Today we remember one of the true gentlemen of North Wales sport on his birthday anniversary.
Born on November 3, 1956, Mike Hargraves passed away at his home in Denbigh on October 25, 2020.
Mike made a lasting impression on everyone he met. A gentle, calm, welcoming character, he was highly respected for his contribution to sport in the Vale of Clwyd.
A former joint-manager of Denbigh Town Reserves football team, Mike later became known for his long association with Clwb Rygbi Dinbych.
Mike was assistant steward at the club to his lovely wife Roberta. The couple have two sons, Gareth and Geraint, who I remember back in the 1990’s as tiny lads getting into rugby.
Both later went on to play for the club’s senior side, having been helped by proud dad’s coaching in their younger years.
I knew Mike from when I worked at the now defunct Vale Advertiser newspaper in Denbigh between 1988-98.
The early 1990’s were ‘boom times’ for Denbigh Town FC, who rose from Clwyd League Division One to the tier 2 Cymru Alliance under the managership of Bill Dawson.
Mike had a successful stint managing the club’s reserves alongside John Clayton, where the pair won the Clwyd Cup, earned promotion to the Clwyd Premier, but perhaps more importantly helped so many young players progress.
Always a pleasure to be around at social occasions, I last saw Mike at the 2015/16 Women’s Welsh Cup semi-final between Denbigh Town and Llandudno at Rhyl.
He looked great and, as ever, greeted me with a warm, trademark smile.
A staunch Evertonian, Mike would have loved the story of current blues manager Rafael Benitez visiting Rhyl yesterday to open a new holiday home at Lyons Holiday Park he and wife Montse have bought and gifted to the OLLY Children’s Charity, which supports children in Merseyside suffering with the loss of a parent.
Mike also passionately followed the fortunes of the Wales rugby union team.
Our friend Mike will never be forgotten and it is important more than ever on days such as this to remember him.
Happy heavenly birthday Mr Hargraves! ❤ ⚽ 🏉