Welsh Premier great Mark Connolly calls an end to his playing days

Mark Connolly made Llandudno the final stop of his career this season

One of the best attacking midfielders to play in the Welsh Premier League has announced his retirement.

Mark Connolly declared he was hanging up his boots on social media last weekend.

The 35-year-old featured in 390 Welsh Premier matches (336 starts and 54 substitute appearances) and netted 100 goals exactly.

He first joined the league in 2003/04, signing for Bangor City, and was at Farrar Road for two seasons, signing non-contract for TNS for their Uefa Cup games during that spell.

Connolly put pen to paper for Rhyl before the 2005/06 season and won the Welsh Cup in that campaign. He went on to become a popular Lilywhites regular, being part of the 2008/09 WPL title-winning squad before in 2009/10 enjoying a prolific spell in front of goal.

Following Rhyl’s demotion at the end of that season on licence grounds, Connolly moved to Chester FC.

A knee injury restricted his chances with the newly-formed club and he signed for Bala Town in 2011, spending seven successful years at Maes Tegid that saw him make 191 (+31) appearances and score 76 goals in total. 

The 2013-14 season was a particularly successful one, bringing him 21 goals in 30 league starts, and he added another 13 the following term.

He was an unused substitute when Bala won the Welsh Cup for the first time in 2016/17.

At the start of 2017/18, Connolly returned to Rhyl and later that season had a stint as player-manager.

Last season he made a WPL comeback with Llandudno and was a virtual ever-present, but the Seasiders ended the campaign getting relegated.

Connolly will always be remembered for his skill and determination as an attacking midfielder with an eye for goal.

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