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Save Rhyl FC: remembering the Invincibles of 2012-13

Rhyl v Caersws, Huw Gray Alliance League Rhyl are Champions. Photo Robert Parry Jones

Rhyl celebrate their 2012-13 Huws Gray Cymru Alliance League title success. Picture: Rhyl FC

Rhyl Football Club is in genuine danger of going under – and it desperately needs your help.

The Lilywhites need to raise £20,000 to protect its immediate future and a new buyer to safeguard it in the longer term.

The independent Rhyl Fans Association are accepting seat sponsorship & donations on Twitter & Facebook, and have started a GoFundMe page via https://twitter.com/FansRhyl

The club also desperately need a new buyer. If you can help, please e-mail chairman Paul Higginson at sponsorship@rhylfc.co.uk

If you are able to help keep Rhyl FC alive, this is the sort of club you will be saving….

2012-13 season – Greg Strong’s Invincibles

In the 28 seasons the Cymru Alliance ran, only one team emerged unbeaten through an entire league campaign.

Rhyl achieved the feat when they were crowned champions in 2012/13, Greg Strong’s invincibles winning 24 and drawing six of their 30 games.

And the record will stand for eternity, with the Cymru Alliance disbanded and rebranded as the tier-two Cymru North this season.

In the history of the Cymru Alliance, which began operating in 1990/91, there were 20 different champions, including many top-quality teams, but Rhyl accomplished something none of the others ever managed.

The Lilywhites had been demoted from the Welsh Premier League in 2009/10, having finished in sixth place but failing to secure the mandatory domestic licence.

Strong’s hopefuls finished runners up in the CAL in 2010/11 and 2011/12 behind Connah’s Quay Nomads, but the following season it all came right for the Belle Vue club.

Rhyl scored in every game – their highest total 11 at home to Llanrhaeadr YM, while on four occasions they notched just one goal.

The 100th came in the final match against Cefn Druids, scored by Jimmy Gambino.

With John Leah and Mark Powell also part of Strong’s management team, there was plenty of winners’ experience in the ranks.

The playing squad was outstanding, with league Player of the Season, midfielder Paul McManus, a particular star with 16 goals – the same tally also netted by strikers Steve Lewis and Marc Evans. Dave Forbes, Tom Rowlands and Gambino also reached double figures.

In defence, none were more inspirational than towering pair Russell Courtney and Stefan Halewood, while Liam Benson proved himself to be one of the very finest full-backs in the league.

Rhyl regained Welsh Premier status in 2013/14 but lasted just four seasons in the top flight before returning to the HGA in 2017/18.

Invincibles league results 2012/13

Home

Rhyl 5 Guilsfield 0
Rhyl 2 Flint Town United 1
Rhyl 6 Penycae 0
Rhyl 2 Penrhyncoch 1
Rhyl 6 Rhayader Town 1
Rhyl 1 Conwy Borough 0
Rhyl 11 Llanrhaeadr YM 1
Rhyl 2 Porthmadog 0
Rhyl 1 Holyhead Hotspur 1
Rhyl 2 Buckley Town 0
Rhyl 1 Llandudno 1
Rhyl 3 Ruthin Town 0
Rhyl 7 Rhydymwyn 1
Rhyl 2 Caersws 2
Rhyl 2 Cefn Druids 0

Away

Holyhead Hotspur 1 Rhyl 3
Caersws 0 Rhyl 2
Ruthin Town 2 Rhyl 3
Rhydymwyn 0 Rhyl 5
Buckley Town 2 Rhyl 2
Llandudno 1 Rhyl 5
Cefn Druids 1 Rhyl 4
Porthmadog 0 Rhyl 3
Flint Town United 0 Rhyl 2
Penrhyncoch 0 Rhyl 6
Conwy Borough 0 Rhyl 4
Llanrhaeadr YM 0 Rhyl 2
Guilsfield 1 Rhyl 2
Rhayader Town 0 Rhyl 1
Penycae 3 Rhyl 3

Goals (100)

16 – Paul McManus, Marc Evans, Steve Lewis
14 – Dave Forbes
12 – Tom Rowlands
10 – Jimmy Gambino
5 – Danny Hughes
3 – Stefan Halewood, Mark Powell
2 – Russell Courtney, Liam Benson
1 – Steve Lecefel

Cymru North champions

2018/19 Airbus UK Broughton

Cymru Alliance List of Champions

2017/18 Caernarfon Town
2016/17 Prestatyn Town
2015/16 Caernarfon Town
2014/15 Llandudno
2013/14 Cefn Druids
2012/13 Rhyl
2011/12 gap Connah’s Quay
2010/11 gap Connah’s Quay
2009/10 Llangefni Town
2008/9 Bala Town
2007/8 Prestatyn Town
2006/7 Llangefni Town
2005/6 Glantraeth
2004/5 Buckley Town
2003/4 Airbus UK
2002/3 Porthmadog
2001/2 Welshpool Town
2000/1 Caernarfon Town
1999/00 Oswestry Town
1998/9 Cefn Druids
1997/8 Rhydymwyn
1996/7 Rhayader Town
1995/6 Oswestry Town
1994/5 Cemaes Bay
1993/4 Rhyl
1992/3 Llansantffraid
1991/2 Caersws
1990/1 Flint Town United

Summary of Wins

3 – Caernarfon Town
2 – Prestatyn Town, Cefn Druids, Rhyl, gap Connah’s Quay, Llangefni Town, Oswestry Town
1 – Llandudno, Bala Town, Glantraeth, Buckley Town, Airbus UK, Porthmadog, Welshpool Town, Rhydymwyn, Rhayader Town, Cemaes Bay, Llansantffraid, Caersws, Flint Town United.

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