The Busmen may have made their last journey for now but they have vowed they will be back.
Hopefully Arriva Bangor FC will be able to deliver on that promise as since they joined Saturday league football in 2017 they have taken us on some fantastic adventures.
Kevin Jones’ side made the step up from Sunday football four years ago and went on to win three trophies in their first two seasons – the Car Boot Trophy twice and the Elias Cup.
In the three seasons they operated in the Anglesey League, they finished fifth, third and seventh.
And in Scott Hughes, a goal machine who scored close on 150 times over three seasons, they produced a real star of the lower tiers.
Sadly, the Arriva experience has come to an end for the present as ahead of the North Wales Coast Division One (tier 5) season starting this weekend, manager Kevin Jones put out a statement confirming they will be taking a break from the game.
It read: “It is after much deliberation and with a heavy heart that I regret to inform you that Arriva FC will be withdrawing from the North Wales Coast Football League for the forthcoming season.
“Since the return of football following the first national lockdown, we had built a strong squad capable of competing well in the new tier 5 league.
“Unfortunately, after the league was cancelled for the 2020/21 and the subsequent second lockdown, many of our players decided to leave the club to concentrate on work commitments, some transferring to clubs in a higher league and with others moving to university in the next couple of months, building a squad has become too much of a challenge.
“The demands placed on grassroots clubs by the Football Association of Wales since the introduction of the COMET system and new ground criteria, has also taken its toll and is the primary reason for this decision.
“For 8 long years I have single-handedly filled the role of chairman, treasurer, club secretary, kit man and manager and many other roles required to run a football club. It is simply too much work and too much commitment for one man.
“Nevertheless, despite the hard work and commitment, I am extremely proud of the club’s achievements in our short history. From starting out as a Sunday League team back in 2013, with the majority of our players being bus drivers, to then go on and win the Sunday League Cup in 2015/16 before moving to the Saturday leagues and winning the Car Boot Trophy and Elias Cup in 2017/18 and then retaining the Car Boot Trophy in 2018/19.
“The club will take a year out and my focus will be on rebuilding the club with a strong committee and a good group of lads.
“To my players, our sponsors and all who have supported the club over the years, thank you for everything. We will be back.”
A huge thanks to Kevin for his dedication to local football and the players and officials who made the Arriva Bangor journey such an enjoyable one.
Looking forward to your return.
ARRIVA BANGOR – HOW THE CUPS WERE WON
2017-18: ELIAS CUP FINAL
Arriva Bangor 2 Bodorgan 2 (Arriva won on penalties)
The Busmen fought back from two goals down to lift the Elias Cup on a penalty shoot-out.
First half goals from Luke Gardner and Gerwyn Williams had given Bodorgan the advantage, but replies from Arriva’s Andy Clarke (penalty) and a Gavin Pritchard equaliser took the game into extra time.
With no further goals the game was decided on penalties, with Arriva winning the shoot-out 5-3 and lifting their first ever trophy as a Saturday senior league club.
2017-18: BENLLECH CAR BOOT TROPHY FINAL
Arriva Bangor 6 Caergybi 4
Arriva Bangor scooped their second piece of silverware of the season following an entertaining 6-4 win over Caergybi in the Benllech Car Boot Trophy final.
Goals from Danial Ogwen Jones (2), Kieron Davies, Scott Hughes, Sammy Williams and Liam Roberts saw Kevin Jones’ side take the prize, Gary Jo Owen (3) and Liam Williams replying.
2018-19: BENLLECH CAR BOOT TROPHY FINAL
Arriva 3 Bryngwran Bulls 2
Scott Hughes struck twice for the Busmen to ensure they made it back-to-back Car Boot Trophy success and the prolific striker ended the season on 60 goals.
Arriva beat league champions Bryngwran Bulls 3-2 after extra time at Llanfairpwll thanks to a Darren Edmunds strike and a brace from top scorer Hughes.
The memorable win meant that Kevin Jones’ side made it two pieces of silverware since joining the Anglesey League in the summer of 2017.
ARRIVA BANGOR STATS
2017-18: P 16 W 8 D 1 L 7 GF 67 GA 41 PTS 25 (5TH)
2018-19: P 20 W 13 D 2 L 5 GF 78 GA 42 PTS 41 (3RD)
2019-20: P 14 W 5 D 3 L 6 GF 45 GA 40 (7TH)
Played: 50 Won 26 Drawn 6 Lost 18 Goals For 190 Goals Against 123
Elias Cup – winners 2017-18
Bwlch Car Boot Trophy – winners 2017-18, 2018-19