It was back in around 2013 that I saw John Littlemore in action for the first time.
He was in a Welsh Schools FA side taking on Scotland at Bangor which also included fellow islanders Dale Murphy and Dewi Thomas.
All three Anglesey lads were highly impressive and I was convinced the strong, robust and skilful Littlemore would go on to make a considerable impact in adult football.
I wasn’t too far off the mark as the striker who celebrates his 26th birthday today (December 10) has since played in both the Welsh Premier and Cymru North leagues.
Littlemore was an outstanding youth international. He also captained the Welsh Colleges side which produced some fantastic results under the coaching skills of Welsh Premier League record goalscorer Marc Lloyd Williams.
John’s senior football career began with a brief stay at Llandegfan in 2010 before he moved to Bro Goronwy, where over three seasons he shone brightly, knocking in 19 goals in 49 starts.
In 2013-14, he became part of the Bangor City set-up, finishing top scorer for the Under-19’s in the Welsh Premier Development League and progressing to Nev Powell’s first team, where he made six substitute appearances.
The following season brought a short spell with Glantraeth before he returned to Bro Goronwy, netting five times in as many games.
In 2015, John moved to Cardiff to study. He was snapped up by the Cardiff Met University team, helping them win the Welsh League Division One title and secure promotion to the Welsh Premier.
John remained part of Met’s plans for top flight football and he featured in 19 WPL games for the students in 2016-17, scoring in a 4-0 thrashing of former club Bangor City at Cyncoed.
After graduation, the 2017-18 season saw John back in North Wales representing Holyhead Hotspur in the Cymru Alliance.
He was at the club for two seasons, with perhaps his biggest highlight scoring an 11-minute hat-trick in a remarkable 7-5 Huws Gray Cup victory over Bangor City (he seems to enjoy haunting his old club).
John was very popular with Hotspur fans for his commitment and hard-working performances.
After experiencing success with the Ynys Môn gold medal winning squad at the 2019 Inter-Island Games, John was Sion Eifion Jones’ first signing for Porthmadog FC.
At Y Traeth, he teamed up with fellow Games heroes Paul Pritchard, Jay Gibbs and Mel McGuinness.
Things did not really work out at Port and by January 2020, John had signed for fellow Cymru North club Conwy Borough.
His progress at Y Morfa was hampered by a number of postponements due to unprecedented bad weather and the early curtailment of the season because of COVID-19, but he has committed to Borough for the campaign ahead.
A really good, industrious forward whose bad luck with injuries has at times held him back.
Happy birthday John – have a good one.