South East Wales

Train named after sporting legends Edwards and Charles

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Media captionSir Gareth Edwards named his end of the train at Cardiff Central station on Wednesday

A train named after two Welsh sporting heroes is on track to be a hit with commuters.

Great Western Railway has named each end of its number nine intercity express after rugby captain Sir Gareth Edwards and footballer John Charles.

The Queen, Queen Victoria, Paddington Bear and his creator Michael Bond have also been immortalised on the £5.7bn GWR fleet.

Sir Gareth named his end of the train in Cardiff Central on Wednesday.

As he boarded the 10:45 GMT service to London Paddington, he said: "It's every schoolboy's dream to have a train named after you."

Greatest try

Image caption Sir Gareth described a "schoolboy's dream"

The former British and Irish Lions scrum-half added: "I couldn't be more thrilled that having John Charles' name on the same train, because he was a schoolboy hero of mine, and I grew up admiring the greatness of the man as a player and a person."

Edwards scored what is regarded as rugby's greatest try in 1973; while Charles starred for Wales at the 1958 World Cup and is thought of as one of British football's greatest centre-forwards.

Charles died in 2004 aged 72.

His family named the other end of the train in London, along with representatives from his former clubs Juventus and Leeds United.

Charles' widow Glenda said the family was "overwhelmed", adding: "John would say, 'Why me, I don't deserve this'. It's lovely."

The new high-speed trains, the biggest GWR upgrade for more than 40 years, entered service last year. They can carry more passengers and travel up to 148mph (240km/h).

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