Matthew's 'Rawphotography' is sure to be a hit with The Bluebirds fans!

Matthew Kelly is all smiles
Haverfordwest County’s exciting arrival back in the top echelon of Welsh Football will be recorded through the lens of Matthew Kelly, an excellent all-round sportsman in his own right but who will this season be the official photographer of The Bluebirds and be eager to show his undoubted skills in providing action pictures of the highest quality.
Matthew has recently taken a redundancy after 25 years of primary school teaching and is looking to further develop his photography business.
His company is known as ‘RawPhotography’ and is based on the fact there is a file format that is called RAW – and nicely fits in with Matthew’s long-held belief that images are much better if they are taken in a natural, rather than a posed, state.
“I have followed this philosophy when taking wedding photographs, family pictures, celebration events and certainly in a range of sports - and everyone has commented on how natural they look.”

Recently appointed at The Bridge Meadow Stadium – and already looking forward to the challenge
“At The Bridge Meadow Stadium I’m also looking forward to taking images of the players in action, having already taken each of the playing and managerial staff for the website, and I’m very pleased at the way they have turned out.”
He recently began his association with The Bluebirds as a result of the fact that he had gone along to take some photographs for Wyndham Williams, who is the club’s Community Development Officer.
“I had met Wyndham when I was teaching at Sageston School as he used to come there in his role with Sport Pembrokeshire – and he introduced me to new chairman Rob Edwards. After a conversation about what I could offer the club he offered me my new role and I was delighted to accept!”
Started out with dad Laurence
Matthew began his interest in photography as he followed in his dad Laurence’s footsteps with the camera, helping him when he took wedding photographs for family and close friends as a favour.
“I really enjoyed it and as I got a little older acquired my own equipment as a means of relaxation from work.”
Teaching in Sageston and getting involved in sport there
Matthew Kelly “I started my teaching career at a school near Norwich and after two years I returned to Pembrokeshire, where I taught at Sageston Primary School until I recently finished after 23 very enjoyable years.
“Joan Morris was a great head teacher and there were some real characters involved like John Brock, who the children all loved.”
It was perhaps only natural that Matthew should be involved in the school’s sporting activities.
“We were Pembs county primary school’s cricketing champions three times and when we won the South Wales region in 2007 we represented this part of Wales in the UK Finals at Headingley, the test ground in Leeds.
We had players of the calibre of current Carew captain Shaun Whitfield, Lewis Hicks and George Wilkins as team captain – and more recently we twice represented Pembrokeshire at Sophia Gardens in the Welsh Finals where we had talented Pembrokeshire County u11 players like Will Allen, Noah Williams, Finley and Oscar Lewis, Charlie and Ollie Arthur, Rhys and Rhydian Eynon and Connor Davies.  Finley has since gone on to represent Wales in Cricket – a great honour for his whole family and Lawrenny Cricket Club!
They were great days out and all the players were a credit to Sageston School and their families.”
Very recently, another ex-pupil of Matthew’s has gained representative honours, this time in rugby – Courtney Keight.
“I remember Courtney playing Tag Rugby for the school – she was an outstanding runner, full of determination!”
Loved his schools rugby . . .  And his time with Haverfordwest Youth too
Matthew would readily admit that his main sport was rugby where he played as a typically gritty scrum half who enjoyed the physical side of the game as well as having high skill levels.
“At STP School we were very lucky to have Gelly James and Ronnie James as our games teachers and we had a useful side which reached the quarter-finals of the Welsh Schools’ Cup and included Chris Thomas, Mark Morgan, Emyr Christopher, Justin Arnold, Rob and Huw Lloyd as regular players - and when I was in the first XV I played for West Wales under18s, where I came up against some very good players!
“I represented the Pembrokeshire Schools at under 15s and after there being no team for the under 16s I captained them at under 17, 18 and 19 where we had top players like Welsh flanker Rob Appleyard and Scottish winger Craig Moir – and I also played for West Wales under 18s when Gwyn Jones was skipper before going on to lead Wales at senior level.”
There was no club rugby at junior level in those days but Matthew eventually set out with Haverfordwest RFC in an under 16s team coached by Gordon Thomas before moving onto The Blues’ Youth team where Graham Dalton and Micky Davies were the coaches – and they won The Griffiths Cup in Neyland on year.
Rugby in college – and American Football too!
In his first and second years at UWIC (now Cardiff Met) Matthew played a few games for the college’s first team and whilst there also played for a Pembrokeshire under 23s team which won the age-group silverware – and he also widened his sporting experiences by playing American Football.
“Cardiff University had a team which played on Sundays and I managed to get a game there – usually battered and bruised from Saturday’s rugby. It was great fun and I played as a line-backer, which meant my job was a destructive one since I was supposed to tackle anything that moved!

Matthew Kelly eyeing up some decent shots
A senior start with The Otters and then in Norwich for two years
“Whist in Trinity College, Carmarthen, I also played for Narberth for one season and when I was there I mentioned I was off to teach in the Norwich area and John Davies said he knew someone who played there – and I arrived on a Tuesday, trained on the Thursday and played on the Saturday for the seconds.  I had to wait three months before I was eligible to play for the first XV, taking over from retiring scrum half Nick Youngs – an ex-England scrum half from the 1980s and father of England and British Lions’ international players Ben and Tom Youngs!
“North Walsham is a lovely club which played in National League Division Three (South) and we travelled right across the south of England as far as Cheltenham and London for matches – and I enjoyed every minute of it!  I dabbled as a centre for North Walsham and had the odd game at Harfat there, especially when ex-Wales and Great Britain Rugby League star Jonathan Griffiths was playing 9!
Back home to play for The Blues
“I had ten seasons with the first XV at Haverfordwest and I was honoured with the captaincy in 2002/03 – and it was a great moment when we beat Llangwm in the Bishop Cup because I was chosen as man of the match and won the Roy James Trophy, who was my grandfather.
“We had promotion in my first season and another highlight was being captain and beating Tenby United because they were the top team in those days.
“My wife Lisa has been very supportive of my sporting ambitions too.  I remember a conversation in September, early in our relationship.

“Ooh, we’ll have to go to Swansea shopping one Saturday,” she said.
“I’m playing rugby, so we’ll have to wait until April.”
“What?  April?  You’re playing rugby every weekend until then?”
“Er … yes.  Sorry.”
“We’ve got three smashing boys, who have all turned out for Haverfordwest RFC. 
I also had many great contests against Pontyberem RFC, probably the team I enjoyed playing the most.  They had some really talented players and the games were always a hard match, full of running rugby and many tries.  Lots of the boys from the ‘Bont are personal friends now, in particular the best scrum half I’ve played against – PDC Darts Champ ‘The Ferret’ Jonny Clayton.
“I was lucky to play with a smashing group of great characters and I will always be a Blues’ supporter because I enjoyed it so much – and started off my sporting photography by taking action pictures there.”
Pembrokeshire Harriers athletics – and a Welsh hurdles vest!
Matthew readily admits that athletics was just a means of keeping fit for rugby. It started early, though, when he was ten years old joining Stephen Crabb MP at Pembrokeshire Harriers.  Matthew became county champion in the 80m hurdles in years 8 and 9, followed by the 400m hurdles in year 11.
My brother Nathan and sister Nicola were also talented hurdlers and one year all three of us were county champions!  My brother gained a Welsh vest in the 100m hurdles and I was keen to follow in his footsteps.
“I was county champion for a couple of years but at Dyfed level I encountered Welsh Rugby winger Wayne Proctor and discovered what hurdling was all about – he was outstanding.
In year 11 I was awarded my Welsh vest when I came second in the 400m hurdles at the Welsh trials at the Morfa Stadium, Swansea, and competed in Dublin in the UK Championships, with Olympic sprinter Jamie Baulch as team captain.
“It was a great experience and, although I came last, I always wanted to break the 60 second barrier.  I achieved a personal best of 59’6” when running for Wales and I am delighted with that – and I still have my Welsh vest as a token of that achievement.”
Currently, Matthew says that he ‘swims, rides and runs’ a bit.  When asked about any Ironman ambitions … “Never say never!”
And finally . . .
So now Matthew is eagerly looking forward to being involved with his specialised brand of action photography at Haverfordwest County, which is sure to appeal to Bluebirds’ followers, especially at this time when they are unable to turn up at the Bridge Meadow to cheer the team on.

We at are delighted that he will be providing us with images at home matches, along with Fraser Watson at the Western Telegraph, and we are already looking forward to featuring them alongside our excellent match reports!

Matthew Kelly - hat-trick at Pembroke