Tai Tarian hooks rugby star for Local Heroes project

Wed 18 Nov 2020

James Hook

The second phase of Tai Tarian’s Local Heroes project, which celebrates inspiring local people has been launched.

The project, which has been backed by the Heritage Lottery Fund, works with local schools to research and produce on online exhibition on famous people who hail from Port Talbot.

Initially, the project focussed on local actors Richard Burton, Anthony Hopkins and Michael Sheen, but will now turn its attention to local sporting heroes, including former Wales rugby player, James Hook.

Year seven pupils at Ysgol Bae Baglan, as well as year six pupils at its feeder schools, will interview James and research his career in preparation for an online gallery.  They will be assisted by local author David Brayley, who helped James write his debut children’s novel, Chasing a Rugby Dream.

James, started his career locally, playing for Neath.  He then joined the Ospreys before going on to play in France and England.  He won 81 caps for Wales.  Speaking about his involvement in the project he said:
"I'm absolutely delighted and honoured to follow in the footsteps of Richard Burton, Anthony Hopkins and Michael Sheen and be the latest person to be featured in Tai Tarian’s Local Heroes Project.

“I’m looking forward to sharing the importance that Port Talbot and its rich sporting heritage had on my early days growing up in the town, and later on the international rugby stage.

“It’s such a special place and remains core to my outlook on life.”

Overseeing the project for Tai Tarian is Jonathan Morris.  He said:
“The Local Heroes project is all about connecting the residents of Port Talbot with the town and the people who live here.  We’re lucky to have three internationally famous actors who were the focus of the project initially.  Now we turn our attention to the town’s sporting heroes and I’d like to thank James for this enthusiasm and willingness to take part.”