Remembering when Cemaes Bay FC really began to make their mark on North Wales football

What a team! The Cemaes Bay double winners of 1992-93. Back row L-R Iolo Jones, Richard Jones, Nigel Ault, Simon Flower,Jackie Welsh, Gethyn Robyns, Mervyn Williams, Andrew Lefty Wright, Graham Cavan, Mark Gray. Front L-R Henry Tudor, Martin Jones, Steven Humphreys, Tony Jackson, Billy McBride, Steven Owen, Chris Roberts

1992-93 was quite a season for Welsh football.

The campaign saw the birth of the national League of Wales, while lower down the pyramid Cemaes Bay FC well and truly arrived on the scene.

With former Bangor City manager Colin Hawkins, ex-Liverpool defender Chris Lawler and Holyhead’s favourite Scotsman Bob Brodie at the helm, Cemaes claimed the tier 3 Welsh Alliance League title and Cookson Cup double.

It was the start of something special for the team representing the most northerly village in Wales.

With their School Lane ground being developed to a high standard, Cemaes were later to lift the second tier Cymru Alliance title in 1994/95, leading to them becoming the first Anglesey club to reach the top-flight Welsh Premier.

Bay remained in the national league for three seasons and to this day only Llangefni Town from the island have made it into the WPL – and that was just for the one campaign in 2007-08.

Although Cemaes had also lifted the Cookson Cup the previous season, 1992-93 saw them really make their mark.

In an Anglesey-dominated league, with Llanfairpwll finishing second and Llangefni Town third, Bay ended up five points clear at the summit, winning 23 matches, drawing six and losing just three, piling up 113 goals in the process.

So what was special about the 1992-93 Cemaes team? Plenty.

A nostalgic team photograph of the squad shared on social media this weekend said a lot.

Ironically, joint-manager Hawkins celebrated a birthday on Sunday, the day after Brodie, who sadly passed away in May 2011, aged 61.

As for the players, how about Mark Gray for starters?

Holyhead lad Gray was a magnificent all-round player who could operate anywhere in the back-line.

He played for Bangor City in the 1984 FA Trophy Final and later featured for Cemaes and Porthmadog in the Welsh Premier League.

Then there was Jackie Welsh. A strong, direct attacking midfielder who had a spell with Bangor City in the 1980s, he also played for several other Anglesey clubs including Trearddur Bay United and various Holyhead teams.

The son of Holyhead Town’s legendary striker of the 1950s and 60s Tommy Welsh, Jackie was still turning out in the Anglesey League aged 53 for Town.

Midfield playmaker Richard Jones (Rich Bach) was truly something to behold on a football pitch.

A former Wrexham prospect, he was outstanding with Llanfairpwll in the mid to late 1980s, attracting the interest of several Football League clubs.

As well as being a star turn for Cemaes Bay, he also stood out for his home village Bodedern and Holyhead Hotspur among other island sides, and had a stint with Bangor City.

When you talk about Anglesey greats, Steve Humphreys also has to make the list.

Speedy right-winger Humphreys was always exciting to watch and as consistent a provider as he was a goal-getter.

He played for Bangor City’s League of Wales title-winning sides in 1993/94 and 1994/95, also turning out for the Citizens in Europe, and later represented Cemaes in the top flight.

Two of Bob Brodie’s big favourites were Billy McBride and Tony Jackson.

Both lads later played under Bob in a fantastic Glantraeth side.

Billy was a magical goalscorer, while Tony could play across the back or in midfield, also later starring for Amlwch Town.

Captain Simon Flower was a colossal defender who had a brief spell at QPR in 1988/89 and later also played for Holyhead Hotspur.

Top class keeper Mervyn Williams was in the Ynys Môn squad which won the 1999 Island Games title and is now a highly-respected goalkeeping coach.

Martin Jones was also among the 1999 Island Games heroes.

A midfielder, he represented the likes of Cemaes and Llanfairpwll with great distinction and later was boss of Gwalchmai, as well as being involved in the Ynys Môn management set up.

Iolo Jones, Nigel Ault, Gethyn Robyns, Andrew Lefty Wright, Graham Caven, Henry Tudor, Steven Owen and Chris Roberts were others to make significant contributions that season.

For Cemaes, it was just the start.

The management

Colin Hawkins

There is no other like The Hawk.
As well as managing Cemaes, he also had high profile stints as boss of Bangor City in the Northern Premier League and Porthmadog in the League of Wales.
Was actually instrumental in the formation of the current Cemaes Bay club in 1976.
Still involved in the game through coaching, and is much in demand (or he was before coronavirus devastated the entertainment industry) as an after dinner speaker and MC.

Bob Brodie (1950-2011)

The popular Glaswegian moved to Ynys Môn in the late 1960s to work at Anglesey Aluminium and soon began to make an impact as a player with Amlwch Town, Llandegfan and Holyhead Town.
Former co-manager at Cemaes, Colin Hawkins, described him as one of the best headers of a ball he had ever seen.
Bob later went on to manage a number of island clubs, winning almost every honour available on Anglesey and many others beyond.
One of his finest achievements was scooping the Welsh Alliance League title in 2002/03 with Glantraeth, with whom he also landed the Gwynedd League and Cup double in 1993/94.
Bob also had a successful stint with Bodedern in the late 1980s and other clubs he managed included Holyhead Town, Holyhead Hotspur, Gwalchmai and Llanfairfechan Town.
He was also joint-manager when Cemaes Bay landed the Welsh Alliance League title and Cookson Cup double in 1992-93.

Chris Lawler

Chris Lawler of Liverpool FC, 10th March 1970. (Photo by Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Born on October 20, 1943, Chris played right-back for Liverpool and England and had a spell at Bangor City in 1978.
A product of the Bill Shankly era, he won First Division champions medals with the Anfield Reds in 1963-64, 1965-66 and 1972-73.
He lifted the FA Cup with Liverpool in 1965 and 1974, although he was on the bench for the latter final.
Chris left Anfield in 1975 after a 15-year stay with the club. where he also won the Uefa Cup in 1973.
After buying a property in North Wales, he became involved with Cemaes Bay FC and following their success of 1992-93, he led the club to the Cymru Alliance title in 1994-95. Hawkins had moved on to Porthmadog and Brodie was now Glantraeth manager.

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