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Meet the Player: Model, DJ, family man and goalkeeper – life’s all go for Denbigh Town’s Joe Griffith

Joe Griffith celebrates winning the Mid Lancs Cup with Boughton Amateurs

Full name

Joseph Richard William Griffith

Date of Birth

23/06/1983

Clubs played for

Caerwys (1991-1997, 1999-04, 2011-12); Point of Ayr (1997-99); University of Central Lancashire (2002-04); Holywell Town (2002, 2015, 2017-18); AFC Blackpool (2006-07) & Lea Rangers (Lancs Sunday League); Broughton Amateurs (2014-15); Hesketh Bank (2015-16); Squires Gate (2016); AFC Anderton (2018-19); Denbigh Town (2019-20). Also played in North Wales Sunday League for the BA Feathers & Lancs Sunday League for Cadley, Ashton Villa, Ribbleton & Tanterton.

Have you always been a goalkeeper?

No, for a 10 year spell from 2002 till 2012 I played centre midfield or centre back due to consistent shoulder & finger injuries, I had to adapt to keep playing.

Best match ever played in

Two spring to mind straight away, Squires Gate v Runcorn Linnets. Last game of the season and Gate need a win to stay up in North West Counties Prem, playing Linnets, who needed a victory to win the league. We won the game from 2-1 down in stoppage time. Also won the Mid Lancs cup with Broughton being 3-1 down with 10 minutes to go. Both special days.

Number 1 achievement in football so far?

Recovering from a knee ACL & multi meniscus tears sustained during mid 2000’s. Didn’t think I’d play again at the time so to still be playing, making over 800 appearances since and enjoying my football this much since then has been fantastic.

Joe (yellow kit) in action for Holywell Town

Biggest disappointment in the game to date?

Again that knee injury losing me so many years in my mid 20’s through injury.

What honours have you won in football?

Clwyd League (Div 2 1998, Div 1 1999, Prem 2000 all with Caerwys), North Wales Sunday League & Cup (2001 & 2002) University league (2002-03), Mid Lancs Cup (2014-15), Lancs Sunday League Div 2 and Div 1 with Ashton Villa (2013 & 2014).

Joe makes a clearance while playing for Hesketh Bank

Best manager played under?

Been lucky to play for some great managers. Jack Phillips at Caerwys, Andy Nicholls at BA Feathers, John Haseldin at Holywell and Paul Mitchell at Ashton Villa have all had huge impacts on my footballing life.

Joe totally enjoyed his time at Holywell playing under Johnny Haseldin

Most talented team mate

Steve Thomas at Holywell Town – definitely the best all round footballer. Can play any position and also an excellent captain.

Hardest opponent faced

Carl Grimshaw of Charnock Richard FC, absolute monster of a centre forward.

If the season gets finished, do you believe Denbigh Town can win some silverware?

Joe should already have a trophy for the best goalkeeping kit with Denbigh Town

Yes, huge chance hopefully coming up in the Cookson Cup final against Holyhead Hotspur who we will push for the league title and also in the Mawddach Cup.

Future ambitions in the game

To win some more titles and to enjoy playing on as long as possible.

PERSONAL FILE

You model for a living, how did this come about? What do you model and is it a career you can make a good living out of?

Started in 2006 after my multiple knee surgeries. Docs said I need to get as fit as possible to give the surgery the best chance of being a success. It worked out that it also benefited me entering this line of work & my career snowballed from then on. Modelled pretty much everything from clothes, cars, electronics, jewellery, holidays & supermarkets over the last 15 years. Yes you can and I’ve done this since leaving university alongside my DJing work.

You are also a professional DJ. How long have you been doing this? What sort of music do you specialise in and what’s the biggest gig you’ve performed?

Bought my first set of belt drive turntables in 1996, so since then really as I’ve never stopped buying music since. I’m now able to cover almost every genre of music with the amount I’ve collected over the years. From house to R ‘n B to funk & soul to rock & indie to rave music. You name it I’ve most likely got it. Biggest gig to date is DJ-ing alongside Calvin Harris in 2012 on his UK tour, that was special. I also adore my current gig at Code in Sheffield every Tuesday playing to 1500 students every week.

You come from a family with a strong football background. Has this been helpful to you in your career?

Joe played for Caerwys Veterans against Wrexham AFC Veterans last year

Yes hugely, even now. My dad Steve has been a colossal influence on me the whole way through. My uncles Jay and Rob we’re both fantastic footballers with Jay playing in the Welsh Premier for years and I was lucky to play a few seasons with them in the late 90’s & early 2000’s. Once at Caerwys we had a Griffith back four play a reserve game consisting of me, my dad and both my uncles.

How are you coping with the coronavirus situation? Being a family man, I guess it can be testing keeping everyone occupied?

Just trying to make a positive out of a negative really, it’s a scary time in lots of ways but it’s also great spending so much time with the kids. My wife’s a primary school teacher so she plans everything luckily for me. I’ve turned the garden into a mini football pitch and I’m also training from home, so I’m keeping myself as sharp as possible waiting for the chance to play again and go back to work.

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