Nostalgia – Welsh Cup classic programmes No 6: Newport County v Lex XI (1983-84)

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.

Founded in Wrexham in 1965 by a team of football playing solicitors and their staff, Lex XI (Lex is Latin for ‘law’ and the XI was added as a play on the popular bingo call ‘Legs Eleven’) had never progressed beyond the first round of the Welsh Cup until 1983/4 when they certainly made up for lost time.

Having defeated Ruabon St Mary’s 6-1 in the first round and then accounted for Llandudno Amateurs 6-0, Lex must have been getting nosebleeds at the thought of entering the third round draw where they were paired at home to Chirk AAA.

The Bordermen presented a tougher challenge than their previous two opponents but were eventually squeezed out 3-2 to earn the Lawyers a trip to Third Division Newport County in the last 32.

Played in front of 1,077 spectators at Somerton Park on a freezing January Tuesday, Lex were soundly beaten 6-0 by County with future Liverpool and Republic of Ireland star John Aldridge bagging a hat-trick and John Relish, Tony Reid and Chris Lilygreen adding the others.

One interesting piece of trivia from the County line-up that night involves Tarki Micallef who despite his European sounding name was a true Welshman and the son of a Greek restaurateur in Cardiff.

When Micallef retired from football in 1987 having played for Cardiff City (twice), County, Bath City, Bristol Rovers and Barry Town he became a technician with the Welsh National Opera – certainly not the usual type of career path for an ex-footballer!

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