What happened to the 2005-06 Prestatyn Town invincibles?

What a picture! Meet the 2005-06 Welsh Alliance champions. Back row (left to right): Adie Hayes (physio), Jon Fisher-Cooke, Jack Lewis, Jon Hill-Dunt, Steve Jones (chairman), Neil Gibson, Russ Jones, Bevan Humphreys, Gari Thomas, Michael Parker, Craig Griffiths, Martin Jones (assistant-manager)
Front (left to right): Dave Fuller, Dale Milne, Ian Griffiths, Stephen Bowes, Peter Evans, Stephen Hoult. Front (with cup): Dave Hayes.

What happened to the 2005-06 invincibles ?

This season marks the 15th anniversary of Prestatyn Town winning the Welsh Alliance League title without losing a single game.

Most of Dave Fuller’s awesome unbeatables went on to achieve a lot more with the Seasiders.

Some strode along other paths – with no shortage of success.

Jon Fisher-Cooke, whose two goals against Rhydymwyn clinched the title, has kindly passed on an after-match celebration photo taken at Bastion Gardens on the evening Town were crowned champions.

Here’s what we know about the players in the picture….

Jon Hill-Dunt (Born 13-5-86)

Goalkeeper who went on to win the Cymru Alliance title and Welsh Cup with the Seasiders, as well as play in the Welsh Premier, where he was once regarded as one of the top-flight’s finest shot stoppers.

Russ Jones (Born 31-5-82)

Russ Jones. Picture: Prestatyn Sports FC

Key man in 2007-08 Cymru Alliance title triumph before representing the club in Welsh Premier. Defender who was part of Prestatyn Sports’ quadruple success of 2014-15.

Jack Lewis (Born 18-5-88)

Superb left-back who was just 17 when Prestatyn won the Welsh Alliance in 2005-06. Later a star performer in the WPL with the Seasiders, also going full-time with Neath for a spell.

Bevan Humphreys (Born 19.1.82)

Tall, strong defender who moved to South Wales to teach after 2005-06 title win, but returned to Bastion Road after Prestatyn’s promotion to the Welsh Premier. Wales youth international.

Dave Hayes (Born 15.1.82)

Dave Hayes. Photo: John Pickles

Captained Town to Welsh Alliance title before winning the Cymru Alliance three times and the Welsh Cup in 2012-13 with the club. Is Prestatyn’s all-time highest appearance maker in the WPL with 212 starts and six as substitute. Played for the Seasiders in every one of their eight seasons in the top-flight. Joined Holywell Town in March 2020.

Dave Fuller (Born 20.11.64)

Player-manager in 2005-06, he led Prestatyn in their first Cymru Alliance season before stepping down. Later guided Prestatyn Reserves to league championship prior to becoming director of football.

Dale Milne (Born 12.9.75)

Midfield general was 30 when Town won Welsh Alliance in 2005-06. Previously spent many years with the club, enjoying a number of Clwyd League successes.

Craig Griffiths (Born 20.2.84)

Former Liverpool FC schoolboy who played for Connah’s Quay Nomads and Holywell Town before joining Prestatyn in October 2004. Later a prolific goal poacher for Vale of Clwyd and Conwy League quadruple-winners Prestatyn Sports. Now on the FAW referee pathway.

Michael Parker (Born 31.10.87)

Michael Parker (red) on the ball. Picture: John Pickles

A true all-time great at Bastion Gardens. Midfield goalscorer, also very capable as a centre-half. Won Welsh Alliance, 3 Cymru Alliance titles and Welsh Cup with Prestatyn. Club’s highest WPL scorer (48 goals). Recently returned to top flight after joining Caernarfon Town.

Peter Evans (Born 16.8.79)

Midfield livewire who spent many seasons as a Town player but moved on before the Cymru Alliance and Welsh Premier glory days. Went on to give long service to Meliden, where he became manager.

Steve Hoult (Born 17.1.81)

Began his career at Crewe Alexandra, went on to dazzle for Prestatyn in the Welsh Alliance, Cymru Alliance and Welsh Premier. Gifted left-winger, superb on the ball.

Gari Thomas (Born 12.10.87)

Prolific marksman as a youngster, he remained at Prestatyn for their first season in the Cymru Alliance. Later played for a number of clubs, including Bethesda Athletic, where another Welsh Alliance title was won.

Ian Griffiths (Born 2.1.85)

Ian Griffiths. Photo: John Pickles

Another all-time club great. Former Welsh schoolboy boxing champion who packed a punch up front for the Town, scoring freely at Welsh Alliance and Cymru Alliance level before bagging the team’s first-ever goals in the Welsh Premier. Goal machine for Prestatyn Sports before returning to Town. Announced retirement in summer 2020 aged 35.

Steve Bowes (Born 26.4.86)

Scored 53 goals in Town’s first Cymru Alliance season and added another 27 when the team won the title the following campaign. Was never as prolific in Welsh Premier. Natural goalscorer.

Jon Fisher-Cooke (Born 13.5.82)

Won Welsh Alliance and Cymru Alliance titles with Town, then became the first Seasiders player to record a Welsh Premier hat-trick in 2008-09. Also played in Welsh Premier with Rhyl, where he won Welsh Alliance title with the Reserves. Steady goal-getter who was often held back by injuries.

Neil Gibson (Born 11.10.79)

Midfield goal provider and a vital cog for the 2005-06 invincibles. Former Wales Under-21 international and Tranmere Rovers professional, he took over as player-manager in 2007-08 and led the Seasiders to the Cymru Alliance title at the first attempt. Managed Town in the WPL for eight seasons, winning the Welsh Cup, NWCFA Challenge Cup and competing (and winning) in Europe. Undoubtedly the greatest manager in Prestatyn’s history. Left the club last month.

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