Wales: Funky fund-raiser in memory of golfer

Golfing 'superstition' led to death of golfer following illness

The family of a golfer who contracted meningitis after licking a weedkiller-covered golf ball in 1980 are raising funds in his memory.

Bryan Mayo, from Blackwood, lost his legs to fare fungal meningitis and died from his second battle with the disease.

His wife, Fay, explained how his ritual was to lick then wipe the ball before putting, but this led to him being poisoned.

Mayo spent 11 days in a coma before waking up and his wife said the only thing they could attribute it to was weedkiller sprayed on the greens.

He went on to launch the British Amputee Golf Association and hosted its annual tournament, which was first held at his family’s Bryn Meadows resort, near Ystrad Mynach, in 1989.

His son Gary, 46, said: “He was inspired to pick up his clubs again after, while in hospital, he read a book on World War Two pilot Douglas Bader who lost his legs.

‘He leaves a legacy in terms of amputee golf’ “He also met Bader which encouraged him. He was my dad’s hero, and my dad was back on the course six weeks after leaving the hospital.

Brian contracted meningitis again and died aged 62 in 1999, but his legacy continues. The tournament is now played at different UK courses each year. Competitors travel from as far afield as South Africa and the US to take part in the competition.

Gary said: “Legacy is romantic, but I feel he leaves a legacy in terms of amputee golf.” 

The family are now hosting a 70s and 80s-themed night in Brian’s memory for Meningitis Now at Bryn Meadows on Friday January 30.

The fund-raiser starts at 7pm and includes a two-course meal from 7.30pm.

Fancy dress is optional and Gary said: “We are delighted to continue to support those affected by meningitis. This evening is a little different to our golf events for Meningitis Now, so hopefully it will raise awareness to a wider audience.”

Meningitis Now community fund-raiser Abi Floyd added: “What happened to Brian shows that people can contract meningitis multiple times, often quickly and with only flu-like symptoms.

“His determination to overcome amputations is inspirational and wish the family the best with their latest fund-raiser and hope as many people as possible come and strut their stuff.

“Every penny raised helps us continue to fight the disease on all fronts by funding pioneering preventative research, raising awareness and supporting people.”

For more information call Bryn Meadows on (01945) 225590 or visit

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