After 37 years as part of the Welsh football pyramid, the Gwynedd League says its fond farewells this summer.
The tier five league will dissolve, along with the next level down Anglesey League.
Both are to become part of the new North Wales Coast West Football League, formed as part of a national restructure of domestic soccer in Wales.
The tier 5 and 6 Vale of Clwyd and Conwy League is also disbanding and will enter the North Wales Coast East Football League.
The North Wales Coast West and East Football Leagues will comprise:
Premier Division – with no more than 16 clubs.
Division One – with no more than 16 clubs.
The Premier Divisions will come under tier 4 classification, with the Division Ones labelled tier 5.
The two new leagues will also accommodate clubs coming down from the current tier 3 and 4 Welsh Alliance, but it is not known yet who they will be.
On June 23, 1983, the Gwynedd Football League was born.
Admitted into the membership were Benllech & District, Bethesda Athletic, Conwy United, Llandudno Amateurs, Llanfairpwll, Menai Bridge Tigers, Porthmadog and Y Felinheli.
League fixtures commenced on Saturday, August 20,1983, but internal problems at Porthmadog led to the club resigning without playing a single match.
When the students returned in October, Bangor University accepted an invitation to replace Port as founder members.
Y Felinheli were crowned inaugural champions, pipping Llanfairpwll by a single goal.
Unfortunately, the expected flood of applications for the league’s second season never materialised.
Some members joined the newly-formed Welsh Alliance League, while the remaining five Gwynedd clubs played a limited programme of matches.
Although the Gwynedd League organised no competitions during 1985-86 its management committee continued to make plans for the following season.
And with a much less demanding ground criteria, nine clubs were attracted into membership. Locomotive Llanberis emerged as champions.
In 1988, the Gwynedd, Clwyd, Anglesey, Caernarfon & District and Vale of Conwy Leagues all won an appeal to the FAW which gave them the right to become independent of the previously ruling body, the Welsh Alliance.
The Gwynedd steadily became increasingly stronger, producing a fine crop of champions and a regular flow of clubs earned promotion to the Welsh Alliance.
In 2002-03 and 2003-04, the league ran a Premier and First Division, coinciding with the Gwynedd accepting clubs from the wound-up Vale of Conwy League.
The league returned to one division in 2004-05.
When the Welsh Alliance added a second division in 2010-11, the Gwynedd became a tier 5 league.
The Gwynedd League’s final season proved to be a memorable one with new club Bangor 1876 taking the title with a 100% record, winning all 16 games and scoring 115 goals, although the campaign was cut short due to coronavirus.
Y Felinheli are the only team to win the league three times – in 1983-84, 2000-01 and 2015-16.
GWYNEDD LEAGUE LIST OF CHAMPIONS
1983–84: Y Felinheli
1984–85: Bethesda Athletic
1985–86: No competition
1986–87: Locomotive Llanberis
1987–88: Nantlle Vale
1988–89: Llangefni Town
1989–90: Llangefni Town
1990–91: Llanrug United
1991–92: Nefyn United
1992–93: Holyhead Town
1994–95: Porthmadog Reserves
1995–96: Conwy United Reserves
1996–97: Holyhead Hotspur
1997–98: Amlwch Town
1998–99: Glan Conwy
1999–2000: Bethesda Athletic
2000–01: Y Felinheli
2002–03: Premier Division – Llanrug United; Division One – Llandudno Cricketers
2003–04: Premier Division – Llanrwst United; Division One – Llanrwst United Res
2004–05: Porthmadog Reserves
2006–07: Barmouth & Dyffryn United
2008–09: Blaenau Ffestiniog Amateurs
2010–11: Bro Goronwy
2012–13: Trearddur Bay United
2015–16: Y Felinheli
2016–17: Bodedern Athletic
2017–18: Holyhead Town
2018–19: Menai Bridge Tigers
2019-20: Bangor 1876
MOST LEAGUE WINS (TOP DIVISION)
3 – Y Felinheli
2 – Bethesda Athletic, Llangefni Town, Llanrug United, Holyhead Town, Porthmadog Reserves, Bodedern, Llanllyfni
1 – Loco Llanberis, Nantlle Vale, Nefyn United, Glantraeth, Conwy United Res, Holyhead Hotspur Res, Amlwch Town, Glan Conwy, Llanrwst United, Pwllheli, Barmouth and Dyffryn United, Blaenau Ffestiniog Amateurs, Bro Goronwy, Gwalchmai, Penrhyndeudraeth, Trearddur Bay United, Llannerchymedd, Menai Bridge Tigers, Bangor 1876.
Division One winners
1 – Llandudno Cricketers, Llanrwst United Res.
The Gwynedd League has featured some prolific goalscorers over the years, but few can match Sion Parry of Llanystumdwy who won the golden boot four seasons running – 2014-15 (56 goals), 2015-16 (42 goals), 2016-17 (36 goals) and 2017-18 (40 goals).
Not many Gwynedd League strikers managed more than 50 goals in a season but the legendary John Hayes achieved this feat in 1993-94, netting 51 times for his beloved Mountain Rangers. John scored hundreds of goals over the years for various clubs. It would be great to know his career total.
Nefyn United’s David Jones was league top scorer for three out of four seasons between 1988-89 and 1991-92. A brilliant player.
Bangor City legend Viv Williams, who once attracted the attention of Atletico Madrid, was the star of Amlwch Town’s championship-winning season of 1997-98, chalking up 43 goals.