Remembering Rob….the Llangefni Town years

Rob Hughes (front row – third from right) and Chris Roberts (front row – centre) with the Llangefni Town squad of 2014-15

Rob Hughes achieved some of his finest moments in football at hometown club Llangefni Town.

In 2002-03, manager Rob and assistant John Buckland led a very impressive Llangefni Reserves squad to a remarkable five trophies in the same season.

Then in 2014-15, Rob returned to Cefni after successful spells at Bodedern and Gwalchmai, as first-team assistant-manager to Chris Roberts and the pair secured instant promotion from Welsh Alliance Division Two.

Back in 2002-03, Rob and John Buckland had been doing a fine job developing Llangefni’s under-17’s, but were also to perform marvels with the club’s reserve team.

As well as lifting the Anglesey League title and securing promotion to the Gwynedd League, Cefni’s second string also scooped the Dargie, Elias, Thomas & Williams and A.E.E.U Cups.

To land a five-timer in a North Wales football season is very rare – but Messrs Hughes and Buckland did just that.

In that era, a young player named Chris Roberts was developing nicely at Llangefni. He credited Rob Hughes especially for building his belief and confidence and Chris did not forget this when he became Llangefni Town first-team manager in 2014-15, inviting Rob to join him as assistant.

Rob Hughes and Chris Roberts

The reunion was a successful one, with Cefni only missing out on the Welsh Alliance Division Two title on goal difference, but nonetheless sealing promotion to Division One.

Rob Hughes passed away on Christmas Eve 2020, aged just 43. His contribution to Anglesey football will never be forgotten.

Who better than Llangefni Town stalwart JOHN BUCKLAND to give a special tribute to the late and much-missed Rob.

Rob Hughes (left) and John Buckland

“I had been running a team in the junior section at Cefni and basically it was the same team that had been together since under-8’s.

“Along the way I had a couple of assistants but when it came to under-17’s I needed some help and fortunately Rob came forward. I think by this stage Rob was actively running a Sunday League side but he was anxious to gain more experience.

“Anyway we worked together well and both enjoyed running the 17’s which contained some talented players and should have been more successful than the records show. We were good but not quite fulfilling potential.

“Shortly before the end of our season with the juniors we were approached by Llangefni Town senior team regarding running a senior side in the Anglesey League.

“Myself, I wasn’t too keen as I wanted to start over again with a junior team at under-11’s but after talking to Rob we decided to give it a go with Rob as manager and me as assistant allowing me to coach the juniors as well.

“As I recall our first season in the Anglesey League was moderately successful but nothing record breaking but by the second season we had managed to achieve a blend of very fit. committed players from our time with the juniors and a number who had played with Rob as he was growing up and who Rob had nurtured a good relationship with.

“Things really did click into gear and we were not only winning games but playing a very entertaining brand of football and I have to say attracting a fair amount of supporters to games given that we were a reserve team. These supporters would really enjoy late stays at places like Barmouth, Blaenau and Penrhyndeudtaeth, as did the players, and there were some memorable trips in a rickety old minibus.

“I could mention some of our star players at the time but I think it would be unfair as football is a team game but it really was a pleasure to be part of a team containing some very gifted players and strong characters who have gone on to grace football in North Wales.

“As I recall there was some talk of either myself or Rob going on to manage the first team. I had no ambitions in that direction but felt that Rob could excel at a higher level.

“Rob received an offer from Bodedern, which of course was step up for him and as I thought I would never find a better partner in football I decided to concentrate fully on my duties with the juniors.

“Of course we had the “golden season” which given the team we had put together was so satisfying, but also one hell of a laugh as well because there were some real characters and plenty of jokers in that team.

“So that suited Rob really; he was a quiet guy but he could also join in with the lads when the time was right but most importantly he managed to retain their respect in a very impressive and understated way.

“Our paths would cross again when Rob came back to Llangefni as assistant to Chris with me by now in my role as stadium announcer and again we would enjoy many a quiet chat and a few trips to games in the Welsh Alliance with Rob once again contributing his unique skills to achieve success on the field.

“Summing up, he was one of the nicest people I have ever met and like many my life is better for having known him. A sad loss but what a great privilege to have worked with him.”

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