Anglesey/Ynys Môn football greats past and present – No2 Mel McGinness

Mel McGinness (blue and white stripes) in action against Penrhyncoch. Picture: Chris Howells

Holyhead Hotspur was formed in 1990, the same year one of the club’s most influential players ever was born.

Over the past three decades, some outstanding players have represented the Holy Islanders, but few have made as much impact as striker Mel McGinness.

In 2011/12, arguably Hotspur’s greatest season to date, they lifted the Welsh Alliance League title, Cookson Cup and Barritt Cup treble, as well as reaching the national FAW Trophy final.

While very much a squad effort, McGinness was the chief shining light in that campaign with a magnificent 50-goal haul.

That impressive total made him the first-ever winner of the Bob Brodie Trophy, a now annual competition for the top-goalscorer in Anglesey senior football and named after the popular former island player and Hotspur manager, who sadly passed away in 2011.

Never in that amazing campaign was McGinness more outstanding than when plundering a match-turning hat-trick in a 3-1 FAW Trophy semi-final victory against Llanrwst United at Bangor’s Nantporth stadium.

The diminutive McGinness, 29 tomorrow, is a Holyhead lad who signed for Bangor City as a 16 year-old in September 2006. 

He was involved in the FAW Victory Shield Under-15 squad in 2004/05 representing Ynys Mon and played in the unbeatable Holyhead Under-17 team of 2005/06.

McGinness made his Bangor debut as a substitute in a 2-2 Welsh Premier League draw at Carmarthen Town on August 22. 2006.

A first start followed in a Loosemores League Cup visit to Caernarfon Town a month later. The Holyhead youngster scored to make it 3-0, at the expense of Paul Pritchard, later to be a team-mate at Hotspur, in the Canaries goal.

However, the Cofis fought back to win 4-3 with Chris Jones, a future City hero, netting twice for The Oval outfit.

Mel McGinness shields the ball

McGinness represented Welsh Colleges in 2006/07 and was later named in Bangor City’s UEFA Cup squad.

However, first-team opportunities were limited at Farrar Road, and following a spell at Llangefni Town in 2008/09, the striker returned home to Hotspur and was an outstanding success at the New Stadium.

That 2011/12 season proved a highpoint and he has been a regular marksman ever since for Holyhead in the tier-two Huws Gray Alliance, apart from when he had a spell at Welsh Alliance Division Two Gaerwen in 2015/16.

A very dangerous attacking player who gives a team options in midfield or up front, McGinness is renowned for his great touch, never giving up and ability to make life a nightmare for any defender.

In 2016/17, he wrote himself another page in Hotspur folklore when banging in a hat-trick as the club rounded off a great season in style by winning the Welsh Alliance Reserves Division Lock Stock Fireworks Challenge Cup.

Andy Batsford and John Batson’s side thrashed divisional champions Bangor City 4-1 at Maes Eilian, Llanfairpwll, bouncing back from a goal down to lift the biggest trophy in the reserve team’s history.

Hotspur’s first team are finding the going tough this season in the Huws Gray Alliance and face the genuine threat of relegation. 

Some doses of McGinness magic are certainly needed to help turn the situation around. Despite the team’s struggles, he continues to find the net consistently.

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