Penblwydd hapus mawr i gôl-geidwad anhygoel Gareth OJ Roberts

Gareth OJ Roberts produces a fantastic save. Picture: Nigel Williams Drago

If any keen football follower from Ynys Môn was asked to name the island’s greatest-ever goalkeeper it is likely the names Wayne Hennessey and Tony Roberts would be mentioned the most.

However, if you restricted the answer to amateurs only then the likes of Paul Pritchard, Gareth Hughes and Merv Williams would surely come to the fore.

And here is another candidate for the unofficial top non-professional keeper from Anglesey award whose name might crop up a good few times – Gareth OJ Roberts.

Today this hugely respected keeper from the village of Llanfachraeth celebrates his 43rd birthday.

Born on March 18, 1978, Gareth is best known for his stints with Bodedern and Glantraeth, but he also made an impressive Welsh Premier debut on Boxing Day 2006 for Porthmadog, keeping a clean sheet in a 1-0 victory at Aberystwyth Town.

The Porthmadog report from the day stated: “Gareth Roberts, the replacement for suspended Richard Harvey, looked safe under the second half aerial bombardment.”

And also: “On 53 minutes debutant Gareth Roberts proved himself with a fine diving save to deny Craig Jones. Soon after Roberts again did well cutting out Stuart Roberts’s dangerous cross.”

Gareth progressed through the Bodedern FC structure and was part of their outstanding Welsh Alliance title-winning squad of 2004-05.

Gareth (back row – fourth from left) lines up with Bodedern’s 2004-05 Welsh Alliance title winners. Picture: Col Smith

He later turned out for Glantraeth in the Cymru Alliance and throughout his career was renowned as a highly consistent keeper with safe hands and an ability to produce fantastic saves.

A couple of years ago, Bodedern Athletic manager Ricky Williams chose Gareth in his All-Time North Wales XI for Grassroots NW.

Ricky said: “I used to watch him a youngster for a fair few years playing for Boded and he was top class.

“He had everything you need to be a top keeper and his attitude was second to none to go with it, as I found out managing him at Boded at the tail end of his great career.

“If it wasn’t for his loyalty to Boded he would have played regularly in the League of Wales without doubt.”

Penblwydd hapus Gareth – hope you have a great day.

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