Junior Football, updated.

The first ever North Wales Coast F.A. Junior Cup Final took place in Rhyl on February 22nd 1896 between Bangor and St. Asaph.  Bangor won the match 3-1.

Rhyl’s chance came in 1901 when Rhyl Reserves trounced Llanrwst 6-1 in an unpleasant final which saw one player sent off from each side.

Llanrwst and Rhyl Vics met in the 1907 final at Colwyn Bay, and drew 2-2.  The match was replayed, again at Colwyn Bay, where Rhyl secured a victory, winning 3-1.*

The following two photographs are of The Rhyl Swifts, 1907 and 1912.  (Click on photograph to enlarge).  Research in the North Wales Chronicle of the day shows the Swifts were part of Junior Competition, although they look quite mature.  Perhaps someone knows the age groups of Juniors/Seniors in those days?

Lastly, a more recent photograph from the late 1980’s of  a side from a Rhyl Junior Football Club.  How many can you name?

* “A Coast of Soccer Memories 1894-1994”  Edited and Compiled by Gareth M. Davies

Carole Smythe from Vancouver has sent more interesting football information and a photograph of The Jolly Boys Football Club:

I don’t know what age the boys would have been in junior football but imagine it would be under 18.  Philip Rhydwen Jones, born 1897, was 19 in this photo (1916). Philip Rhydwen Jones is the brother of my great-uncle Vernon Rhydwen Jones. Vernon apparently played football internationally for Wales but I haven’t been able to find out what team he was on or what time frame. He was born in 1879 so must have been about 1900 or so.

In the photo:

Front row: middle A. B. Lovibond; 2nd.from right Philip Rhydwen Jones; 4th. from right William Rowlands

Middle row: 1st. on left Caradoc Williams; 2nd. On left Patrick Cogher

Back in the 1870s, a group of young men decided to form a football team in the town of Rhyl. They were initially known as Rhyl Skull and Crossbones and wore a pirate motif on their black shirts which was intended to strike fear into their opponents.

Rhyl F.C. became founder members of the Welsh League in 1890 but withdrew the following year and re-formed as Rhyl Athletic, becoming founder members of the North Wales Coast League in 1893/94; winning the championship the following season. In 1898, the club fielded teams in both the Coast League and The Combination, a league that featured several English clubs including Everton and Liverpool Reserves.

Another club, Rhyl Town, was formed in 1897 and it is generally believed that they amalgamated with Athletic the following year. Withdrawal from the Coast League occurred in 1903, but Rhyl Athletic continued to play in The Combination (they were runners-up in 1900/01) until that competition was disbanded at the end of the 1910/11 season.

After an apparent name change to Rhyl United, the club rejoined the North Wales Coast League until the outbreak of war in 1914. The club moved into their present Belle Vue, Rhyl home in 1900 and, within two years, had won the North Wales Coast Senior Cup. Following the Great War, the club joined the North Wales Alliance before becoming members of the newly-formed Welsh National League (North) in 1921.

There is unflagging interest in old photos of football teams, and this week we publish the stalwarts of the Rhyl team of nearly fifty years ago. Whilst we cannot vouch for certain the date, we think it is 1906.

Those standing at the back are Sid Gregory, Ivor Williams, —–.

Second row: (standing) Morris, Jack Hayes, Walter Tomes, John Hughes, Johnny Williams, Ned Roberts, Ted Roberts, Councillor D. W. Jones –, –, Jack Doran, Tom Robinson (chairman), Arthur Hanlon (secretary)

 Front row: (seated) Tommy Harrison, Dick Ellis, J. Wynne Ellis, Bob Hughes, –, T. Wynne Ellis.

 Bob Hughes is my great-uncle who immigrated to Canada in 1898 so the photo would be 1898 or before, not 1906. He was born in 1872 so the players appear to be in their early to mid twenties.

 Thank you Carole!




Filed under Memories, People, Sport

3 responses to “Junior Football, updated.

  1. Gareth Brooks

    The Skull and Crossbones motif is still displayed by Rhyl supporters at Rhyl matches.

  2. Valerie Lantau

    I would very much like to contact Carole Smythe who reachted to the football article as Philip Rhydwen Jones was my grandfather and I remember him talking about his brother Vernon.

  3. Fred Davies

    I well remember Albert Lovibond. I worked with him in Rhyl Post Office in. 1940s

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