Happy birthday to former League of Wales defender Emrys Williams

Emrys Williams (to right of manager Paul Rowlands, who is in the grey Umbro top) lines up for Caernarfon Town. Picture: ALEX PHILP, C P Caernarfon Town F C Former Players Association Facebook page

Not too many players have done ‘the treble’ of representing Bangor City, Caernarfon Town and Porthmadog in the Welsh Premier League, but today’s birthday boy Emrys Williams is one of them.

Born on June 3, 1975, the no-nonsense defender also won the Welsh Cup with Bangor and played for the club in Europe, is record appearance maker for Caernarfon in the League of Wales and impressed as a young prospect with Port in the 1990’s.

In a decade between seasons 1993-1994 and 2003-2004 he featured in 273 games across the three clubs, netting 13 goals.

He has also gone on to achieve success as a manager.

Local lad “Cheran” grew up just a long throw from The Oval and became one of the most feared centre-backs in the League of Wales during his stay at Caernarfon.

Picture provided by ALEX PHILP

He spent time with Tranmere Rovers as a youth before turning out for Bangor City Reserves upon his release.

Porthmadog manager Meilir Owen signed Emrys for their 1993/94 League of Wales campaign and over the next two seasons at Y Traeth he made 50 appearances.

Emrys then moved to Caernarfon Athletic, picking up the Player of the Year award in 1995 and his fine form prompted John Aspinall to sign him for Caernarfon Town in the 1995/96 season.

The season was very successful with the Canaries achieving sixth place in the LoW table and reaching the semi-finals of both the League of Wales Cup and North Wales Coast FA Challenge Cup.

Over the next four years Emrys became a firm favourite with the fans, helping the club to top six finishes on three occasions including the 1996–97 season when the Canaries challenged Barry Town for the league title before finishing fourth, just behind Ebbw Vale on goal difference and agonisingly missing out on a place in Europe.

Between 1995-99 Emrys made a total of 134 appearances for the Cofis, scoring eight goals.

Emrys Williams (back row – third from left) celebrates Bangor City’s Welsh Cup final win in 2000. Picture: MIKE SMITH, CITIZENS CHOICE WEBSITE

The 1999/00 season saw the defender join Bangor City and during his two years at Farrar Road he won the Welsh Cup in 2000 and represented the club in the 2000/01 UEFA Cup defeat versus Halmstads of Sweden.

In 2001/02 he was back at The Oval under Adie Jones, making a further 24 appearances before rejoining Porthmadog.

Emrys did return to Caernarfon in the dark days of 2010 with the club in crisis and made six appearances for Geraint Williams’ side and a further six the following season before hanging up his boots.

In 2012 Emrys took up a coaching appointment with Caernarfon Reserves under Dave Cavanagh. He then took over the vacant managerial post as Cavanagh stepped up to assist first team boss Lee Dixon.

Emrys Williams. Picture provided by ALEX PHILP

During the 2013/14 season, Emrys guided Town’s second team to the North Wales Reserve Premier League title and North Wales Intermediate Cup.

In the summer of 2015 he joined Llanrug United as Mark Jat’s assistant.

Emrys will always be remembered as a tough, uncompromising central defender who was good in the air and strong in the tackle. He always gave 100% and as captain led by example.

To date he holds Caernarfon Town’s club record for Welsh Premier/ League of Wales appearances with 158.

Happy birthday/penblwydd hapus Emrys.

Huge thanks to Alex Philp and Mike Smith for their help with this article

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