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Who are Ynys Môn’s most successful football team ever?

A classic Holyhead Town line-up from the 1960s with Tommy Welsh front row – second left

Which is the most successful football club ever to hail from Anglesey?

You could make your judgment on the total amount of trophies won, or the level of football their success has been achieved at.

Either way, there is no one, true definitive answer.

Grassroots North Wales has taken a look back through history and come up with a list of contenders for the unofficial title of Ynys Môn’s Greatest Football Club.

Although Holyhead is based on Holy Island, which is separated from Anglesey by the Cymyran Strait, for the purposes of this feature all football clubs from the town of Caergybi will be referred to as being from Ynys Môn.

Holyhead is often referred to as ‘Anglesey’s largest town’ and comes under the governance of Isle of Anglesey County Council, as well as the constituency of Ynys Môn in the UK Parliament and Welsh Assembly.

The Môn Contenders

Llangefni Town (total honours 38)

A great Llangefni side from the 1990s

Currently the highest ranked club on the island playing in tier-two Cymru North.

Llangefni are the only Anglesey team to win the national FAW Trophy, when it was known as the Welsh Intermediate Cup back in 1991/92.

Town are also just one of two clubs from the island to progress to the League of Wales/Welsh Premier, lasting just one season back in 2007/08.

Llangefni’s main successes as a club have come from the start of the 1990s onwards.

Since then they have won five Welsh Alliance League titles (a record) and been crowned Cymru Alliance champions twice.

Honours (38)
League titles: Anglesey League 7 (2 reserve team – 6 top division, 1 second division); Welsh Alliance 5; Cymru Alliance 2; Gwynedd League 2.
Cups: Dargie Cup 6; Elias Cup 2; Megan Cup 1; Thomas & Williams Cup 1; Cookson Cup 2; Mawddach/Barritt Cup 3; FAW Trophy 1; NWCFA Junior Cup 1; Alves Cup 1; Eryri Shield 3 AEEU Cup 1.

Gwalchmai (40 honours)

Gwalchmai first emerged as a genuine force in Anglesey football in the late 1950s.

Since then, they have won pretty much everything the island has to offer, including a joint-record nine top division Anglesey League titles.

They are also one of the most successful clubs to enter the NWCFA Junior Cup, sitting joint third in the list of all-time winners on five.

The highest tier Gwalchmai have played in is three – the Welsh Alliance. They are currently in Division Two of that league.

Honours (40)
League titles: Anglesey League 11 (9 top division, 2 second division); Gwynedd League 1.
Cups: Dargie Cup 4; Megan Cup 7; Elias Cup 6; NWCFA Junior Cup 5; JW Lees 2; SK Williams Challenge Shield 2; Gwynedd Premier Cup 1; Cwpan Gwynedd 1.

Newborough (32 honours)

A dominant force in the 1950s and 60s when they won the vast majority of their trophies at Anglesey League level.

They were also the first ‘junior’ side to win the former North Wales Coast FA Amateur Cup in 1961.

Newborough a brief return to the Anglesey League in 2012-13, but lasted just the one season.

Honours (32)
League titles: Anglesey League 9.
Cups: NWCFA Junior Cup 2; Dargie Cup 9; Megan Cup 5; Elias Cup 6; NWCFA Amateur Cup 1.

Amlwch Town (30 honours)

Amlwch Town’s Dargie Cup winners of 2004/05. Photo: Wayne Jones

After winning the Welsh Alliance title in 2001-02, they spent two seasons at the highest level they have reached in the Cymru Alliance.

Since then they have been up and down the pyramid and currently hold their own in Welsh Alliance Division Two.

Amlwch are one of the most accomplished teams ever to compete in the Anglesey League and they have an excellent ladies team too.

Honours (30)
League titles: Anglesey League 8; Welsh Alliance 1; Gwynedd League 1.
Cups: NWCFA Junior Cup 3; JW Lees Shield 1; Dargie Cup 4; Megan Cup 4; Elias Cup 3; AEEU Cup 1; Alves Cup 2; Cwpan Gwynedd 1; Eryri Shield 1.

Holyhead Town (32 honours)

Holyhead Town celebrate winning the Gwynedd League in 2017-18

In the 1950s and 60s, the Harbourmen were among the most formidable teams along the North Wales coast, led by the astonishing goalscoring feats of the late, great and legendary Tommy Welsh.

They lifted the old Welsh League (North) title four times: 1949-50, 1957-58, 1963-64 and 1969-70 and were the first Anglesey team ever to reach the Welsh Cup quarter-finals in 1960-61.

Town are the only Anglesey club ever to win the NWCFA Challenge Cup, doing so in 1955-56 and 1966-67.

Recent years had been less successful until Town returned to football under Craig Brodie in 2016-17 and won the Anglesey League and Gwynedd League titles back-to-back.

Honours (32)
League titles: Welsh League (North) 4; Anglesey League 4; Gwynedd League 2.
Cups: NWCFA Amateur Cup 1; Cookson Cup 5; Dargie Cup 2; Megan Cup 4 (2 1st team, 2 reserves); Elias Cup 4 (first team 2, reserves 2); NWCFA Challenge Cup 2, NWCFA Junior Cup 1; Gwynedd Cup 1; SK Williams Challenge Shield 1. Lucas Oil Cup 1

Llanfairpwll (35 honours)

A vintage Llanfairpwll line-up from the 1980s

Llanfairpwll produced some outstanding teams throughout the 1970s, 80s and 90s in particular.

They won a hat-trick of Anglesey League titles between 1975-77 and back-to-back crowns in 1981-82 and 1982-83.

Pwll were part of the first-ever Welsh Alliance League in 1984-85 and went on to win the title twice, in 1987-88 and 2000-01, but went close on several other occasions.

They also spent nine seasons in the tier-two Cymru Alliance League, achieving a highest finishing position of sixth.

Many older fans will also remember a famous Welsh Cup win at Kidderminster Harriers in 1986-87.

Honours (35)
League titles: Anglesey League 7; Welsh Alliance 2.
Cups: Dargie Cup 6; Elias Cup 4; Megan Cup 5; JW Lees Shield 1; SK Williams 1; Cookson Cup 3; Mawddach Cup 2; NWCFA Junior Cup 4 (1st team 3, reserves 1)

Holyhead Hotspur (17 honours)

Holyhead Hotspur celebrate their 2011-12 Welsh Alliance League title win

Formed as recently as 1990, Hotspur have been the leading flag-flyer for Holyhead football almost ever since.

They have also undoubtedly been one of Anglesey’s major success stories on the football front over the last 30 years.

Within just eight years of forming, they had won the Anglesey, Gwynedd and Welsh Alliance Leagues to gain promotion to the tier-two Cymru Alliance, where they finished runners-up in 2008-09.

They are still in contention for a four-timer this season, holding a comfortable lead at the Welsh Alliance Division One summit.

Honours (17)
League titles: Welsh Alliance 2; Anglesey League 2; Gwynedd League 1
Cups: Dargie Cup 2; Megan Cup 2 (1 first team, 1 reserves); Elias Cup 1; Alves Cup 1; Aluminium Môn Cup 2; Barritt Cup 1; Bob Owen Memorial Shield 1 (reserves); Gwynedd Cup 1 (reserves) Welsh Alliance Reserves Division Cup 1.

Glantraeth (15 honours)

Glantraeth rejoice at winning the Cookson Cup

Only in existence since 1984, the village side have hit some tremendous heights, including winning the Cymru Alliance championship in 2005-06.

They have also lifted three Welsh Alliance titles and the Gwynedd League crown, and landed numerous cups.

The club has also had some downs, dropping out of football twice, but they are currently in the Gwynedd League and improving fast.

Honours (15)
League titles: Cymru Alliance 1; Gwynedd League 1; Welsh Alliance 1; Welsh Alliance Division One 1; Welsh Alliance Division Two 1.
Cups: Cymru Alliance League Challenge Cup 1; Cookson Cup 2; Eryri Shield 1; Gwynedd Cup 2; Gwynedd Shield 1; NWCFA Intermediate Cup 1; Welsh Alliance Division Two League Cup 1, Safeflue Shield 1.

Cemaes Bay (11 honours)

In terms of playing at the top level, Cemaes are Anglesey’s most accomplished club having spent three seasons in the League of Wales/Welsh Premier.

The present club was only formed in 1976 and their success story really began in the early 1990s, with Welsh Alliance and Cymru Alliance titles.

Fortunes have varied since they dropped out of the Cymru Alliance in 2004-05, but Bay are top of the Anglesey League this season and gunning to restore former glories.

Honours (11)
League titles: Cymru Alliance 1; Anglesey League 1 (reserves); Welsh Alliance 1.
Cups: Cymru Alliance League Cup 1; Dargie Cup 2 (1 first team, 1 reserves); Megan Cup 1; Elias Cup 2; Cookson Cup 2.

CPD Bodedern/Bodedern Athletic (30 honours)

Bodedern’s Welsh Alliance title winners of 2004/05

Formed in 1946, Bodedern did not win a major honour until 1978 when they lifted the Anglesey League title.

They have been highly successful ever since, winning the Anglesey, Gwynedd and Welsh Alliance titles to reach the second-tier Cymru Alliance in 2005/06.

CPD Bodedern became Bodedern Athletic in 2007/08 and the run of trophy wins has continued.

Ricky Williams’ side were Welsh Alliance Division One runners-up last season and remain one of Anglesey’s most prolific clubs.

Honours (30)
League titles: Anglesey League 5 (3 first division, 2 second division); Gwynedd League 2, Welsh Alliance League 1.
Cups: Dargie Cup 4 (3 first team, 1 reserves); Elias Cup 2; Megan Cup 3; JW Lees Shield 1; Gwynedd Cup 2; Gwynedd President’s Cup 2; Eryri Shield 3; Barritt Cup 2; Warwick International Cup 1; Welsh Alliance Division Two Cup 2.

Also worthy of note

Menai Bridge Tigers (26 trophies)
League titles: Anglesey League 4 (3 first division, 1 second division), Gwynedd League 1.
Cups: NWCFA Junior Cup 8 (record); Dargie Cup 2; Megan Cup 4; Elias Cup 1; JW Lees Shield 1; SK Williams Shield 1; IPP Cup 1, Cwpan Gwynedd 2, Bob Owen Memorial Shield 1.

Bro Goronwy (15 honours – nearly all in recent years)
League titles: Anglesey League 3 (2 first division, 1 second division); Gwynedd League 1.
Cups: NWCFA Junior Cup 3; Dargie Cup 1; Megan Cup 2; Elias Cup 1; Thomas and Williams Cup 1; Bwlch Car Boot Trophy 2; Bob Owen Memorial Shield 1.

Anglesey in the Welsh Premier League

Only two Anglesey clubs have competed in the top-tier of Welsh football – the Cymru Premier.
Cemaes Bay played in the national league in 1995-96 (15th), 1996-97 (12th) and 1997-98 (20th and bottom).
Llangefni Town were in the League of Wales for one season only – 2007/08 and finished in last place.

Anglesey in the Welsh Cup

No Anglesey team has progressed further than the quarter-finals of the Welsh Cup in the competition’s long history.
In 1960-61, Holyhead Town reached the last eight, losing 5-0 to Swansea City.
The following season the Harbourmen made it to the quarters again, this time being beaten 4-0 by Wrexham, but having knocked out Chester 2-1 in the previous round.
No Ynys Môn team made the quarter-finals again until 2003/04 when Glantraeth achieved the feat, losing 4-1 to The New Saints.
In 2005/06 Llangefni Town appeared in the quarters, losing out 3-0 to Port Talbot of the Welsh Premier.
The last time a team from Ynys Môn made the final eight was in 2006/07, Holyhead Hotspur suffering a 5-1 defeat at the hands of then WPL club Welshpool.

Ynys Môn in the FAW Trophy

Llangefni Town are the sole team from Anglesey to win the national FAW Trophy, beating Caersws in the 1991-92 final when the competition was known as the Welsh Intermediate Cup.
Holyhead Hotspur reached the final in 2011-12, losing 2-1 to Sully Sports and just missing out on a quadruple. Hotspur are in the semi-finals of this season’s Trophy, where they meet Llandudno Albion next month.

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