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Website last updated: 29 Oct, 2014 @ 08:40
When it all began - 1958 – 50 years ago Llantwit Fardre AFC was born. There had been a number of football teams crop up in the area in the previous 50 years but none stayed the pace until one November evening in 1958 at the home of Arthur Harris in Railway Terrace, Llantwit Fardre, where Llantwit Fardre AFC was born.
Arthur Harris was it’s first Treasurer with Mr D Pook as Chairman and Mr T Morgan as Secretary. Appointed as committee members were J Harrison, D John, G Thomas, R Phillips, R Kennedy and P Thomas followed in shortly afterwards by G Evans, D Powell and M Enoch. It was decided to enter a team in the Pontypridd & District Football League once a field was sorted out to play on and moves were made to secure the use of Tonteg Park as it was rumoured Pontypridd YMCA were interested in using this pitch.
In the coming weeks Gwyn Evans was appointed team captain and Dai John vice captain both proposed and seconded by V Phillips and R Phillips. John Harrison was to be appointed trainer. Mr S A Bebb accepted the position of Club Patron and made a generous donation to help the club on it’s way. Mr Bob Thomas of Church Village Dairy accepted the position as Club President.
From December, meetings transferred to the Hollybush Hotel and members set about organising the affairs of the club and vital fund raising. A new kit was purchased from Goulds of Pontypridd for £17-2s-6d and Mr Owen John was approached for timber to make goal posts. At a General Meeting on January 22nd 1959 the topic of members contributions was hotly discussed. A proposal of 2/6d was put forward but rejected by all as too high. G Evans proposed 1/3d but received no seconder and so 9d proposed by T Harris, seconded A Harris was agreed upon. ‘Members Subs’ a tradition that exists today and without which no club would have survived.
Players were now being organised and the team started to take shape. R Phillips as goalkeeper, right back A Parry, half backs D John and G Thomas, wingers J Harrison, P Thomas and K Williams and inside forwards V Phillips, R Kennedy and G Evans. The search for a left back, centre half and centre forward was on in order to be ready to start life in the season 1959/1960 in the Pontypridd & District Football League, now sadly no more, but part of the now Pontypridd and Rhymney Valley Football League.
The club progressed steadily through the 60’s and on into the 70’s. Through it’s ranks passed players such as Benny Morgan, Graham and Dai John, David Williams, Richie Kennedy, Gordon Watkins, Johnny Harrison, Gwyn Evans, Brian and Clive Harry, Mal Enoch, Don French, Dai Pearce and Anthony O’Brien to name but a few.
Arriving into the 70’s we see the emergence of many talented players and teams, both senior and junior that brought glory to the Club. Unquestionably the greatest was the all conquering team of season 1975 – 76 that swept the board in the ‘Ponty League’ by winning all four competitions, the League, Geyhound Cup, Greatrex Cup and Horniman Cup. A feat of amazing achievement, never to be matched. Also joining them in Llantwit Legend was the 1974 Rhondda League Whitbread Cup winners, Spanner’s Heroes, who by being bottom of the league rose to beat league champions Cambrian and start 30 years of rivalry with the Rhondda club.
Notable players who came to prominence at this time were Eric and Dennis Green, John Morgan, Robert Pitt, Clive Harry, Keri Jones, Mike and Mekola Tuchli, Peter Williams, Gareth Breeze, Dickie Jenkins, Brian Rolls, Shaun Harris and goal scorer extraordinaire Mike Minton. Others were John James, Kelvin John, Dean Barrett, Alan Humphries, Paul Davies, Mervyn Davies, Keri ‘Jakey’ Dakins and Colin ‘Togsy’ Morgan.
Nearly all these players are local boys and Llantwit has been proud that for the 5 decades of it’s existence they have regularly drawn players from it’s own neighbourhood. This tradition still exists today even in an age of the ‘mercenary’ where money is God over the pleasure of playing for nowt.
The success of the 70’s was highlighted by the Club’s elevation into the South Wales Amateur League in 1976 and so started another chapter in the Club’s history. Season 1976- 77 saw them being crowned Second Division Champions and 1977- 78 they won the Corinthian Cup. The 80’s saw further successes with the ‘Double’ – League and Corinthian Cup in season 1982-83 being achieved thanks to Llantwit’s own Smash and Grab double act, Mike Minton and Robbie Williams who scored over 100 goals between them. Other players coming to prominence in this decade were Steve Holt, Martin Rees, Tony Real, Eddie Pullen and Hayden Vile.
Then followed 20 years of life in the South Wales Amateur League and Ponty League where teams at all levels had the occasional success. Season 2002-03 saw Llantwit rise back to glory with them winning the South Wales Amateur League and Corinthian Cup runners up. A Welsh League play off decider win over Ynyshir Albion put them in contention for entry into the Welsh League but with Tonteg Park falling short of the Welsh League criteria it meant a frantic summer of activity driven by Chairman Paul Davies and Team Manager Mekola Tuchli to get everything ready for the start of the league. With Treforest FC providing a cushion in case the dead line was not reached, numerous people worked very hard to raise the cash and carry out all the work needed to achieve Llantwit it’s dream of Welsh League football.