Memories of Millbank football pitch – an untapped jewel in Holyhead’s crown

Millbank football pitch Holyhead. Picture: TREVOR OWEN

Millbank football pitch, Holyhead.

CPD Caergybi this week put up pictures on social media of the ground to promote tomorrow’s Welsh Cup tie at home to Llangoed and District.

The photos brought back some fond memories and made me wonder, how long has football been played at Millbank?

Millbank is a little way off Holyhead town centre, close to the secondary school known as “The County” and even nearer to popular pub The Chester.

There are various ways of getting to the pitch… is via Gwynfa Hill, a pretty formidable climb.

Going down it is way easier than going up, unless there is ice about, in which case you’d be advised to take another route rather than tackle the tricky descent (on your backside).

My first memory of Millbank is it being used for Holyhead Secondary School sports. There is a running track adjoining the football field.

The second memory is 1976-77 and watching an Anglesey League game between Holyhead United Juniors (they were seniors) and Benllech and District.

At half time, Benllech were 3-1 up and one of their officials boasted to us his team were different class to Holyhead.

They were certainly in a class of their own in the second half – lowest.

Holyhead started playing and won 10-3. We couldn’t find the Benllech braggart at the end.

I spoke to the Holyhead players coming off the pitch. One was John Edwardson, who had scored four, and another was Peter Webb. I approached him as I liked his long hair and headband – reminded me of Ralf Edström, the Swedish legendary striker of the 70’s.

Great view of Millbank with Caergybi playing CPD Y Fali in the background. Picture: TREVOR OWEN

Fast forward to about 1990 and a cup tie at Millbank – Holyhead Town v Trefnant Village.

At the time, I worked for a Denbigh-based newspaper called the Vale Advertiser and Trefnant were one of the local teams, so I thought I’d visit the family in Holyhead for the weekend and take in a game.

It was a corker of the match, Holyhead winning 3-2. Star man for Town was Mike Clowes, standout player. Mike Davies (Tatws) was playing for them too.

Come the mid-1990’s and I regularly visited Holyhead at weekends to meet up with Bob Brodie and Jeff Scott, I was also on a health kick and used to regularly train on the Millbank track. My sister lived yards away.

Great that Millbank is still a popular venue for North Wales football these days, although it would have been nice to see the ground developed more, with a stand for instance.

There were no changing rooms there either on my visits. There are now, but due to Covid they are prohibited from use.

How many goals has Asa Thomas scored at Millbank? Here’s one for Holyhead Town. Picture: GETHIN JONES, AMLWCH TOWN FC

How many football teams must have had Millbank as their home base over the years?

Holyhead Town, Holyhead United Juniors, Caergybi…..

Town and Caergybi both play there now.

And something to be really proud of is the fact the Holyhead and Anglesey Weightlifting Centre (HAWFC), home to two Commonwealth champions and a world-record holder, is based there.

Millbank is an untapped jewel I think. More should be made of it.

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