Sporting Snippets - Part 38 - The starting point

This week Bill Carne stumbled across the first few-ever sets of sporting snippets that appeared in the old ‘West Wales Guardian’ as long ago as September 1985 so he thought it might be nice to jog a few memories about those dim and distant days, with some of the great characters having sadly passed away but still fondly remembered by those of us who were lucky enough to know them.

126 year old Angle midfield

The first-ever story related the way old timers can step in again after they have stepped down from playing – and this story was told to me by the late, great Mike Hughes, the backbone of Angle AFC at the Eastgate Hotel in Pembroke that night as he oiled his aching joints with a couple of well-earned pints of landlord Barry Grange’s best bitter.
Angle football team made a successful start to their new campaign as they came back from 1-0 down to beat St Clears 4-2, thanks to two goals apiece from Norman Cooke and Robert Lewis, despite the fact that they only had nine players and lost influential skipper Kevin Jenkins  in the opening minutes with a broken bone in his ankle.

It was always going to be a real struggle to field a team but into the breach stepped three great men in club sec Mike Hughes, chairman Peter Thomas and committeeman Roy Watkins, as a three-man midfield whose combined age was 126 years!

They were obviously chuffed with the result but younger players at the seaside village club are worried because with a pint in their hands afterwards this talented trio were threatening to permanently come out of retirement!

 Mike Hughes with Peter Thomas


Robert IzzardA foreign language spoken in Manorbier dressing room

On the same day Manorbier also got off to a flying start – and there was humour aplenty flying around about the unusual composition of their team.
Manorbier AFC made a terrific start to the new campaign with a surprise 3-2 win over ‘big guns’ Johnston, with an amazing eight players born and bred in Liverpool, and no fewer than 14 ‘Scousers’ on their staff as a large number of workers had moved into the area on heavy construction jobs.

It has been rumoured that local lads Robert Izzard, Brian Ormond and Eddie Jones are taking special lessons in this very distinct dialect of the English language so that they can understand just what their tem-mates are talking about.

We’ll let you know how they get on later in the season!


Nervous debutant at Crickmarren

Anthony ‘Villas’ Morgan became a very committed player for Pembroke RFC and created a special change of position that few others have emulated since, if ever!

It was a nervous Anthony Morgan who found out on Saturday morning that he was to play prop for Pembroke’s first XV at Llangwm and who could blame him because in his previous rugby existence he played on the wing and had odd games in the centre, or even as a burly scrum half.

But he had converted to the front row in readiness for this campaign and turned in a solid display that pleased skipper Gareth Davies, who told us, “’Villas’ did a good job in the scrums – and even managed a couple of slow sidesteps when he received the ball from rucks and mauls!”

Scarlet’s hooker Richard Baker said that he was impressed by Anthony’s debut and so all’s well that ended well because two penalties by outside half Rodney Cadogan saw them win by 6-0 in a tight tussle.

So well done ‘Villas’ – your supporters’ club, of which I am proud to be one, was very proud of you!

Gareth Davies, Anthony Morgan and Richard Baker


Danny’s still causing mayhem!

Danny ThomasDanny Thomas is still heavily involved in local football as president of the Pembrokeshire Referees’ Society but often featured in this column in his younger days when he was a man in the middle, with little stories like this one . . .
Popular referee Danny Thomas showed his passing ability as a footballer in his younger days as a player at Taffs Well, Manorbier and Monkton Swifts.

He was back as referee at Manorbier recently, where full back Mark Davies had hoofed the ball over the hedge into the next field – and Danny called for the spare ball and correctly checked it was properly inflated.

But when he tried to return the ball to the touchline he sliced his kick and sent it into the middle of a bed of nettles – and by the time someone got stung a couple of times trying to retrieve it the original ball was back available!

There was a huge amount of laughter and a few comments but as usual Danny had the last word – but I daren’t tell you in a family paper like this!


‘Feb’s’ on the mark as Lawrenny start well

Barry PhillipsThat Saturday saw Lawrenny Football Club play their first-ever league game and they started with a bang against Bancyfelin . . .
Lawrenny AFC have sprung to life as their new team, composed in the main of players who spend their summer months on the same village field playing cricket, set out in Division Five with a thumping 4-0 win over Bancyfelin.

Chris Williams told me afterwards it was a promising all-round team performance but undoubtedly leading the way up front was Barry Phillips, known to all as ‘Feb’ and someone who can also turn a cricket match on its head with his powerful hitting.

But on this occasion it was his nose for goals that saw him find the net four times and we are sure that Lawrenny will grow in stature because in that football team are some good all-round sportsmen and some terrific characters who are already a credit to their village and county!


The best of luck to Lawrenny from us!

Steve PantonQuote of the Week
Chick Panton was another character at Angle AFC and in his playing days as a goalkeeper, despite having lost an eye in a childhood playing accident, with the village club was someone whose sense of humour I loved . . .
My quote of the week came from Steve ‘Chick’ Panton, who as the custodian of Angle AFC’s second string had the misfortune to have NINE goals fired past him by Haverfordwest County Seconds at the Bridge Meadow.

He had no sympathy from his first team colleagues back in Pembroke afterwards, who told him it was because he’s missed the previous week’s training sessions.

His answer was immediate: “Don’t blame me – it was the defence – and the referee!”

Rumour has it that there’ll be more sessions missed now because he has trotted off to Corfu to get some sun on his back, which he strained when picking the ball out of the net so many times!


‘Dickie has packed his bags too!

Haydn PhillipsIn Corfu with ‘Chick’ is first team pal Haydn ‘Dickie’ Phillips, who has also caused a little mayhem in his other sporting role as a batsman with Pembroke CC . . .
Joining Steve in Corfu is Dickie Phillips – but not before his pals at Treleet Cricket Ground had an anxious few moments in double checking that he hadn’t taken the club kit-bag with him.

And the reason for this strange behaviour?

A couple of weeks before he attended his brother Nigel’s wedding in Scotland with the club kit stored safely away in the boot of his car, having forgotten to deposit back in the clubhouse after the previous week’s away match, leaving his team-mates fuming about his temporary amnesia and their having to borrow more kit so that they could play whilst he was being best man, smartly dressed in his kilt!

It will take some time to live down, let me tell you!