In the fourth installment of a mini-series where we focus on clubs currently struggling but with an encouraging past they are looking to replicate, we turn the spotlight on HOLYHEAD TOWN
If ever a football club has had a roller-coaster history it is Holyhead Town.
From the peaks of the 1950s and 60s, where they established themselves as one of North Wales’ finest, to a decline in the 1970s, then many highs and lows since.
Harbourmen supporters will have experienced many contrasting emotions over the years.
Although based on Holy Island, Holyhead teams are regarded as being very much representatives of Anglesey.
Holyhead Town FC first emerged in the 1920s, competing in the Welsh National League, North Wales Football Combination and North Wales Coast League before beginning a long stay in the Welsh League North in 1935/36.
They were champions of that league (which later became the Welsh Alliance) four-times in a close-on 40-year membership before dropping into the Anglesey League in 1975-76.
The 50s and 60s were a truly golden era for Holyhead Town, led by the astonishing scoring feats of the late, great and legendary Tommy Welsh, who netted 631 goals in his career.
During these most magical decades, Holyhead won 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. No team from the island has ever got beyond the quarters.
Town remain the only Anglesey club ever to win the NWCFA Challenge Cup, doing so in 1955-56 and 1966-67 with famous victories over Caernarfon Town and Bangor City respectively.
The mid-1970s saw the Harbourmen drop into the Anglesey League and they have never been able to hit those heights reached in the 50s and 60s again.
Since the 70s they have flitted between the Anglesey, Gwynedd and Welsh Alliance leagues – winning the odd trophy along the way – and also went out of existence between 1998 and 2009, and then from 2012/13 to 2015/16.
However, they reformed in 2016 to great effect.
Under the managership of Craig Brodie, the Harbourmen were crowned 2016/17 Anglesey League champions, as well as lifting the Megan Cup and Lucas Oil Cup.
Then the following season, they scooped the Gwynedd League title at the first attempt, and landed the Cwpan Gwynedd, making it five trophies in two seasons.
On their long-awaited return to the Welsh Alliance League last season, Town ended up a disappointing 12th in Division Two.
Despite an encouraging start to the current season, which included a famous first-ever Welsh Cup derby with Holyhead Hotspur, Town resigned from the Welsh Alliance in December, citing lack of player commitment to training and poor availability on match-days.
The first team has continued to operate in the Anglesey League, having replaced their reserves at that level.
And there have been some encouraging performances from the young Harbourmen squad, which suggests they could rise again in the seasons to come.