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They have played for Caernarfon Town and Porthmadog – Part 2: Back in Time

Jon Peris-Jones (left) in action for Caernarfon Town. All pictures supplied by Alex Philp

Concluding our two-part feature on players who have represented both Caernarfon Town and Porthmadog, we delve deeper into the history books.

Huge thanks to football historian and author ALEX PHILP, who specialises in all things Caernarfon Town, but is now manager of a revived CPD Mountain Rangers.

Without Alex’s invaluable expert help, this feature would never have been possible. Many thanks Alex.

Haydn Jones

The great Haydn Jones. All photos courtesy of Alex Philp

Regarded as one of North Wales’ finest ever, Haydn played for Wrexham in the Football League and Wales as a junior international, as well as making a major impact at Caernarfon Town and Porthmadog.
Born on May 8, 1946, he was brought up in Cil Coed in Maes Barcer, Caernarfon, and as a youngster captained Caernarfonshire Schoolboys, represented the Welsh Boys Club against England and with junior side Menai Bridge Tigers won the Welsh Youth Cup, beating a strong Wrexham in the final.
After leaving school Haydn signed amateur forms for Caernarfon Town and soon became a regular in the Welsh League North.
His neat passing and aerial ability coupled by a tremendous will to win meant he was not out of place playing against men twice his age.
It was not long before he signed as a professional at Wrexham in summer 1964 and represented his country against Ireland in Cliftonville.
The following March he was given his league debut playing at right back in a 2-0 win against York, keeping his place in the team for the next five games.
He was selected for the 1964/65 Welsh Cup Final where a Cardiff City that boasted Ivor Allchurch and John Charles in their ranks beat Wrexham over three games.
During 1965/66, Haydn made a further seven league appearances for the Robins as well as featuring in three Welsh Cup and two League Cup games.
He netted his only first team goal when coming off the bench to score a rasping 30 yard volley to secure a 2-2 draw against Southport.
Wrexham finished bottom of the Football League and were forced to apply for re-election. Luckily they were allowed to continue in the league, but Haydn left the club to join Rhyl.
Haydn next had a brief spell on trial at Watford before returning to sign for Porthmadog in September 1967, helping them win the Welsh League North title and scoring for the North Wales Coast side after coming on as a substitute striker against Scotland in a junior international in April 1969.
By August he had moved to Bethesda. The 1970/71 campaign brought a return to Port, then next stop was Pwllheli and District before Caernarfon Town manager Robert Hunt signed him for the 1974/75 season.
With results going well Hunt surprisingly resigned after a disagreement with club officials and Haydn became player-manager until the end of season, winning the Alves Cup to deliver Caernarfon their first trophy in nine years.
Town re-appointed Haydn player-boss for 1975/76, however work commitments left no other option for him but to resign in December with the club in with a chance of winning the title.
He next turned out for former club Porthmadog until an offer from newly-appointed Caernarfon manager John Trevor Roberts was received at the start of the 1977/78 campaign. Roberts had assembled a talented squad that included amateur internationals Meilir Owen and Stephen Edwards.
The Canaries went on to win the Welsh League North title, Welsh Intermediate Cup, Alves Cup, Cookson Cup and North Wales Intermediate Cup for a unique five-timer.
Many supporters would argue this was the greatest ever side to grace The Oval’s turf and although Johnny King’s heroes of the 80’s thrilled with their FA Cup exploits no other team has brought home the league title and four cups in a season.
Despite the great success he enjoyed, Haydn left the club during the summer and finished his career with Pwllheli and Caernarfon Borough before finally hanging his boots up aged 40.
Sadly ill health took over when he was diagnosed with motor neurone disease and prostate cancer and in September 2010 he passed away peacefully after a long and brave fight.

Dylan Halliday

Dylan Halliday (right) in action for Caernarfon Town

Dylan joined the Canaries reserve side in 1988 having come through the junior ranks at Nantlle Vale.
In March 1989 he was selected for the Welsh Senior Schools versus Ireland at Finn Park, Co Donegal with the young dragons gaining a 3-1 victory.
Upon arriving at The Oval he was a regular scorer for the second string and this saw him promoted to the first team during the 1990/91 season.
He quickly became a regular in George Byrne’s side and although they finished in 14th place in the HFS Loans League they did reach the semi-finals of the League Cup before losing to Buxton 3-0 over two legs.
Dylan in total made 34 appearances scoring three goals. The following season he returned to Nantlle Vale where he won Player of the Year and was crowned top scorer with 47 goals.
His goal-scoring feats soon caught the eye of Porthmadog manager Nigel Gibbs and he signed for the 1994/95 season in the League of Wales, pocketing nine goals in 27 appearances.
After just one season at Y Traeth he returned once more to Vale. Sadly after just one more campaign at Maes Dulyn he suffered a ruptured Achilles and was forced to retire at the age of 27.
A hugely talented player who played for Town at full-back, midfield, striker and out wide, he became one of the area’s most prolific marksmen before injury ended his career.

Viv Williams

Viv Williams (on ground) gets in a shot for Caernarfon Town

Anglesey-born striker Williams first came to prominence whilst playing for Bangor City in the Northern Premier League.
He arrived at Farrar Road in 1984 and helped the Citizens reach the Welsh Cup final, playing in both legs versus Shrewsbury. Despite losing the final the club qualified for the Cup Winners Cup due to Shrewsbury not being eligible to represent Wales.
Williams played in both games against Fredrikstad of Norway and then his performances in the two-legged defeat against Atletico Madrid prompted a £10,000 bid from the Spanish giants, however sadly the deal fell through.
After leaving Bangor he spent a season at rivals Caernarfon Town where he scored nine goals in 16 games, helping the team to a third-place finish in the Northern Premier League. He then joined Amlwch Town, where his 43 league goals helped the side secure a treble of the Gwynedd League title, Gwynedd Cup and Eryri Shield.
In 1998 he joined Porthmadog, spending seven seasons at the club alongside assistant Osian Roberts, 2002/03 being the highlight of his time at Y Traeth when he led the team to a treble of Cymru Alliance League title, North Wales Coast Challenge Cup and League Cup.
He returned briefly to help save the club from relegation in 2007/08 before leaving at the end of the season.

Eifion Jones

Defender who began his career under the guidance of his father, former Wrexham player Howyn Jones, and whilst playing for Llanrug juniors and the Welsh under-15 side he was invited for a trial with Liverpool.
In July 1995 he signed schoolboy forms for the Merseyside giants. As a junior with the Reds, he played alongside budding superstars Michael Owen and Steven Gerrard before signing a three-year professional contract in September 1997.
During 1999-2000 Eifion had become a regular member of Joe Corrigan’s reserve side that played in the newly-formed Premier Reserves League North Division and made 12 appearances, helping them land the league title.
However, with first team chances limited he decided on a transfer deadline day move to Blackpool in March 2000.
After just 12 first-team appearances for the Tangerines, he was released at the end of his contract. Eifion turned down several offers from league clubs in England and Ireland and put pen to paper in July 2002 for Bangor City.
Following three seasons as a fixture in City’s defence, he was not getting selected consistently when in 2005/06 he accepted an offer from manager Waynne Phillips to join Caernarfon and he was a regular for the rest of the season.
Over the next two seasons Jones made a further 63 league appearances for the Canaries before leaving for Porthmadog in the opening month of 2008/09.
Eifion returned to The Oval briefly, but Town were struggling in the Welsh Premier and after a season of poor results were relegated.
The defender went back to Port before another stint at Caernarfon, where he was one of the few who stayed to play for free when the club encountered financial difficulties in 2010.
Despite several offers from other clubs in the summer of 2010, Jones returned to his roots as did his father years earlier when signing for Llanrug United, where he stayed until his retirement.

Stuart Williams

Llanrug lad Stuart came through the ranks at Caernarfon Town, working his way through the youth sides to the first team.
A full-back, he represented Welsh Schoolboys versus Switzerland in 1988.
The 1988/89 season saw Stuart gain a regular spot in the reserves and he was called up to the first team squad by manager Phil Wilson on several occasions.
After three appearances during the 1989/90 campaign, Stuart joined Nantle Vale, spending a season at Maes Dulyn before signing for Porthmadog ahead of their first term in the Cymru Alliance, helping them to a third-place finish.
In summer 1992 he accepted a contract offer with Bangor City, making 12 appearances in the first season of the League of Wales.
Having spent the remainder of the following season in the City reserve side he decided to leave Farrar Road, playing at Llanberis, Caernarfon Athletic and captaining Llanrug United between 1997-99.
Stuart returned to Y Traeth in 1998 and for the next four seasons played for the red and blacks in the Cymru Alliance, winning the League Cup in 1999.
He decided on a new challenge for 2001/02 and joined Amlwch Town, who he helped land the Welsh Alliance and Alves Cup double.
Caernarfon Borough of the Caernarfon and District League were Stuart’s next club and he would enter the history books when Boro won the Junior Cup.
Upon moving to Cardiff in 2009, he became player-manager at Clwb Cymric, guiding the team to two promotions.
A talented left-back who was at Caernarfon when very few young players were breaking into the strong Northern Premier line up, he enjoyed a fine career in North Wales.

Kev “Bach” Roberts

Having begun his career at Llanfairpwll, he was soon snapped up by League of Wales side Bangor City where he was a regular in their young reserve team.
Frustrated at a lack of first team opportunities he moved to Porthmadog and was a member of the successful reserve side whilst also making eight starts and 13 substitute appearances for the firsts, scoring twice, during 2006/07.
Successful stints at Llangefni Town, Glantraeth and Bethesda Athletic followed as the trophies flowed.
With the arrival of Lee Dixon at The Oval he soon added Kevin to his squad ahead of the 2012/13 season.
Caernarfon won the treble of Welsh Alliance League, FAW Trophy and Cookson Cup, with Kevin making 41 starts, 3 substitute appearances and scoring twice.
He was named Players Player and Supporters Player of the Season.
The following season he was once again a very consistent performer with a further 30 starts, two cameos from the bench and another brace of goals as the side lifted the North Wales Coast Challenge Cup. Kevin was voted Managers Player of the Year.
Over the following seasons Kevin would feature in the 2015-16 and 2017-18 Caernarfon sides which won Cymru Alliance league and cup doubles.
He was part of the club’s return to the Welsh Premier in 2018-19, being mainly used as a substitute, before retiring.
Kevin made more than 200 appearances for Caernarfon, where he was a massive fans’ favourite. This tenacious, hard-working midfielder showed a never say die attitude and total commitment to the cause.

Geraint “Shops” Jones

Geraint “Shops” Jones, a native of Bala, joined the Canaries in the Johnny King era and became a regular in the club’s successful reserve side as well as gaining experience with the first team.
He moved to Porthmadog and became a fixture in Meilir Owen’s side. Geraint became the first Porthmadog player to make 100 Welsh Premier League appearances and later was appointed assistant-manager at Y Traeth.
Upon leaving Port he later played for Nantlle Vale and in 2018 took charge of Talysarn Celts for the final few league games of the season.

Steve Kehoe

Steve came through the ranks at Llangefni Town where he was capped at Welsh schoolboy level and also by Welsh Colleges.
Having progressed into the first team at a young age he won promotion to the Cymru Alliance before moving to the USA to study.
His football career continued to flourish in the States with numerous successes.
On return to Wales he rejoined Llangefni and helped them lift the 2006/07 Cymru Alliance title and seal promotion to the Welsh Premier.
Although the young Cefni side struggled in the top flight and were relegated at the end of the season, Steve was a regular, making 30 appearances and scoring 3 goals.
Rather than drop down a division he accepted the offer of a contract at Porthmadog ahead of 2008/09 and played 27 times. scoring four goals at Y Traeth before once again the lure of his hometown club was too strong.
In 2009/10 he was a member of Lee Dixon’s Llangefni side that won the Cymru Alliance for a second time, and the following season he became player/assistant manager.
A return to Y Traeth was on the cards ahead of the 2011/12 season and over the next two campaigns Steve would make 54 appearances for Port.
Steve joined up with old friend Dixon at The Oval during the summer of 2013 and spent two years with the Canaries. He was an integral part of Dixon’s side that won the League Cup and North Wales Coast Challenge Cup when defeating arch rival Bangor City on penalties in 2013/14.
Deciding to stay at The Oval the following season, he made a further 16 starts and 8 substitute appearances as the side finished as runners-up in the league.
After the resignation of Dixon, Steve again returned to his hometown club where he is still playing today.

Jonathan Peris-Jones

Jon Peris Jones (left) on the ball

Jonathan comes from a footballing background as father Gwyn represented both Caernarfon Town and Bangor City with distinction during the 1970’s and 80’s.
JPJ himself came through the ranks at Porthmadog. During their time in the Welsh Premier League and between 2003 and 2007 he made a total of 17 first team appearances in the red and black shirt whilst also enjoying great success with their reserve side.
Having spent four years at Y Traeth, Jon then joined Glantraeth in 2007, making 22 starts with 4 substitute appearances and scoring 10 goals.
He rejoined Port during 2008/09 and made a further 9 WPL appearances, mostly from the bench, before opting to join Llangefni Town and helped the club to a third-place finish in the Cymru Alliance.
In October 2009, Caernarfon joint-managers Derek Roberts and Mal Jones secured the signing of the 22 year old utility player and during a season where he would play for three different managers he made 13 appearances and grabbed four goals, including a hat-trick in the 4-1 home demolition of third-placed Llandudno in the final home game of the season.
Opting to stay at The Oval for the new season under manager Clive Jones, Jon became an integral part of the Canaries side.
The 2011/12 campaign saw a move to Holyhead Hotspur where Jon helped the club win the Welsh Alliance League title alongside the Barritt and Cookson Cups, as well as reach the FAW Trophy final.
Staying with Hotspur for the start of 2012/13, he soon left after six appearances from the bench and joined Llanrug United where he was a member of the side that won the FAW Trophy for the first time in the club’s history in 2013/14 and also picked up a Cookson Cup winners medal..
A talented player comfortable in any role from defence to forward, he later represented Bontnewydd and Nantlle Vale. Jon is also renowned for his cricketing skills.

Gerard McGuigan

Caernarfon lad Gerard began his career as an apprentice at Arsenal, signing a four-year contract, but he became homesick and decided to leave London and return home.
Middlesbrough then approached the young keeper and after a spell with the club he decided that it was a happier environment. However, despite months of negotiations Arsenal refused to release his registration and the deal fell through.
He arrived at The Oval during 1996/97, joining John Aspinall’s League of Wales side and the 18 year old fought with the experienced Phil Owen for the number 1 shirt.
In total he made seven League of Wales appearances for the club before moving on to find regular first team football.
After a brief spell at Holywell Town, he joined Conwy United for the 1997/98 season and became a regular before signing a contract with Llangefni Town where he had four successful campaigns, winning the Welsh Alliance in 1998/99.
Y Traeth was his next stop when he joined Porthmadog where he won a Cymru Alliance championship medal in 2002/03, helping the club return to the Welsh Premier League.
As a virtual ever-present in an amazing season, Port added the North Wales Coast Challenge Cup, beating Llandudno 3-1 at The Oval and also the Cymru Alliance League Cup, defeating Buckley Town 4-2.
Gerard helped the club to a 12th place finish in their first season back in the top flight, making 32 apps, and stayed for the following season playing in a further 32 matches.
May 2005 saw a move to John Hulse’s Rhyl FC, where he helped the Lilywhites become only the second WPL side to win a European tie at the time. The Belle Vue boys drew 4-4 on aggregate with FK Atlantas of Lithuania, progressing on away goals.
McGuigan soon left for Welshpool where he would spend the next three seasons as captain of the Welsh Premier side, making 76 appearances and helping them to a fourth place finish and the Welsh Cup semi final in 2006/07.
A Wales Semi Pro player who also represented the North Wales Coast team, he made just under 200 Welsh Premier/League of Wales appearances, closing out his career at NEWI Cefn Druids.

Other players who have turned out for Caernarfon Town and Porthmadog include: Emrys Williams, Marcus Orlik, Gareth Jones-Evans, Jamie McDaid, Shaun Cavanagh, Chris Jones, Joe Williams, Grahame Austin, Darren Gowans, John Rowley.

There are many, many more. Depending on interest, we might create a third installment of this feature…..

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