Nostalgia – 1987: when Division Four champions Northampton played at Bangor to honour an Anglesey football legend

Our resident king of nostalgia has revived another magic memory from yesteryear.

Colin Hawkins, the Denis Norden of North Wales football, recently displayed on Facebook a programme from the 1987 testimonial match for island legend Allan Jones between Llanfairpwll and Northampton Town.

The late Allan Jones’ daughter Becky published extracts on her Facebook page, tagged Colin and he very kindly included Grassroots North Wales in the post. Sincere thanks to both Becky and Colin.

Allan, known as Ali, passed away in July 2018, aged 64. He will always be remembered as one of the finest defenders to play football on Ynys Môn.

Much-respected former island football manager Bryan Owen signed Ali from Sunday football for Llanfairpwll in the late 1970’s.

Ali soon became Llanfair captain and enjoyed 11 fabulous years with the club, the highlight being the Anglesey side’s 1-0 Welsh Cup victory over Kidderminster in 1986/87.

More glory was to follow when Ali signed for Joe “Bach” Williams’ mighty Llangefni Town side which won the Welsh Alliance League three times in four seasons at the start of the 1990s, as well as the Welsh Intermediate Cup – the only island team ever to do so.

Ali also captained the Ynys Môn football team which finished runners-up at the 1989 Island Games in the Faroe Isles.

And he represented Anglesey in a memorable game against Chelsea in the late 1980s where he did a tremendous marking job on Blues and England striker Kerry Dixon.

After his playing days ended, Ali went on to manage CPD Glantraeth for four years.

The highlight of his spell in charge was winning the Welsh Alliance League title in 1996/97.

On May 10, 1987, Bangor City’s famous Farrar Road ground staged a well-deserved testimonial for Ali between Llanfairpwll and Northampton Town.

The Cobblers had just won the Football League Division Four (now League Two) title and a day after a 3-1 victory at Wrexham in their final competitive game of the season, the champions made a North Wales weekend of it by sending a team to Bangor.

The match was arranged by Colin Hawkins, former Bangor City manager and director who was a friend of Northampton manager Graham Carr, father of well-known TV comedian Alan Carr: Chatty Man.

Northampton Town manager Graham Carr with his wife and two sons Alan (front, left) and Gary at the County Ground, in Northampton on the 22nd April 1985. Alan Carr became a successful entertainer and comedian. (Photo by Bob Thomas Sports Photography via Getty Images)

Graham also knew Dave Elliott, another ex-City boss and Llanfairpwll manager Bryan Owen, so the game delivered a chance for the pals to reunite.

The whole Northampton team stayed at Colin’s hotel, the Harbour in Cemaes Bay.

Graham Carr, now aged 77, is still an associate director of Northampton Town and plays a role in club recruitment.

Despite asking around, GNW has as yet been unable to find out the score between Llanfairpwll and Northampton on May 10, 1987.

If anyone knows, please drop a line to us at dave@nwsport.co.uk

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