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RHAYADER TOWN
RESEARCH has uncovered details of a team playing in Rhayader as far back as 1884, the side gaining a 1-1 draw with Newtown who were one of Wales’ most successful clubs of the period.
Sadly, detailed records of the club’s history during the latter part of the 19th century are thin on the ground, although occasional references have been located. For example, following a series of games that were presumed to be of the ‘friendly’ variety, details of competitive games in the 1890/91 season have come to light.
Rhayader played in the Welsh Cup against Oswestry losing by the odd goal in seven and, a year later, were smartly despatched from the competition by Newtown, who won a cup-tie 6-1. Reports also indicate that Rhayader played in the Hereford Cup in 1891, Knighton Town providing the opposition.
In 1900, Rhayader were beaten 1-0 at home by the eventual winners of the Welsh Cup that season, Aberystwyth Town, having shown a considerable improvement in their playing standard. That was to continue for, in 1912/13, Rhayader progressed further than ever before in the Welsh Cup, reaching the last 16 before being soundly beaten 9-0 by Pontypridd. In fact, Pontypridd went on to the final where they lost 1-nil to Swansea Town in a replay.
The club also ventured to the last 16 of the Welsh Cup in 1928/29 before bowing out to New Tredegar following a replay. Of interest, during the years after the first world war up to 1935, Rhayader’s conquerors in the cup were regularly Llanidloes, Llandrindod or Builth Wells, though this run was ended in 1935/36 when Town were defeated by Aberystwyth.
Insofar as league records are concerned, statistical information has proved to be obscure until the mid-1920s. In season 1925/26, Rhayader took up membership of the Mid-Wales section of the Welsh National League. Though they withdrew for the 1927/28 term, the club returned to the competition in 1928 and remained until the national league structure was dismantled.
Once more, Rhayader seemed to vanish from the footballing scene only to reappear as members of the Mid-Wales (South) League in 1938/39, finishing fourth of five teams.
The Weirglodd
Rhayader play at the Wierglodd
The club reformed in the latter part of the 1940s and were again to be found playing their soccer in the Mid-Wales (South) League in 1947/48, seemingly as Turfs Rhayader F.C. However, by 1950/1 they had moved into the Mid-Wales League. Once again, the club seemed to disappear until the end of the decade but, by the mid-1960s, were competing in the Mid-Wales League and, in 1966/67, were victorious in the Radnorshire Cup Final.
Sixteen seasons in the Mid-Wales League saw Rhayader struggle virtually throughout, although the club finished bottom of the league on only three occasions. With the change of title to Central Wales League in 1981/82, Rhayader slowly began to climb into more respectable positions and finished 5th in 1987/88 when the competition went under the glorious title of the British Rail Sprinter League!
It was the formation of the League of Wales in 1992/93 that allowed Rhayader Town access to the Cymru Alliance, the latter having lost eight of its 16 clubs to the new national competition. Following a period of adjustment to their new surroundings, Rhayader quickly made great strides forward. The club consolidated on the administrative front and made a positive push for promotion. Both the 1993/94 and 1994/95 seasons were relatively successful, with the team gaining a firm foothold in mid-table.
Then in 1995/96 came the first fruits of ambition when Rhayader progressed to 6th place in the Cymru Alliance, recording 20 league victories and scoring 66 goals. Thereafter, it took just 12 months to reach the pinnacle when, under the managership of Richard Cross, Rhayader had a superb season and gained the Cymru Alliance championship. Throughout a campaign of 34 league games, Town were beaten just once and netted 79 goals against only 25 conceded. The club also won the Central Wales Cup.
A programme of ground improvements commenced once the club had been accepted into the League of Wales and Y Weirglodd became a most attractive stadium. Whilst never finishing in the top half of the league, Rhayader Town performed consistently enough to be comfortably placed in each of their first four campaigns in the League of Wales. The fifth season, 2001/2002, proved their undoing, however, when the team recorded just three victories in 34 matches and suffered relegation, choosing to drop back to play in mid-Wales soccer rather than a return to the Cymru Alliance.

Season
Comp
P
W
D
L
F
A
Pts
Pos
1992/3
CA
28
6
5
17
32
66
23
13
1993/4
CA
34
10
5
19
50
86
35
13
1994/5
CA
34
11
6
17
48
66
39
11
1995/6
CA
36
20
5
11
66
44
65
6
1996/7
CA
34
24
12
1
79
25
75
1
1997/8
LoW
38
11
6
21
55
78
39
15
1998/9
LoW
32
5
11
16
29
54
26
15
1999/0
LoW
34
9
7
18
34
47
34
14
2000/1
LoW
34
10
10
14
54
65
40
12
2001/2
LoW
34
3
6
25
29
89
15
18
2002/3
MWL
2003/4
MWL
26
4
7
15
35
74
19
12
TOTAL  
364
110
80
174
511
694
410
LoW=League of Wales/WP
CA=Cymru Alliance
MWL=Spar Mid-Wales League
League stats
Biggest Home Wins
5-0 v Cemaes Bay 25/10/97
5-0 v Conwy United 19/04/00
4-2 v Llanelli 02/09/00
Biggest Away Wins
6-3 at Cwmbran Town 13/11/98
4-0 at Haverfordwest County 11/11/00
4-2 at Haverfordwest County 07/02/98
Biggest Home Defeats
0-7 by Bangor City 23/04/02
2-6 by Caersws 12/03/02
0-5 by Inter CableTel 07/11/98
Biggest Away Defeats
1-7 at Barry Town 03/10/98
0-5 at Connahs Quay Nomads 05/05/01
0-5 at Barry Town 27/10/01
0-5 at Carmarthen Town 20/04/02
Most Goals in One Season
16 by Hugh Clarke 1997/1998
15 by Craig Hughes 2000/2001
Most Goals in One Match
3 by Hugh Clarke v Haverfordwest County 03/01/98
3 by Wayne Hewitt v Llanelli 13/01/01
Top Scorers in Aggregate
16 by Hugh Clarke (1997 1998)
15 by Craig Hughes (2000 2001)
11 by Richard Jones (1997 1999)
Most Appearances
81 (+22 Sub) by Dylan McPhee (1997 2002)
79 (+1 Sub) by Michael Barton (1998 2001)
67 (+10 Sub) by Glen Willis (1998 2001)
63 (+35 Sub) by Craig Williams (1997 2002)
Richard Cross (Aug 1997 - Dec 1997)
Lee Robinson (Dec 1997 - Jan 1998)
Chris Marustik (Jan 1998 - Apr 1998)
Mark Pound (Apr 1998 - Aug 1998)
Tomi Morgan (Oct 1998 Dec 1998)
John Lewis (Jan 1999 May 1999)
Lenny Elwill (June 1999 Jan 2000)
Gary Proctor (Jan 2000 Jan 2001)
Ray John (Jan 2001- May 2001)
Kim Bowley (June 2001 Sept 2001)
Meirion Appleton (Oct 2001 May 2002)
Jack Watkins (May 2002 - May 2004)
John Morris (May 2004 - date)