And the Swansea City and Wales skipper was also beaming when the charity he is a patron of picked up £7,000 through the athletic efforts of the youngsters.
He supports the Ethan Perkins Trust, which helps youngsters suffering from brain tumours. It raises awareness of childhood brain tumours and helps to fund medical research and treatment, as well as organising trips and breaks for sufferers.
And it was the chosen cause when more than 800 pupils from the school took to the streets of Bishopston and Murton for their annual 5k cross country run.
Given the honour of choosing the charity to benefit was 15-year-old pupil Dylan Gunner, who was diagnosed with a brain tumour in August 2012.
School key stage 4 manager Andrew Thomas said: “Dylan has been in and out of hospital and has had chemotherapy and radiotherapy. He has missed a substantial amount of school, but is still keen to do his GCSEs nest summer. He really is an inspirational young man.”
Trust patron Ashley was welcomed with open arms when he attended two school assemblies.
“The pupils were thrilled to meet him,” said Mr Thomas. “And it was great that they could also see an end product. The run took place on a misty, rainy, miserable day at the end of September and the pupils could then see the end product of their efforts, helping people who are less fortunate then themselves.”