Football historian, author and renowned memorabilia collector Mark Jones of Prestatyn is Grassroots North Wales’ very own Santa this Christmas.
Nostalgia enthusiast Mark is providing a series of articles on programmes for some of North Wales’ more interesting Welsh Cup ties over the years, all ones that will never ever happen again.
Back in January 1970 Llandudno (then using the name Llandudno Borough) reached the fifth round of the competition which earned them a plum tie at fourth division Football League side Chester.
Having disposed of Flint Town United after a replay, Connah’s Quay Nomads and Chirk AAA, Tudno made the trip to Sealand Road with confidence and the team had a strong Chester link in Elfed Morris, who had spent six seasons there between 1962 and 1968 making 167 league and cup appearances and scoring 69 goals.
Morris was part of Chester’s legendary 100-goal forward line of 1964/5 when himself, Jimmy Humes, Mike Metcalf, Hughie Ryden and Gary Talbot all managed over 20 goals each in all competitions.
Alas for Tudno, Elfed’s return to Sealand Road ended in tears as Chester ran out easy 6-0 winners and went on to reach the final where they were defeated 5-0 over two legs by Cardiff City.
THE HOSTS – CHESTER
Chester were in their 12th successive season in Football League Division Four in 1969-70 and finished the campaign in 11th place.
Their scorers in the 6-0 Welsh Cup win over Llandudno at Sealand Road were Andy Provan (3), Nigel Edwards, Alan Spence and the late Keith Webber. The attendance was 2,464.
Managed by Ken Roberts, Chester’s top scorers that term were Bill Dearden and Derek Draper.
Dearden scored 101 goals in 404 league games in a 16-year career in the English Football League, playing for Oldham Athletic, Crewe Alexandra, Chester (twice), Sheffield United and Chesterfield.
His finest days came at Sheffield United, where he is currently chief scout at the age of 77.
As a player at Bramall Lane, Dearden netted 61 goals in 175 appearances and helped The Blades win promotion to the First Division in 1970-71.
Dearden later managed Notts County and Mansfield Town.
Greenock-born Andrew McKelvie Hughes Provan, also known as Andy or Drew Provan, played in the Scottish Football League for St Mirren, in the Football League for Barnsley, York City, Chester, Wrexham, Southport and Torquay United, and the North American Soccer League for the Philadelphia Atoms.
Chester centre-half on this day, Graham Turner, was later to become well-known for his managerial reigns at Shrewsbury Town, Aston Villa, Wolves and Hereford United (1995-2009).
Turner spent a vast chunk of his playing career at Shrewsbury, but also wore the colours of Wrexham and Chester.
Alan Spence was an inside forward, who gathered vast Football League experience at Sunderland, Darlington, Southport, Chester and Oldham.
Cardiff-born forward Keith Webber had spells with Barry Town, Everton, Brighton and Hove Albion, Wrexham and Doncaster Rovers before playing for Chester between 1969-71. His final pro club was Stockport County in 1972.
In 1974, Webber moved to Rhyl FC, then in the Cheshire League.
After finishing his pro career, Webber became an insurance salesman and then the licensee of the Grosvenor Arms pub in Handbridge, Chester and later the White Lion in Buckley.
Unfortunately, ill health led to him leaving the licensed trade and he took up a position with a finance company.
Webber sadly died aged just 40 from a heart attack at his home in Marford, Wrexham on 26 September 1983.
THE VISITORS – LLANDUDNO BOROUGH
Welsh League North side Llandudno Borough were no match for Chester on January 14, 1970, but it was still a great occasion to be part of.
One of the Llandudno forwards was Steve Fisher-Cooke, father of Jon Fisher-Cooke, a striker across three decades with Rhyl, Prestatyn Town, Cefn Druids, Colwyn Bay and Denbigh Town.
Centre-forward Steve, now sadly no longer with us, played for a number of top teams across North Wales.
Llandudno’s substitute at Sealand Road was 18-year-old Gareth Morris, son of former Burnley professional and Wales international Billy Morris, an ex-pupil of Abergele Grammar School.
Hailing from Llanddulas, Billy made 211 appearances for the Clarets, scoring 47 goals, and earned 5 Wales caps. He later managed Wrexham.
Billy was also uncle to the legendary Elfed Morris, mentioned earlier in this article.
Renowned goal-getter Gary Owen, a Wales youth international, also excelled in attack for Borough.
Left-back Colin Williams was a highly-rated prospect of the time, while goalkeeper Billy Smith was one of a number of footballing brothers who played locally.