Five more Football League players who hail from Ynys Môn

Deiniol Graham made four first team appearances for Manchester United

Dion Donohue has just joined his fourth Football League club.

He is part an impressive group of Anglesey-raised players who have gone on to perform in the FL and beyond.

Others include:

Tony Roberts

Tony Roberts in action for Dagenham & Redbridge (Photo by Joe Giddens – PA Images via Getty Images)

Wales international goalkeeper Roberts first became involved in football with Bodedern before joining Holyhead United Juniors at the age of 12.

After impressing one of the club’s scouts, he was offered a trial with Chelsea, but was forced to cancel after picking up an injury.

Instead he was recommended to Queens Park Rangers by Brian Law at the age of 16.

He joined QPR in 1986 and spent 12 years at Loftus Road, making 122 first-team appearances.

Roberts served as understudy to David Seaman during his early years with the club before taking over as first-choice after a long spell competing with Jan Stejskal, following the departure of Seaman in 1990.

A broken finger sustained against Ipswich Town in January 1998 saw Roberts fall out of favour with the club, resulting in a move to Millwall at the end of 1997-98.

Roberts played just eight times at The New Den when he suffered a recurrence of his finger injury which forced him to end his League career.

He spent seven months away from football, returning in 1999 with non-League side St Albans City.

Roberts later moved to the United States with the Atlanta Silverbacks, where he spent three months before returning to England.

While playing in America, Roberts began wearing a splint inside his glove to solve his finger injury problem.

In 2000, the islander joined Dagenham & Redbridge and went on to break the club’s appearance record, playing 445 times over a 12-year stay before retiring.

Roberts split goalkeeper duties at Daggers with a coaching role at QPR.

He then coached at Arsenal (2008-09) and Swansea City (2015).

In August 2016, he became goalkeeping coach for the Wales national team, where he worked under Chris Coleman, combining the role with his Swansea job.

June 2018 saw him leave Swansea to join Coleman at Hebei China Fortune.

Holyhead man Roberts played for Wales at under-18, U21 and B level before going on to win two full caps.

Wayne Hennessey

Crystal Palace’s Wayne Hennessey during a match against Manchester City at Selhurst Park on 19 October 2019 (Photo by Action Foto Sport/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Born in Bangor and raised in Beaumaris, Hennessey has been capped 91 times by Wales.

The goalkeeper is third in the all-time appearances list for his country, with only fellow glovesman Neville Southall (92) and Chris Gunter (97) ahead of him.

On 3 September 2020, Hennessey reached his 35th clean sheet with Wales in a 1-0 UEFA Nations League win over Finland, breaking the previous record of Southall.

The 33-year-old was educated at Ysgol David Hughes, Menai Bridge, but switched to Connah’s Quay High School as it was easier to travel to Manchester, where he was a trainee with City.

He was released by the club in 2003 and signed his first professional contract with Wolverhampton Wanderers in 2005.

To gain first-team football, Hennessey joined League Two side Stockport County in January 2007 on a one-month loan.

On his senior debut against Boston United, he kept a clean sheet and after not conceding in another five matches, his loan spell was extended by an extra month.

He went on to set a Football League record of nine successive clean sheets and wins (12). Stockport broke the 119-year-old record (12) when they beat Swindon Town 3–0 on 3 March, 2007.

Hennessey was recalled by Wolves in April 2007 and established himself as first-choice, playing in both Championship and Premier League and making 152 appearances. He won the Championship title with the club in 2008-09.

On 31 January 2014, Hennessey joined Crystal Palace on a three-and-a-half year deal for an undisclosed fee, media speculation suggesting it to be an initial £1.6 million, with add-on clauses.

He has made more than 100 appearances for the Eagles, but is currently out of favour.

Alex Lynch

Alex Lynch during the Vanarama National League match between Lincoln City and Chester at Sincil Bank Stadium on April 11, 2017. (Photo by Chris Vaughan – CameraSport via Getty Images)

Another goalkeeper!

Holyhead man Lynch, 25, joined Peterborough United on a two-year scholarship from Welsh Alliance League side Amlwch Town in 2011.

In 2013, he was given a one-year professional contract and subsequently loaned to Histon (Conference South), Stamford (Northern Premier League Premier Division) and Brackley Town (Conference North) for experience.

Then in 2014, Lynch signed a two-year contract with Wycombe Wanderers after being released by Peterborough.

He was loaned out to Hayes and Yeading (Conference South) and Burnham (Southern League Premier Division) to build game time.

On 2 May 2015, Lynch made his professional debut as a substitute for the injured Matt Ingram in Wycombe’s 3-2 win against Northampton Town.

The Holy Islander continued to deputise for Ingram as Wycombe progressed to the 2015 League Two play-off final at Wembley, where they lost 7-6 on penalties to Southend United after a 1-1 draw.

Southend only managed to force spot-kicks after plundering an equaliser in the second added minute of extra time.

August 2015 saw Lynch loaned to Conference South side Wealdstone, however he was recalled without making an appearance in the same month.

In January 2016, he featured in Wycombe’s 1-1 draw against Aston Villa in the FA Cup 3rd round due to the suspension of Ingram.

Later in 2016, Lynch was signed by Welsh Premier club Bala Town, then spent two years at Chester, making 45 appearances, before joining Llandudno for a short spell in January 2018.

Wales Under-17 and U-19 cap Lynch suffered a horror injury while playing for hometown club Hotspur in a pre-season game against Llanrug United in August 2018. He is still in recovery but is part of the coaching staff at Hotspur.

Deiniol Graham

Raised in Caergeiliog, Ynys Môn, Graham signed for Manchester United in 1985 and became a prolific scorer in the Youth and Reserve teams, playing alongside the likes of Lee Sharpe, Lee Martin and Russell Beardsmore.

Deiniol made his first team debut in October 1987, as a substitute in a League Cup 2nd round tie away to Hull City, coming on for Mike Duxbury in the 53rd minute in a 1-0 victory.

His full league debut came in a 2-1 defeat at Wimbledon on November 21, 1987.

He was only to make another two appearances for the firsts, an FA Cup tie away to QPR, when he scored in a 2-2 draw, and a 2-0 loss at Derby County in 1989-90.

A broken arm sustained in a youth team game against Bury restricted his appearances for United and resulted in a £50,000 transfer to Barnsley in August 1991.

From then until 1994, he made 42 appearances for the Oakwell club, but goals were in short supply.

Short spells followed at Preston, Carlisle United, Stockport County, Scunthorpe and Halifax Town, before Deiniol moved into non-league football.

He played for Dagenham and Redbridge and a number of teams in Wales.

Perhaps Deiniol’s most romantic football adventure came when he wore the colours of West Yorkshire club Emley, who made national headlines when they reached the FA Cup third round proper in 1997-98.

In 1996-97, the Welshman was the club’s top scorer with 29 goals, the second highest that season in the Northern Premier League Premier Division

The following campaign, Deiniol played an important part in Emley’s remarkable FA Cup run, scoring in the 3rd and 4th qualifying rounds against Belper and Nuneaton Borough respectively.

In the FA Cup first round replay, he scored a penalty in the shoot out which resulted in victory against Morecambe in front of 2,439 at the Welfare Ground.

Further success followed in the second round as they were drawn away to Lincoln City.

An 84th minute goal by Deiniol appeared to have given Emley victory.

However, they were thwarted by an injury time equaliser.

Victory followed for Emley in the replay at the McAlpine Stadium to set up a round three trip to West Ham United.

Although Emley lost the game 2-1, they gave the Premier League side, which included the likes of Rio Ferdinand and Frank Lampard, a real fear of one of the greatest FA Cup upsets of all time.

Playing alongside the speedy Glynn Hurst in attack, Deiniol caused the Hammers defence problems throughout the 90 minutes.

Since retiring as a player, he has had two spells as manager at Llandudno FC and worked as a Football Development Officer in Conwy.

Eifion Williams

Eifion Williams, Torquay United (Photo by Adam Davy/EMPICS via Getty Images)

Llangoed man Williams played in more than 300 Football League games for Hartlepool United, Torquay United and Wrexham, netting a total of 75 goals.

He developed his goal-getting skills at Caernarfon Town and Barry Town, where he was remarkably prolific in the League of Wales before breaking into the Football League. Eifion also won one Wales B cap.

Born in Bangor, striker/winger Williams began his career as a Wolverhampton Wanderers apprentice.

However, things didn’t work out, he moved back to Anglesey and joined League of Wales side Caernarfon Town.

After amassing 63 league goals in 75 appearances for the Canaries, Williams attracted the attention of full-timers Barry Town, who signed him for £25,000.

Williams was even more devastating at Jenner Park, banging in 68 goals in 60 outings.

On 25 March 1999, Football League Division Three Torquay United paid £70,000 (breaking their transfer record) to sign Williams.

He made his league bow against Hartlepool United and became only the second Torquay player to score a hat-trick on his debut.

Injuries and high expectation later affected his form and after notching 24 goals in 107 games for the Plainmoor side, he left to join League Three Hartlepool on 5 March 2002 for a fee of £30,000.

Over the next five years Williams scored 50 goals in 207 matches for Pooler, who he helped to two promotions – to League Two and League One.

His performances earned him a call up to Mark Hughes’ Welsh national side in 2003-04.

However, the season would end bitterly for Williams as he picked up an injury during Hartlepool’s play-off semi-final defeat to Bristol City and missed out on the opportunity to play for his country.

Williams was released from his Hartlepool contract at the end of 2006-07, which saw the club promoted back to League One.

Eifion was signed by League Two side Wrexham on a two-year contract on 11 June 2007. He scored two goals on his début in a 3-2 home defeat in a friendly against Liverpool. The Merseysiders were 3–0 up at half-time.

Williams retired during the 2007-08 season. He scored his first and only goal for Wrexham in a 1–0 win over Bury on 4 December 2007.

However, he injured his hamstring scoring the goal and was replaced by Marc Williams shortly afterwards.

This turned out to be his final appearance as a professional.

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