Happy birthday Nev Powell – a true Bangor City great

Neville Powell the head coach / manager of Bangor City celebrates winning the game 3-2 on aggregate (Photo by AMA/Corbis via Getty Images)

Neville Powell, the head coach / manager of Bangor City, celebrates beating FC Honka 3-2 on aggregate in the 2010-11 Europa League (Photo by AMA/Corbis via Getty Images)

One of the finest managers Bangor City have ever had celebrates a birthday today.

Born on September 2, 1963, Neville Powell also accomplished much as a player for the North Wales club.

Midfielder Nev began his playing career at Tranmere Rovers, making a goalscoring debut for the club at the age of 17 on 1 March 1981 in a match against Torquay United.

He left Prenton Park in 1984 having made 86 appearances for the Birkenhead club, scoring four goals.

Nev went on to spend eight years with Bangor City, making his debut in 1984-85 when the club operated in the Northern Premier League. His first club goal came in a 4-3 defeat at Grantham in February 1985.

That season also saw the Citizens reach the Welsh Cup Final where they faced Shrewsbury Town over two legs.

Nev played in both matches, and while Bangor lost 5-1 on aggregate, they qualified for Europe as being England-based, the Shrews were not eligible.

In 1985/86, City met Fredrikstad of Norway in the European Cup Winners’ Cup and beat them on away goals. In the next round, the Welsh side came up against the mighty Atletico Madrid of Spain and lost just 3-0 on aggregate.

Nev played in all four ECWC matches, thus being part of the first-ever Bangor side to win a European tie.

The heroes of 1962-63 won a leg against the great Napoli from Italy, but lost the tie in a play-off.

Nev spent nine seasons at Farrar Road in all, netting 39 goals in all competitions, before joining Connah’s Quay Nomads in 1993.

He took over as player-manager of Nomads, where his playing career came to an end following a broken leg sustained during a game against Llansantffraid on the opening day of the 1996-97 season.

After 14 years in charge at Connah’s Quay, where he won the 1995-96 Welsh League Cup, Powell returned to Bangor City to take over as manager in summer 2007, replacing Steve Bleasdale.

Neville Powell celebrates City’s 2007-08 Welsh Cup success

Powell’s second spell at Farrar Road was a major success as the Citizens won the Welsh Cup in each of his first three seasons as boss.

In July 2010, Nev made history as the first man to win a European tie with Bangor City as a player and manager as he led the all-blues to a 3-2 aggregate victory over FC Honka of Finland in the Europa League.

The start of the 2010-11 season, the first that the Welsh Premier was reduced to 12 clubs, saw Bangor win their first 15 matches in a row, setting a modern-day top flight British record.

And the end of the campaign brought further joy as the Citizens lifted their first WPL title since 1994-95.

While that marked the end of the main silverware for Bangor under Powell, he did continue to achieve European qualifications with the team until he was relieved of his duties in July 2016.

August 2017 saw Nantporth stage a special testimonial for Nev when a Bangor City side met David Unsworth’s Everton Under-23’s.

Nev later went on to manage Aberystwyth Town, where his love affair with the Welsh Cup continued as the club reached the 2017-18 final. He stood down as director of football at Aber in February 2020.

It is for his successes at Bangor City that Nev will be most remembered.

He won six Welsh Premier Manager of the Month awards, two Welsh Premier Manager of the Season accolades and will go down in history as one of the finest bosses the league has seen.

Happy birthday Nev – thanks for some amazing memories.

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