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RHYL F C
Rhyl FCBACK 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.
Though their first ground was situated to the east of the town, the club moved to a more central location known as The Green Field in 1879. It was here that the very first floodlit football match in Wales was staged in December of that year. Within five years one of the team, W.H. Roberts, gained international recognition, when representing Wales against Scotland in Glasgow on 29th March 1884, having previously won five caps whilst playing for Ruthin.
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.
The Lilywhites spent many years in the Cheshire League and Northern Premier League.
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 home in 1900 and, within two years, had won the North Wales Coast Senior Cup (later to become the present-day Challenge Cup), beating Caernarfon Ironopolis 1-0 at Bangor in a replay following a 1-1 draw. A year later, Rhyl lost the final to Bangor. Twice during this era, the club reached the semi-final of the Welsh Cup only to lose 1-0 to Oswestry United in 1900/01 and to Aberdare (3-1) four seasons later.
Following the Great War, the club joined the North Wales Alliance before becoming members of the newly-formed Welsh National League (North) in 1921. They won the title in 1925/26 and remained in this league until it ceased to exist after 1930. They became a limited company in 1928, but were still referred to as Rhyl Athletic into the early 1930s. By this time they were operating in the Birmingham and District League and did so until moving to the Cheshire League in 1936, following the resignation of Prescot Cables.
For a decade from the late 1940s, Rhyl Football Club enjoyed tremendous success. Cheshire League championships were won in 1947/48 and 1950/51 and, having been runners-up in the Welsh Cup finals of 1927, 1930 and 1937, they won the trophy in successive seasons, beating Merthyr Tydfil in 1952 and Chester the following year. Although similar success has evaded the club since, they reached the 1992/93 final against all odds and performed admirably at the National Stadium, Cardiff against the local Football League side.
In the North Wales Challenge Cup, however, Rhyl have been a real force and have won the trophy on no fewer than fourteen occasions. During the 1930s, Rhyl appeared in seven consecutive finals and, after the second war, won the trophy seven times in eight years! A truly remarkable feat.
The club enjoyed some good runs in the F.A. Cup and even played at Old Trafford (neutral territory) in 1970/71, beating Barnsley 2-0 in a Second Round second replay.
League success has eluded the club since those heady days of the 1950s, although they did gain a third Cheshire League title in 1971/72 and figured in the Northern Premier League before returning to Welsh football in 1992.

Rhyl have carried out considerable improvements at Belle Vue in 2003/4, including installation of Manchester City's former Gene Kelly stand (above)
They were too late with their application to join the League of Wales from the outset and, instead, were placed in the Cymru Alliance; the second level of the pyramid system. Finishing third in 1992/93, Rhyl gained some consolation by winning the League Cup final (5-1 against Gresford Athletic) and reaching the Welsh Cup final after defeating Connah’s Quay Nomads in the semi-final.
The following season, 1993/94, they won the Cymru Alliance title by six points and gained promotion to the League of Wales. That same season, Rhyl narrowly missed the ‘double’ when losing 2-1 to Welshpool in the League Cup final. Life in the League of Wales has been something of a struggle for the Lilywhites, however. The club finished 11th in 1994/95, winning fifteen games and scoring 74 goals. The following two seasons saw them battling against relegation, though this was successfully averted on both occasions.
Changes in personnel saw Rhyl enjoy an infinitely better time in 1997/98. Seventeen league victories and over 60 points allowed them to reach 8th place in the table and qualify for a place in the F.A.W. Premier Cup competition. Still there was no stability and, in 1998/99, The Lilywhites plummeted to the lower reaches of the League of Wales, winning only seven out of 32 matches. They did enough, however, to stave off relegation finishing five points above Holywell Town.
Rhyl began 2000/01 with Brian Kettle (a former Liverpool player and Southport manager) in charge but, after only one win in the first six games, he was replaced by Lee Williams as player/manager.
Results picked-up immediately. Williams’ first game in charge saw Rhyl win 6-1 away to Port Talbot and that was bettered soon afterwards when The Lilywhites trounced Llanelli 7-0. At the end of the season, Rhyl finished 7th and qualified for last season’s FAW Premier Cup competition.
Major ground improvements at Belle Vue have led to Rhyl staging a pre-season Under-21 International Tournament featuring clubs from England, Wales and Italy.
Rhyl enjoyed another successful season in 2002/3, to finish a best-ever 6th in the league.
But 2003/4 proved to be their best campaign ever, winning the Welsh Premier title for the first time and adding the league's Challenge Cup and the Welsh Cup within a week.

Season
P
W
D
L
F
A
Pts
Pos
1994/5
38
16
5
17
74
69
53
11
1995/6
40
11
9
20
47
83
42
18
1996/7
40
10
8
22
51
71
38
19
1997/8
38
17
10
11
61
49
61
8
1998/9
32
7
2
23
41
81
23
16
1999/0
34
13
5
16
40
60
44
11
2000/1
34
16
6
12
74
52
54
7
2001/2
34
17
5
12
53
45
56
6
2002/3
34
17
7
10
52
33
58
6
2003/4
32
23
8
1
76
26
77
1
TOTAL
256
147
85
144
569
569
506
League stats
Biggest Home Wins
7-0 v Llanelli 20/01/01
7-1 v Caernarfon 28/1/04
6-1 v Bangor City 03/11/00
5-1 v Holywell Town 24/10/98
5-1 v Rhayader Town 26/08/00
Biggest Away Wins
6-1 at Port Talbot Athletic 08/10/00
4-0 at Connahs Quay Nomads 17/03/95
Biggest Home Defeats
0-6 by Barry Town 14/11/98
0-5 by Barry Town 08/01/00
3-6 by Ton Pentre 27/08/94
Biggest Away Defeats
1-8 at Caernarfon Town 17/02/96
0-7 at Llanelli 18/12/99
2-7 at Conwy United 25/11/95
0-6 at Porthmadog 19/10/96
0-6 at Total Network Solutions 26/09/98
Most Goals in One Season
27 by Andy Moran 2003/4
22 by Danny Barton 1999/2000
Most Goals in One Match
4 by Tim Steel v Briton Ferry Athletic 26/10/96
Top Scorers in Aggregate
56 by Andy Moran (2001-2004)
41 by Danny Barton (1998 2002)
34 by Tim Steel (1994 2001)
Most Appearances
191 (+3 Sub) by Tim Edwards (1994 2005)
135 (+19 Sub) by Gareth Wilson (1997 2005)
102 by Gary Curtiss (1998 2002)
97 (+64 Sub) by Scott Millington (1994 1999)
95 (+26 Sub) by Tim Steel (1994 2001)
Mark Ferguson (1992 - Dec 1995)
Barry Roberts/James Smith (Jan 1996 - July 1996)
Barry Roberts (July 1996 - Aug 1996)
Mark Ferguson (Aug 1996 - 1997 cs)
Andy Cale (cs 1997 - Feb 1998)
Dean Martin (Feb 1998 Oct 1998)
Adie Jones (Oct 1998 Mar 2000)
Steve Jones (Mar 2000 May 2000)
Brian Kettle (June 2000 Oct 2000)
Lee Williams (Oct 2000 May 2002)
John Hulse (June 2002 date)