader, which as a very close-knit community, will feel this devasting loss deeply, also paid their own tributes. Rhayader Fire Station, Rhayader Primary School, Rhayader Carnival Week, Rhayader & District Community Support and the town council all changed their social media profile pictures to a black background punctuated by a thin blue line as a mark of respect for the fallen officer.

Dyfed Powys Police said the collision, involving a black VW Golf and a black Range Rover Sport, is being investigated. They added that the male driver of the other vehicle was airlifted to hospital, where he remains.

Did you witness either vehicle in the run-up to the collision, or have dashcam footage that could help officers with their investigation?

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Dyfed Powys Police at https://orlo.uk/5AW2o, email 101@dyfed-powys.police.uk or call 101. Quote ref: DP-20230629-318.