It was a year ago this week that a much-loved community champion left us.
Huw “Chick” Jones will be remembered for so many great things, not least his amazing contribution to football in his hometown of Corwen.
Player, manager, club president, girls football coordinator……Huw did it all with equal passion.
Now Welsh international star Harry Wilson, currently on loan to Cardiff City from Liverpool, has teamed up with a trailer firm to help pay for a new junior football clubhouse named in memory of popular local councillor Huw.
Two years ago the junior clubhouse and pitches at Corwen FC were devastated by catastrophic flooding from the nearby River Dee which also affected other local sports facilities in the town’s Dee Park.
But now the Huw ‘Chick’ Jones Clubhouse is the new headquarters of junior football in a town which has produced a conveyor belt of talent in recent years including Welsh internationals Andy Jones, of Charlton Athletic, and former Liverpool and Tranmere Rovers defender Gareth Roberts.
The latest off that production line is left winger Harry Wilson, whose father, Mark, and grandfather, John, played for the town, and who donated one of his match-worn Wales shirts which raised £1,500 for the cause.
That augmented a grant from the UEFA Disaster Fund and support from local businesses including leading trailer manufacturer Ifor Williams Trailers.
The building commemorates Denbighshire County Councillor Jones who served football in the town as a goalkeeper, manager, committee member, president and loyal supporter over many years before his death last February aged 62.
Ian Evans, Corwen Juniors Director of Football, said: “This will be a lasting memorial to Huw and to all he did for the junior football club.
“Two years ago we were very badly flooded and the place was in a terrible state but Huw did so much to get us grant money and to support us and work for us.
“For a town of its size Corwen has produced some great footballers and Harry Wilson sent us one of his shirts.
“The senior side, Corwen Amateurs, have recognised Huw by naming a stand after him at their ground and we also wanted to do something to honour him here and so we approached local businesses and Ifor Williams Trailers have responded generously.”
Huw’s sister, Kathryn Roberts, said: “Football was his life and he loved this club. As a family, we’re incredibly proud his memory is being honoured. He’ll be remembered forever now.
“They called him Mr Corwen and it was a good description because he always put other people ahead of himself.”
Huw Jones represented Corwen on Denbighshire County Council for Plaid Cymru from 2008 and had been Lead Member for Leisure, Youth, Tourism and Rural Development and for Community Development.
He was a trustee of Canolfan Ni community centre in the town, a director of Cadwyn Clwyd rural regeneration agency, a member of the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty partnership and former board member of Menter Iaith Sir Ddinbych.
As well as the clubhouse he had helped Corwen Juniors recover from the 2019 floods to a position where they now have two new pitches and two mini pitches for younger players with 100 youngsters playing and training every week.
The pitches have been equipped with new dugouts and the club are hoping to install floodlighting and Ian added: “Chick would have loved it. He was so enthusiastic about Corwen.
“It’s no exaggeration to say that without Huw there wouldn’t be a Corwen football club because when Corwen Amateurs were going through bad times it was basically Huw and a couple of others who kept it going.
“But now we’ve got plenty of players of all ages and a really strong committee. we had a discussion and we all wanted to mark the contribution that Chick made to the club and the town.”
Samantha Williams, Management Support Specialist at Ifor Williams Trailers, said: “We were delighted to be able to play our part in honouring the memory of Huw “Chick” Jones who was a genuine local hero in Corwen.
“His legacy will live on through generations of young footballers eager to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Harry Wilson, Andy Jones and Gareth Roberts.
“Our company is deeply rooted in the community and many of our employees have close connections with the club which is a vitally important part of the fabric of the town.”