The first in a series of articles on Llŷn Peninsula footballers who have made an indelible mark on the game in Wales
When you are playing Welsh Alliance League football into your 40s, it proves you’ve looked after yourself well throughout your career.
John Gwynfor Jones will always be remembered for his fitness, longevity and ability as an outstanding defender.
Known popularly as John Mynydd, the right-back represented Porthmadog for five seasons in the Welsh Premier League between 2003-04 and 2007-08, featuring in 138 games.
He signed for Port from Nefyn United towards the tail end of the 2001/02 season.
The following campaign, Jones was part of one of the most successful Porthmadog squads in the club’s history, that 2002/03 season delivering the Cymru Alliance League title, League Cup and NWCFA Challenge Cup.
Other Traeth stars from that period included top-scorer Carl Owen, David Farr, Steve Pugh, Tony Williams, Gareth Parry, Lee Webber and Mike Foster, but it was the consistent John Gwynfor who was named Clubman of the Year.
The following campaign was Port’s first back in the League of Wales after a five-year absence and their very first goal was a rare one from John Gwynfor Jones, his 25-yard left-foot rocket putting them 1-0 up at Connah’s Quay, the game ending in a 3-1 victory for the Eifionydd outfit.
Jones rates scoring that goal as one of the most memorable moments of his career.
During his five top-flight seasons with Port, Jones did have a spell with Nefyn in 2005-06 and he was to return to Cae’r Delyn as player-manager in 2008-09.
The Penwaig finished seventh in the Welsh Alliance League that season, but more impressive was their run to the FAW Trophy semi-finals.
It was the furthest Nefyn had progressed in that national competition, but they did not quite make the final, Penycae beating them 3-2 in the semi at Rhyl with Barry Love and Brian Matthews on target for the Llŷn club. John wore a smarter suit than David Beckham on the touchline that day!
Towards the end of his career, John Gwynfor had a stint with another Llŷn side in Pwllheli, playing in the Welsh Alliance into his early 40s and still giving the 100 per cent he had always done throughout his footballing days.
In recent times, the super-fit Jones has delved into the world of MMA. He met British and European champion Danny Williams of Pwllheli in a non-title grappling contest earlier this year.
As a footballer, John Gwynfor Jones will forever be respected for his reading of the game, tackling, heading and strength as a defender.
When asked in an interview two years ago how he would most like to be remembered as a player, he replied “honest and hard-working”.
It is pretty certain that will always be the case where this legend of the Llŷn is concerned.
Do you know of any footballer who has represented the likes of Porthmadog, Nefyn United or Pwllheli who would be worthy of featuring in this series of articles? Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org