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Let’s play the North Wales football name game!

Mention Bangor City and the first name that always comes into my head is Gwyn Pierce Owen – not a player, not a manager, but former president GPO

Here’s a question for you….

When you were a youngster (you may still be one) did you ever get an adult playfully ask you “who do you think you are?” while you played your favourite sport?

If so, what was the most popular name thrown at you?

When I was a kid in the 1970s, playing football and sometimes being a nuisance doing so, the most common comment would be: “Who do you think you are? Georgie Best?” or “Who do you think you are? Kevin Keegan?”

As a young snooker player, I’d sometimes get “Who do you think you are? Steve Davis?” or maybe “Who do you think you are? Hurricane Higgins?”

Cricket it was (batting or bowling): “Who do you think you are? Ian Botham?”

The age you are probably dictated the superhero you were linked with.

Now let’s move on with the original question to…..when a famous football club is mentioned, who is the first player/person you think of?

Here are my answers….
Arsenal – Dennis Bergkamp
Liverpool – Sir Kenny Dalglish
Everton – Neville Southall
Manchester United – Sir Alex Ferguson
Manchester City – Mike Summerbee
Leeds United – Billy Bremner
Chelsea – Peter Osgood

Again, your answers will probably reflect your age and perhaps the era in which you fell in love with football.

So let’s take the question to one more stage – and this is relevant to Grassroots North Wales readers……

When a North Wales football club is mentioned, who is the first player/person you think of?
(there’s no right or wrong answer – it’s just the first person who comes into your head)

Here are my off-the-cuff choices….

Cymru Premier

Colin Caton springs instantly to mind if Bala Town is mentioned

Connah’s Quay Nomads: Andy Morrison – the man who has taken the Deesiders to their greatest heights
Bala Town: Colin Caton – same reason as above, but replace Deesiders with Lakesiders
Caernarfon Town: Tommy Smith – the Liverpool FC legend was manager of the Canaries at the start of my reporting career.
The New Saints: Mike Harris – his longevity, presence and personality eclipses any player or manager that could come to mind.
Cefn Druids: Huw Griffiths – best manager the club has ever had.
Airbus UK Broughton: Craig Harrison – former manager at The Airfield

Cymru North

Say Prestatyn Town and the first person to enter my thoughts is Neil Gibson

Prestatyn Town: Neil Gibson – the finest manager the club has had and ever will have. Awesome midfield player too.
Flint Town United: Shaun Beck – goal scorer extraordinaire.
Colwyn Bay: Colin Caton – was a colossal centre-half for the Seagulls at his playing peak
Guilsfield: Danny Barton – legendary striker
Bangor City: Gwyn Pierce Owen – former president will always be “Mr Bangor City” in my mind
Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant: Iwan Matthews – he gets quite a few goals.
Conwy Borough: Ken McKenna – when they were Conwy United. Goal machine.
Penrhyncoch: Leigh Jenkins – brilliant keeper over the years.
Rhyl: John Hulse – the club’s greatest manager, led Lilywhites to quadruple in 2003-04
Gresford Athletic: Steven Halliwell – performed marvels since taking over as manager in 2017.
Llandudno: Grant Montgomery – one of the Seasiders’ finest-ever forwards.
Ruthin Town: Glyn Williams – all-time great in Vale of Clwyd football. Midfield maestro.
Buckley Town: John Venables – not sure why, just remember him being a dynamic goal-getter in the late 1980s/early 90s.
Llangefni Town: Bob Parry – could have been any one of the club’s early 1990s stars, but Bob was so consistent and a major presence in attack.
Porthmadog: Marc Lloyd Williams – Jiws was a more prolific marksman at other clubs, but it was at Port where his talents first began to truly shine.
Corwen: Huw “Chick” Jones – who else? Such a sad day when “Mr Corwen” left us earlier this year. What an amazing service he gave to his hometown club.
Llanfair United: Mary Griffiths – I’ve seen the men’s team play before, but it is Mary Griffiths who made the most lasting impression with her tremendous displays for the women’s side.

Welsh Alliance Division One

Mel McGinness is now at Llangefni Town, but he is most well-known for his successes with Holyhead Hotspur (above – stripes)

Holyhead Hotspur: Mel McGinness – probably the club’s all-time leading scorer? If not, very high in the list.
Denbigh Town: Mike James – along with Peter O’Brien the greatest player I ever saw represent the club.
Glan Conwy: Ashley Smith – one of the Conwy Valley’s finest, tremendous goal scoring record.
Llanrwst United: Leighton Griffiths – would surely feature in most people’s all-time Rwsters XI. Goal scorer, set-piece specialist, leader extraordinaire.
Llandudno Albion: Mike Williams – first time I saw the Albion play, he was head and shoulders above the rest. That performance has always stuck with me.
Greenfield: Sam Jones – dynamic striker with a fantastic goal-getting record.
Penrhyndeudraeth: Paul Roberts – former Wrexham, Porthmadog, Bangor City and Wales U21 striker had a stint at Pen towards the end of his career.
Bodedern Athletic: Gareth Wyn Roberts – hugely respected midfielder on the island, many believing he should have played at a much higher level.
Nantlle Vale: Dylan Halliday – pacy wide man who also played in the League of Wales for Porthmadog and English pyramid for Caernarfon Town.
Llanberis: Terry Saynor – rock-solid centre half who possessed possibly the hardest shot in North Wales football.
Mynydd Llandegai: Jamie Whitmore – a consistent marksman for a few clubs over the years.
Blaenau Amateurs: Meilir Williams – one of the finest strikers to ever appear in the Welsh Alliance. Division One top scorer in 2018-19 with Penrhyndeudraeth.
St Asaph City: Graham Hunter – midfield genius who excelled in and around the Clwyd and Welsh Alliance leagues for countless years, then went on to be a successful manager.
Llandyrnog United: Russ Pierce – the man who got Llandyrnog moving higher up the ladder in the 1990s, winning the Clwyd League and becoming a force in the Welsh Alliance.
Prestatyn Sports: Tomos Court – many players have helped this team climb up the pyramid in the last few years, but this lad stood out as a bit extra special.

End of Part One. Part Two to follow soon……..

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