Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain. It is bordered by England to the east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, and it had a population in 2011 of 3,063,456 and has a total area of 20,779 km2. Wales has over 1,680 miles of coastline and is mountainous, with its higher peaks in the north and central areas, including Snowdon. The country lies within the temperate zone and has a changeable. Welsh national identity emerged among the Celtic Britons after the Roman withdrawal from Britain in the 5th century, Llywelyn ap Gruffudds death in 1282 marked the completion of Edward I of Englands conquest of Wales, though Owain Glyndŵr briefly restored independence to Wales in the early 15th century. The whole of Wales was annexed by England and incorporated within the English legal system under the Laws in Wales Acts 1535–1542, distinctive Welsh politics developed in the 19th century. Welsh Liberalism, exemplified in the early 20th century by Lloyd George, was displaced by the growth of socialism, Welsh national feeling grew over the century, Plaid Cymru was formed in 1925 and the Welsh Language Society in 1962. Established under the Government of Wales Act 1998, the National Assembly for Wales holds responsibility for a range of devolved policy matters, two-thirds of the population live in south Wales, mainly in and around Cardiff, Swansea and Newport, and in the nearby valleys. Now that the countrys traditional extractive and heavy industries have gone or are in decline, Wales economy depends on the sector, light and service industries. Wales 2010 gross value added was £45.5 billion, over 560,000 Welsh language speakers live in Wales, and the language is spoken by a majority of the population in parts of the north and west. From the late 19th century onwards, Wales acquired its popular image as the land of song, Rugby union is seen as a symbol of Welsh identity and an expression of national consciousness. The Old English-speaking Anglo-Saxons came to use the term Wælisc when referring to the Celtic Britons in particular, the modern names for some Continental European lands and peoples have a similar etymology. The modern Welsh name for themselves is Cymry, and Cymru is the Welsh name for Wales and these words are descended from the Brythonic word combrogi, meaning fellow-countrymen. The use of the word Cymry as a self-designation derives from the location in the post-Roman Era of the Welsh people in modern Wales as well as in northern England and southern Scotland. It emphasised that the Welsh in modern Wales and in the Hen Ogledd were one people, in particular, the term was not applied to the Cornish or the Breton peoples, who are of similar heritage, culture, and language to the Welsh. The word came into use as a self-description probably before the 7th century and it is attested in a praise poem to Cadwallon ap Cadfan c. 633. Thereafter Cymry prevailed as a reference to the Welsh, until c.1560 the word was spelt Kymry or Cymry, regardless of whether it referred to the people or their homeland. The Latinised forms of names, Cambrian, Cambric and Cambria, survive as lesser-used alternative names for Wales, Welsh
Wrexham Association Football Club is a professional association football club based in Wrexham, Wales. Based on the clubs recorded formation date of 1864, they are the oldest club in Wales, since August 2011 Wrexham have been a supporter-owned football club. As of May 2015, the club has 4,129 adult members, Wrexham are perhaps most notable for an FA Cup upset over reigning English Champions Arsenal in 1992 and a 1–0 victory over FC Porto in 1984 in the European Cup Winners Cup. Wrexhams home stadium, the Racecourse Ground, is the worlds oldest international stadium that still continues to host international games, the record attendance at the ground was set in 1957, when Wrexham hosted a match against Manchester United in front of 36,445 spectators. Their first game was played on 22 October 1864 at the Denbigh County Cricket Ground against the Prince of Wales Fire Brigade, as the rules of football were still somewhat fluid at the time, early matches featured teams with up to 17 players on each side. In these early years Wrexham were leaders of the campaign to restrict teams to having just 11 players on the pitch at any one time. C, in the 1877–78 season the FAW inaugurated the Welsh Cup competition, to run on similar lines to the English FA Cup. The first Welsh Cup Final was played at Acton Park, Wrexham got to the final of the inaugural competition, where they defeated Druids F. C. 1–0, with James Davies being credited with the goal. Because of a lack of money at the fledgling FAW, Wrexham did not receive their trophy until the next year. 1883 also saw Wrexhams first appearance in the FA Cup, when receiving a bye to the second round of the competition they were defeated 3–4 at home by Oswestry. Crowd trouble at the game led to the club being expelled from the Football Association, Olympic was dropped from this clubs name in 1888. In 1890 Wrexham joined The Combination league, playing their first game against Gorton Villa on 6 September 1890, Lea played for the club despite only having one arm as did playing colleague James Roberts. Wrexham finished the second from bottom in eighth place in the first season. Wrexham played in the Combination for four years before an increase in costs resulted in the club joining the Welsh League in the 1894–95 season. The club then remained in the Combination league until 1905, by time they had managed to win the league four times. After several unsuccessful attempts Wrexham were finally elected to the Birmingham, Wrexhams first ever match in this league was at home against Kidderminster Harriers at the Racecourse, and two thousand spectators witnessed Wrexham win the match 2–1. Wrexham finished sixth in their first season in this league, during their time in the Birmingham and District League, Wrexham won the Welsh Cup six times, in 1908–09, 1909–10, 1910–11, 1913–14, 1914–15, and 1920–21. They also reached the First Round proper of the FA Cup for a time in the 1908–09 season before losing a replay 1–2 to Exeter City after extra time. In 1921 Wrexham were elected to the newly formed Third Division North of the Football League and their first League game was against Hartlepool United at the Racecourse in front of 8,000 spectators
Northwich Victoria F.C.
Northwich Victoria Football Club is an English football club based in Northwich, Cheshire, playing their home games at Wincham Park, Northwich, the home of Witton Albion. The new club was a member of several leagues including the Football League Second Division. They played at the same Drill Field ground for over 125 years, at the time Drill Field was believed to be the oldest ground in the world on which football had been continuously played. The generally accepted year for the original Northwich Victoria Football Clubs founding is 1874 by Charles James Hughes and James Heyworth, however, according to club historian Ken Edwards book A Team for All Seasons, the organisation itself could have been in existence earlier in the 1870s. Northwich played their first challenge matches in the 1874 season and originally accepted both association football and rugby rules. This was shown in 1876 when they contested a match under Rugby rules at Farnworth and Appleton F. C. and then at home under association rules. The first time the club entered a competition was the 1877 Welsh Cup. Its best achievement in the competition was in the 1881–82 and 1888–89 seasons, when they reached the final in 1882, they were the first English club to do so. In 1880, the club entered the competition for the new Cheshire Football Association Challenge Cup. They went on to win the cup for the five seasons, defeating in the finals, Birkenhead, Northwich Novelty, Crewe Alexandra. In 1890, the became a founding member of the second incarnation of The Combination. In their second season in the league they finished as runners-up, a great leap forward was taken in 1892, when Northwich became one of the founding members of the English Second Division, which saw the team turn professional. In the leagues inaugural season, Northwich finished 7th, the highest finish in the clubs history and it was during the latter stages of this season that Northwich acquired the services of Billy Meredith, the Welsh International, who is widely regarded as the first football superstar. It was said by many that Finnerhan made Meredith, another notable result was holding Woolwich Arsenal to a 2–2 draw at the Drill Field. However, as a result of their position at the bottom of the league. Up to the middle of decade, Northwich played in red. However a major change in the clubs livery occurred when they adopted the colours they wear today, green. Lured by the chance of increased revenues, the joined the Manchester League in the 1900–01 season
Llanfyllin is a small market town in a sparsely-populated area in Powys, Wales. Llanfyllins population in 2011 was 1,482, of whom 34. 1% could speak Welsh, Llanfyllin means church or parish of St Myllin. The town lies in the valley of the River Cain near the Berwyn Mountains in Montgomeryshire,14 miles southwest of Oswestry and 15 miles from Montgomery. The River Cain is joined by the small River Abel in Llanfyllin, the town lies between Shrewsbury and Bala, for a long time the key market towns in this area of Wales and the Welsh borders. At nearby Bodyddon there is evidence of an early British settlement, Llanfyllin may be the Mediolanum among the Ordovices described in Ptolemys Geography, although others argue for Meifod or Caersws. The town is known for its well, Fynnon Coed y Llan. The well is dedicated to Saint Myllin, who is reputed to have baptised people here in the sixth century, the parish church is also dedicated to Saint Myllin. There is a tradition that Saint Myllin is the Irish bishop, the medieval motte and bailey castle of Tomen yr Allt was probably destroyed by Llywelyn ap Gruffudd in 1257. The castle earthworks are still present, Llanfyllin was granted a charter as a market town in 1293 by Llywelyn ap Dafydd under Edward I, one of only two Welsh towns to have received its charter from a native ruler. The charter was confirmed by Edward de Charlton, Lord of Powys under Henry V. Llanfyllin is noteworthy for the quality and quantity of its buildings in locally-made brick, the parish church of St Myllin was founded in the seventh century, according to tradition by St Myllin. The present building dates to around 1706 is mainly of locally-made red brick with battlements. It has a tower with six bells and it was adapted and extended by 1863 in the neo-Norman style, and restored in 1959. Pendref Chapel is said to be the oldest Welsh independent church in Powys, in 1640 its first minister was Vavasor Powell. The chapel was built in 1708. The chapel was destroyed in the Jacobite rising of 1715, and was re-erected at government expense, the present building dates from 1829. A late-15th or early-16th century hall house at Rhosfawr near Llanfyllin is a Grade II* Listed Building and it has been used as a barn since the 17th century and has never been altered, and is perhaps the most complete and unaltered medium-sized hall house in Wales. It consists of four bays, crucks at the gables, a truss, box-frame trusses. The central bays formed the hall, an historic house known as The Hall still exists on Vine Square within the town
Chester City F.C.
Chester City Football Club was an English football team from Chester which played in a variety of leagues between 1885 and 2010. The club, which was founded as Chester F. C. joined the Football League in 1931, over the next eight decades, the club spent most of its time competing in the lower divisions playing its home games at Sealand Road. In 1983 it was renamed Chester City, the club moved to the Deva Stadium in 1992 after playing two seasons of home games at Macclesfield Towns Moss Rose. In 2004 Chester won the Conference National, their league title. However, halfway through the 2009–10 Conference season, HM Revenue & Customs served a winding-up order on the club in January 2010, the Conference National subsequently suspended Chester – which had been put up for sale – for breaching its financial rules and for cancelling matches. A month after the winding up order was served it was dismissed from the league with all results annulled, in March 2010 Chester was formally wound up after unsuccessfully trying to join the Welsh Premier League. With the official winding up of Chester City, supporters immediately began forming a new club, Chester F. C. was officially established in May 2010. Chester F. C. was founded in 1885 as an amalgamation of Chester Rovers and Old Kings Scholars F. C. after a few years of playing only friendly and occasional cup matches, Chester joined The Combination League in 1890. In 1898 the club moved to The Old Showground, but were forced to leave a year later when the ground was destroyed to make way for housing, leaving the club temporarily disbanded. In 1901, however, they moved to Whipcord Lane, again their stay was only brief and their new stadium on Sealand Road, called simply The Stadium became their first long-term home and provided them with their first league success, as they won the Combination League in 1909. In 1910, Chester moved to the Lancashire Combination League and stayed there until after World War I, charlie Hewitt was appointed manager in 1930, and in 1931 he guided Chester City to the Football League, in place of Nelson F. C. Throughout the 1930s Chester never finished outside of the top ten in Division Three North, during this period Chester recorded their biggest win in the FA Cup, beating Fulham 5–0 in 1933, and in 1936, they recorded their highest league victory, beating York City 12–0. The period also saw Chester win the Welsh Cup for the time after beating growing rivals Wrexham at Sealand Road in May 1933. Unfortunately, the side was to be split up by the outbreak of the Second World War, although the 1946–47 brought a third-place finish and another Welsh Cup triumph, grim times lay ahead. No top half placings would be achieved until the divisions were merged in 1958. They would still have to wait six years until they finished above halfway in a league table. Chesters fortunes began to take a turn for the better after the appointment of South African Peter Hauser as manager in 1963 who put Chester in contention for promotion from Division Four. In 1964–65 all five forwards managed 20 goals – a unique achievement – as Chester scored 119 in Football League games alone, apart from missing out on promotion by just a point in 1970–71 the next few years were largely uneventful
Bangor City F.C.
Bangor City Football Club are a semi-professional Welsh football club from the City of Bangor, Gwynedd. The club compete in the Welsh Premier League, being ever present since the league was founded in 1992. Bangor City F. C. is one of Wales older football clubs, and has an history of competition in European football. In the 1961–62 season, Bangor City won the Welsh Cup, in the first round, Bangor was drawn against the Italian Cup winners, Napoli, at the time one of Europes greatest football teams. In the first leg, played at Farrar Road, unexpectedly Bangor won 2–0, world superstar Bobby Charlton guested for the Blues in the 1978 Anglo-Italian Tournament. At the end of 1977–78 when Southport was relegated from the English Football League Fourth Division, Bangor City, Boston United, due to Wigan Athletic having installed crush barriers, Bangor missed out on promotion. In 1979–80 Bangor City was invited to compete in the Alliance Premier League, on 12 May 1984 Bangor became the first Welsh club to play at Wembley since Cardiff in 1927, when reaching the FA Trophy final against Northwich Victoria. The match finished 1–1, with local boy Paul Whelan scoring for Bangor, the replay was played in Stokes Victoria Ground, and despite a goal from another Bangor lad, Bangor lost 2–1 conceding in the last minute. In 1985 Bangor City was back in the ECWC, in the first round drawn against the Norwegian cup winners, Fredrikstad. Interestingly, captain of Bangor that season was midfielder Mark Palios, against Atletico, Palios shaved the post with a header in the first minute that would have given Bangor an unlikely lead in the first leg at Farrar Road following a cross by Phil Lunn. In 1994 as League of Wales Champions, Bangor City entered the UEFA Cup, akranes won the leg in Bangor by 2–1, while Bangor lost the match in Iceland by 2–0. Łódź were a powerful side, But Nick dominated throughout the game. Having played Liverpool, Juventus and Manchester United in earlier campaigns, manager at the time was Nigel Adkins, now in charge of Championship side Reading. Unsurprisingly Bangor were beaten, 2–0 at home, and 1–0 in Finland, in 2006 the club made it to the Welsh Cup final where they were beaten by Rhyl 2–0 at Wrexhams Racecourse ground. The club managed to win back the Welsh Cup in 2008, defying the odds and defeating league high fliers Llanelli 4–2 after extra time at Latham Park, Newtown. An injury time equaliser saw an invasion by celebrating Bangor fans before the Blues were able proceeding to defeat their expensively-assembled opponents during the additional period. Victory in the Welsh Cup meant that Bangor had again qualified for Europe, the first leg was held at the Racecourse ground, Wrexham, saw Bangor beaten 6–1 by a talented Danish side. Despite this early setback Bangor ended the 2008–09 season with yet more silverware as they retained the Welsh Cup by defeating Aberystwyth Town 2–0 in a match held at Parc Y Scarlets, Llanelli
Crewe Alexandra F.C.
Crewe Alexandra Football Club is a professional association football club based in the town of Crewe, Cheshire, England. Nicknamed The Railwaymen because of the links with the rail industry. The team compete in League Two, the tier of the English football league system. The club was formed in 1877 and named after Princess Alexandra and it was a founding member of the Football League Second Division in 1892, but only lasted four years in the League. Since re-entering the competition in 1921, they have remained in the lower divisions. Crewes only major honour is the Football League Trophy which they won in 2013 and they have also won several minor trophies, including the Cheshire Premier Cup and the Cheshire Senior Cup. Gradi is known for focusing on development and promoting attractive. Notable players brought through the Crewe youth system include former internationals Rob Jones, Neil Lennon, Danny Murphy, Seth Johnson, other notable players to have made their name at Crewe in that time include Geoff Thomas, David Platt and Robbie Savage. Crewe Alexandra were formed in 1877 as Crewe Football Club, separate from the successful Crewe Cricket Club and they were based at the Alexandra Recreation Ground and played their first match against North Staffs that same year, a match that ended 1–1. In 1883, Crewe Alexandras first match in the FA Cup was against Scottish club Queens Park of Glasgow, in 1888, the club reached the FA Cup semi-finals, defeating Derby County and Middlesbrough en route, before going out to Preston North End. Crewe were founding members of the Football League Second Division in 1892, having previously been members of the Football Alliance, in 1906 the current Gresty Road ground was rebuilt to the west of the original site. Crewe rejoined the Football League in 1921, during which season a crowd of 15,102 packed into Gresty Road to watch Crewe entertain local rivals Stoke City. Crewe earned their first honours by winning the Welsh Cup in 1936 and 1937, in 1936, Bert Swindells scored his 100th League goal for Crewe Alexandra. He went on to score 126 goals for the club, a record still stands today. 1955 saw Crewe embark on a sequence where they did not win away from home for 56 matches, the dismal run ended with a 1–0 win at Southport. One of Crewes most famous took place against Spurs in the FA Cup in 1960. A new record attendance of 20,000 saw lowly Crewe hold Spurs to a 2–2 draw on 30 January, on 3 February, Tottenham convincingly won the replay 13–2, which remains a record defeat for the club. Llewellyn and Nev Coleman scored for Crewe,1961 saw Crewes most notable win in their history, Jimmy McGuigans side defeated Chelsea 2–1 in the FA Cup at Stamford Bridge
The Welsh Cup is a knock-out football competition contested annually by teams in the Welsh football league system. The Football Association of Wales is the body of this competition. The winning team qualifies to play in the following seasons UEFA Europa League, until 1995, Welsh clubs playing in the Welsh or English leagues were invited to play in the Welsh Cup. On occasion some English clubs, mostly those from border areas such as Shrewsbury, Hereford, however, in the event of an English club winning the Welsh Cup, they were not allowed to progress to the European Cup Winners Cup. Instead, the best placed Welsh club in the Welsh Cup competition would take the European place, from 1996 to 2011, only clubs playing in the Welsh football league system were allowed to enter the Welsh Cup. This rule excluded the six Welsh clubs who played in the English football league system, Cardiff City, Colwyn Bay, Merthyr Tydfil Town, Newport County, Swansea City and Wrexham. On 20 April 2011, the Football Association of Wales invited these six clubs to rejoin the Welsh Cup for the 2011–12 season, between the 1961–62 and 1984–85 seasons, the final was played as a two-leg match, originally on a points basis rather than aggregate score. In the 1985–86 season, it reverted to a game, to be decided by extra time. The last English winner of the Welsh Cup was Hereford United in 1990, for a list of Welsh Cup finals including venue and attendance information see List of Welsh Cup finals
Newtown Association Football Club are a Welsh Football Club who play in the Welsh Premier League. Newtown are one of three clubs that can claim unbroken membership of the league since its formation in 1992, with the other two clubs being Aberystwyth Town and Bangor City. The club was founded in 1875 as Newtown White Stars, and were one of the members of the Football Association of Wales. The club plays at Latham Park, Newtown, which accommodates 5,000 spectators, Newtown White Stars won the Welsh Cup in 1879 and were losing finalists in 1881. Newtown AFC won the cup again in 1895, but this was the last national trophy won for sixty years, in 1992 the club became rather reluctant founder members of the Konica League of Wales. Since then it has finished runners-up in the league in both 1995–96 & 1997–98, and subsequently played UEFA cup ties against Skonto Riga of Latvia and Wisła Kraków of Poland. Newtown Association Football Club are one of the oldest clubs in Wales, in addition the club was also one of the founder members of the League of Wales, now known as the Welsh Premier. The club has a long and proud tradition with the move in the late 1980s into the Northern Premier League being part of the nature of the club. Way back in 1877, Newtown took part in the first ever Welsh Cup tie on Saturday 13 October against Druids of Ruabon, cefn Druids now former members of the Welsh Premier are derived from this club. In December 1895 Newtown travelled to play Manchester City at Maine Road, newtown’s W. Parry scored all three goals for the Robins. In 2014 Newtown became the 2nd Welsh Premier League club, after The New Saints, during the 2014/15 season Newtown finished in the top 6 for the second consecutive season. They also took part in their first Welsh Cup Final in 118 Years after memorable wins against Caersws, Bangor, however they lost the match 2–0 to The New Saints, despite it being played at Latham Park in front of a capacity crowd. After the cup defeat, Newtown entered the European play-offs. During the play-offs they won away at Port Talbot Town and won away at Aberystwyth Town to take a spot in the 2015–16 Europa League qualifiers, note, Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality, brian Coyne Roger Preece Darren Ryan Andy Cale Darren Ryan Bernard McNally Chris Hughes Newtown have participated four times in the UEFA Cup/Europa League. In the Welsh Premier League Newtown have derby matches against fellow Mid-Wales clubs Aberystwyth Town and The New Saints
Welshpool Town F.C.
Welshpool Town F. C. is a football team, based in Welshpool, playing in the Mid Wales Football League. The club was founded as Welshpool Town F. C. in 1878 and plays at the Maes y Dre Recreation Ground, Welshpool Town was formed in 1878 but adopted such colourful names as Welshpool Wanderers and Welshpool Warriors – although the latter may have been a separate club. The club reformed as Welshpool AFC in 1889 after one season as Welshpool United, after the First World War Welshpool competed in the Central Wales leagues winning the Central Section in 1921. Four years later in 1925 the club stepped up to the First Division after finishing as runners up to Llanidloes Town, after the Second World War Welshpool moved to the Welsh National League. Success followed including Welsh National League Champions 1955,1956,1962 and 1965, the club then returned to the Mid Wales League which it won seven times between 1968–1980, as well as The Welsh Amateur Cup in 1972. Welshpool continued to be a force in Mid Wales football throughout the 1970s and 80s which forced there way with their application to apply as founder members of the Cymru Alliance in 1990. They finished second in 1993 and 1996 and as champions Oswestry Town were not eligible for promotion, Welshpool took their place in the League of Wales in the 1996–97 season instead, finishing 17th. Next season Welshpool Town were relegated and stayed in the Alliance until winning the competition in 2002 to regain Welsh Premier status. In the 2002/2003 season they finished next to bottom, but appealed against relegation to the FAW, to the surprise of many, they were reinstated in the League for 2003–04. In the 2005–06 season, the club finished 6th in the Welsh Premier League, due to the Welsh Premier League restructure, the club lost their place in the top flight after not applying for a domestic licence. Life in the Cymru Alliance got off to a start as, after picking up just 4 points from their first six games. Manager Graham Evans resigned shortly afterwards, three months into the job, citing a breakdown in relations with the Chairman, head Coach Benji Evans took charge as caretaker Manager, before the arrival of Guilsfield boss, Mike Barton, took over the reins. However, just a month into his reign, he too quit the club, a further three points were deducted for the club failing to fulfill the fixture at Penrhyncoch. Benji Evans again took charge in a Caretaker capacity before the club recruited Connahs Quay striker Chris Herbert moved to the club for his first job in management, as player manager. Over the remaining months of the season, Herbert and Evans completely restructured the playing squad, bringing in various quality and experienced players, in the summer of 2011, the clubs sponsorship agreement with Technogroup ended and the side reverted to the name of Welshpool Football Club. Due to the impact this had on the finances, the club opted to become amateur and manager, Chris Herbert. The club appointed Reserve Manager, Adam Knight, to the position of Manager following his sides success in the Montgomeryshire Amateur League Division 2, the clubs existence was thrown into jeopardy when Knight resigned two weeks before the season and the club had no registered players. However, the Spar Mid Wales League agreed to postpone the opening three fixtures to allow time for a new manager to be appointed
Porthmadog Football Club is a football team, playing in the Cymru Alliance. The club was founded in 1884 and plays at Y Traeth, Porthmadog, Porthmadog Football Club was founded in 1884, making them one of Wales oldest clubs. In 1900, the joined the North Wales League, which it won league in the 1902–03 season. The 1950s–70s were successful decades for Port, the club won the Welsh Amateur Cup in 1955–56 and 1956–57. After losing its status, and signing Mel Charles, the team had more success. In 1966, its played against Swansea City in the Welsh Cup, Port then won the Welsh League in five of the next nine years. It was not until 1989–90 that Port had its next championship win and this was enough to ensure Ports place as inaugural members of the Cymru Alliance League in 1990. In 1992, Port became inaugural members of the League of Wales, in his second season, Taylor went on to become both the leagues and Europes top scorer, earning him the European Golden Boot. During his spell at the club, he scored 62 goals in 66 games, despite the 70 goals netted by Taylor and Marc Lloyd-Williams, in the 1993–4 season, the team finished in eleventh. Port did, however, break another record—the biggest attendance in the League of Wales, a crowd of 3,250 came to see Bangor City push for the league title. Bangor City won the game 2–0 and therefore won the league, the third season started with a new manager, following the surprising decision to sack Owen. Ian Edwards, ex-Wales International, became manager, but after a good start, after Mickey Thomas, the former Manchester United, Wrexham and Wales player took over, the team continued to play poorly and was nearly relegated. The fourth season started with another change of manager, as assistant Colin Hawkins was promoted to the job, while it was a quiet season on the field, events off the field were anything but quiet. The club nearly folded because of financial troubles but was re-launched as a limited company, £10,000 was raised through the sale of shares and extra money was raised through friendly matches, such as against Blackburn Rovers and a team of stars from S4C. The financial situation improved in 1996–97, and the team started the well, winning all home games until the New Year. One of Ports most influential players during the start was Paul Roberts. Before leaving the club to join Wrexham for £10,000 and his chance to play for the Welsh youngsters came after he had scored for Port to beat them in a friendly match. After Roberts departure, Port performed poorly and finished in tenth place, the season ended on a high note with a win against Caernarfon Town in the North Wales Coast Challenge Cup Final, following victories over Caernarfon Town and Colwyn Bay in earlier rounds
Rhyl Football Club is a Welsh football club from Rhyl in Denbighshire, playing in the Welsh Premier League. The club was founded in 1879 and the team plays its matches at Belle Vue. Football in Rhyl dates from the late 1870s and at one time there were several Rhyl clubs in existence, Rhyl F. C. became founder members of the Welsh League, formed in 1890, but withdrew the following year. They reformed as Rhyl Athletic in 1893 and became members of the North Wales Coast League. Rhyl Athletic joined forces with Rhyl Town in 1898 and in an ambitious move switched to the Anglo-Welsh competition known as The Combination, despite financial crises, they remained in membership until the league disbanded at the end of the 1910–11 season. Rhyl won the title in 1925–26 and became a company in 1928 as Rhyl Athletic. In 1929 Rhyl applied to join the Football League but York City became the only non-league team elected to the Third Division North, with North Wales football in turmoil in the early 1930s, Rhyl sought to realise their ambitions elsewhere. Another unsuccessful application to the Football League was made in 1932 before joining the Birmingham, in a post-war purple patch, Rhyl won the league title twice – in 1947–48 and 1950–51 – and the Welsh Cup twice in succession. In 1952, they beat Merthyr Tydfil 4–3 and became the first non-league side in the era to retain the trophy. Rhyl had been losing finalists to Cardiff City in 1930 and Crewe Alexandra in 1937, but did not feature in the final again until 1993, between 1948 and 1972 Rhyl appeared regularly in the first round proper of the FA Cup. In 1957 Rhyl reached the fourth round proper, losing 3–0 away to Bristol City, in the Cheshire County League, success eluded them for several years before they won the title in 1972. On the dissolution of the Cheshire County League in 1982, Rhyl became members of the North West Counties League, in 1993–94, they won the title by six points and gained promotion to the League of Wales. Rhyl completed a quadruple by rounding off the season with a 6–0 win against Halkyn United in the Final of the North Wales Coast Challenge Cup. However, these feats were later tainted by the revelation that leading scorer Andy Moran had been taking the banned stimulant Nandrolone throughout the season, Rhyl won many games with late goals, leading to widespread rumours that other players were also taking the drug. Moran was stripped of his Golden Boot as a result, although the results were allowed to stand. Rhyl could not reproduce their quadruple heroics in 2004–05, the club finished runners-up in the Welsh Premier League to TNS and also fell to the same team in both the Welsh Cup semi-final and Welsh Premier Cup quarter-final. In 2005–06, Rhyl recorded their first-ever win in European competition when they defeated Lithuanian side FK Atlantas 2–1 in the leg of the first qualifying round of the UEFA Cup. Rhyl lost the away leg 3–2, but progressed on the away goals rule and they lost in the second round against Norwegian club Viking F. K