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.
The European heroics of Borough United in 1963/4 – when the Llandudno Junction side competed in the European Cup Winners Cup – have been well documented elsewhere so today’s programme is from the second leg of the 1962/3 Welsh Cup final when they secured the result that would guarantee their names would be written into Welsh football history forever.
After a nail-biting 1-0 win over Hereford United at Wrexham’s Racecourse Ground in the semi-final, Borough eagerly awaited the first leg of their final showdown with Newport County and fancied their chances against a team who were hardly pulling up trees in League Division Four and ended the season avoiding re-election on goal difference.
But on the day the professionals struck first through Ralph Hunt and left Borough with a huge task in front of them, although having come this far the part-timers were not giving up easily and put in a mammoth shift to win the tie 2-1 thanks to a Billy Russell penalty and the headed clincher from Joe Bebb.
In the return at Somerton Park in front of a crowd of 5,600 , County applied huge pressure from the off but Borough found a hero in goalkeeper Dave Walker who played the game of his life to keep the score at 0-0 and send the Junction outfit into Europe where they would defeat Malta’s Sliema Wanderers before bowing out to crack Czech side Slovan Bratislava.