What do Ronald Koeman, Steve Bruce, Roberto Carlos, Sergio Ramos, John Terry, David Unsworth and Leighton Baines all have in common ?
They all were – or are – renowned goal scoring defenders in top level football.
But what about North Wales football ?
Which defenders have been the most prolific at finding the net over the years ?
Grassroots North Wales and a few readers have come up with a decent group – can you think of any others ?
We are not claiming this batch of 20 are the best defenders at scoring, just that they are among the best. I’m sure we could come up with another similar feature quite easily.
Joel “Skip” Lloyd
Perhaps ‘pound for pound’, ‘level for level’ the very best defender who can find the net with ease.
He is Llandudno Albion’s fourth-highest all-time goalscorer with 53.
While that tally includes a few penalties, he can also come up with plenty of goals from open play.
Could truly be described as a goal-scoring defender due to the danger his imposing presence offered up at set-pieces.
In 2011/12 for instance, he netted 10 goals for Porthmadog in the Cymru Alliance and grabbed eight the season prior to that, including six in a golden five-game spell.
He also has 12 WPL goals to his name.
Notched some important goals too, including the equaliser for Holyhead Hotspur when they knocked Bangor City out of the Welsh Cup in 2015/16.
Although sometimes labelled a left-midfielder, the former Everton prospect was a left-back in Caernarfon Town’s Cymru Premier comeback season in 2018-19 and chalked up 14 goals.
Many of his goals come from either the penalty spot or via free kicks, but has the ability to score in any situation.
Has netted 83 goals in 201 appearances for the Canaries.
Centre-half Edwards scored 41 goals from 454 appearances for Bangor City, Cefn Druids, Newtown, Rhyl, TNS and Welshpool Town during a Welsh Premier career that started in 1994/5 and spanned 17 seasons.
Always a big danger at corners and free kicks due to his height and ability to attack the ball, his best season in front of goal was 2003-04, when he struck 10 times for Rhyl’s WPL title-winning team.
A former striker with Prestatyn Nova, Hayes became a defender at Prestatyn Town but never lost his knack for scoring vital goals.
He remains Town’s all-time highest appearance maker in the WPL with 212 starts and six as substitute, netting 12 goals, but he also scored many times in the Cymru Alliance and Welsh Alliance.
Perhaps more than anything, Hayes could concoct crucial goals.
For instance – a Welsh Cup quarter final winner against Carmarthen in 2012-13, decider v Port Talbot in the semi-finals of Europa play-off and the opener against Rhyl in the 2-0 NWCFA Challenge Cup upset victory in 2006-07.
There was also the winning penalty v Rhyl in the 2012-13 NWCFA Challenge Cup final.
Anest Hâf Roberts
Have to give the girls a mention or two!
Still only 18, Anest is already established as one of North Wales’ best.
While primarily a defender, her pace and fitness means she often gets to join in the attacks and grab a goal.
Outstanding striker of a free kick and always a danger attacking the ball at set-pieces.
When Bethesda Athletic romped to the Welsh Alliance League title in 2008-09, Carl contributed 17 goals in all competitions from central defence.
While his courageous defensive qualities are his best known forte, Carl has always been regarded as a goal scoring centre half.
Name any central defender who once scored 58 goals in a senior football season.
Tom Taylor was very much a striker when he passed the half-century mark for Pentraeth in 2012/13.
But injuries forced him to revert to defence and what a success the move has been.
Now with Bromsgrove Sporting of the Southern League, Tom has been a stand out player for Porthmadog. Caernarfon Town, Glantraeth, Holyhead Hotspur and Llangefni Town in North Wales football, as well as winning a gold medal with Ynys Môn at the 2019 Inter-Island Games.
Although she generally plays at the back, the awesome Lowri can also produce goals at any time.
Last season, she scored five times in back-to-back matches for Pwllheli.
Always highly respected and feared by the opposition.
Has played in 429 Welsh Premier matches and netted 42 goals.
Always a threat at set-pieces, George continues to score on a fairly regular basis for champions Connah’s Quay Nomads.
Found the net seven times in Rhyl’s 2008-09 title-winning season and came up with more than his share for Chester in three successive championship-lifting campaigns.
Enter Holywell Town!
Their former skipper Thomas had quite a goal getting track record for a full-back.
He hit 28 for the Wellmen in 2012-13 and 18 the following season.
A really steady marksman for Holywell, banging in 25 goals across five seasons when Johnny Haseldin’s side were at a peak in the last decade.
Imposing centre-back Dafydd scored nine times in Holywell’s treble-winning campaign of 2014-15 and seven on their return to the Cymru Alliance in 2015-16.
Always one to watch in the air, perhaps his most famous goal for the Wellmen was the winner against Porthmadog in the 2013-14 Welsh Cup.
That goal meant Town became the first third-tier team ever to make the Welsh Cup semis.
With 37 goals in 261 outings as a central defender for multi-Welsh Premier champions The New Saints, Evans has done quite well for himself in attack.
Probably the best defender to feature in the WPL, he went on to represent Wrexham and win seven Wales caps.
Has bagged 17 goals in 104 appearances for Llysfaen.
Pretty useful stats – manager Emlyn Robert Jones is certainly not complaining!
So many crucial goals for Prestatyn Sports in recent years.
His record makes it easy to forget that first and foremost, he is a defender. Won the quadruple with Sports in 2014-15, scoring in the 5-1 NWCFA Intermediate Cup final victory over Waunfawr.
In the 2014/15 season, he was fourth top-scorer for Prestatyn Sports playing at right-back, notching 14 goals as the team landed a unique quadruple.
Also has good stats from his days as a forward with Rhuddlan Town.
Defender Sean scored a number of goals for Llandudno United when his brother Gaz ran the team, as well as for Llanfairfechan Town and Llandudno Amateurs.. Sean also netted Amateurs 100th goal when the club was reformed a few seasons ago, a header from a long throw against Henllan. And he nabbed a memorable four in a game for Llanfair against Cerrigydrudion in 2015-16.
Played as both a defender and midfielder for Bangor City in their golden period under Nev Powell.
Was especially potent in the title-winning 2010-11 season. Many of his goals came from the penalty spot, but they are still goals!
Most famous goal was probably his headed winner in the 2009-10 Welsh Cup final against Port Talbot.
Although a colossal defender with Llanrwst, he can do a job anywhere and always gets goals.
Deadly from free kicks and the penalty spot, he can also do the spectacular.
Few will forget his cracker for Llandudno against Cefn Druids in the 2007-08 Welsh Cup, where he cut in from the right and scored with an unstoppable left-foot drive.