LLANYMYNECH has a unique place in the annals of Welsh football history.

In May 1858 the village hosted a football match to celebrate the 'commencement of railway works in the neighbourhood'

More than 200 people, comprising of 'navvies, rockmen and villagers' turned out for the match at Glanverniew House which the North Wales Chronicle reported 'a football club being formed.'

This means Llanymynech is home to the oldest football club in Wales, predating the Wrexham Football Club which existed from 1864 to 1883 and considered by many to be the forerunner of the existing Wrexham club.

While the village continued to grow thanks to the railway and quarry the next mention of football does not appear until 1879.

The November 21 edition of the Cambrian News reported: 'At a meeting recently held in the School Room it was resolved to form a football club in the village. There was a good attendance of young men who were wishful to become members. Officers were elected and the necessary rules drawn up. A low rate of subscription was fixed to enable any who are anxious to become members to join the club. Upward of sixteen have given their subscriptions so that there is a probability of success. It is hoped many may be induced to become members and take an interest in the club.'

Llanymynech, straddling the border with Shropshire, played English and Welsh opposition at the end of the 19th century.

The Llanymynech Reds played Derwen in Gobowen in February 1896, winning by six goals to two.

Four years later Llanymynech lost 3-0 to Whittington in the semi-final of the Oswestry Cottage Hospital Charity Cup.

The sides met again in the final of the Village Cup in 1902.

The April 3 edition of the County Times reported the match as the biggest in the competition's history.

'The silver challenge cup which has been offered annually for competition since 1891 among the villages in the neighborhood of Oswestry has caused many an exciting match but probably there has never been a match which has aroused more interest than the meeting of the teams who met in Oswestry on Saturday.

'The attendance proved one of the largest during the season and it was pretty evident that the Llanymynech supporters had a large majority.

'The weather on the whole capital but a wind which blew across the ground in an oblique direction somewhat interfered with the play.'

The Llanymynech team on the day comprised of: R Bowyer, G Bowyer, E Davies, D Ellis, T Ellis, D Davies, W Jones, Frank Jones, T Jones, J Payne and R Morris.

Whittington would eventually prevail 2-0 winners with the report stating 'Llanymynech did some good things but often they were spoiled by bad play. They needed more method and judgement.'

At the end of the game Reverend Allen Jones consoled Llanymynech, saying: "We have witnessed a very interesting and exciting game which would compare favourably with many a game played by premier teams.

"I am struck with the difference between football now and the time when the cup first offered for competition. It was stated 11 years ago for the purpose of providing something to break the monotony of village life and that object has been attained. Although Llanymynech have lost they had not needed to be ashamed. I had thought they were going to win but when the first goal was scored against them they seemed to fall to pieces. I hope Llanymynech win it next year. Llanymynech have not been together as long as Whittington and if they stick together for a few seasons they will hold their own with any village team.'

Llanymynech's glory years arrived two decades later with the Montgomeryshire Cup lifted in 1926 and 1927.

The trophy was also lifted either side of World War Two with the club bringing home the trophy in 1936 and in 1945.

It was during this time the club's most famous son emerged through their ranks.

Birmingham born George Davies was brought up in the village and played for the club before signing for Owestry in 1946 where his eye catching performances in defence over four seasons caught the eye of Sheffield Wednesday scouts.

Davies signed for the Owls in 1950 and made almost a century of appearances for the Yorkshire club before ending his career with Chester City.

Meanwhile Llanymynech became a prominent club in Montgomeryshire, ending runners-up in the Montgomeryshire League for three successive seasons between 1959 and 1961 while lifting the county cup for a fifth time in 1961.

However the club resigned from the Montgomeryshire League in 1962 and would remain absent from the Welsh football scene for the next nine years.

The club briefly returned in 1971 only to resign again in 1972.

Another decade in the wilderness followed before returning in 1980 but once again their stay was brief and departed again in 1982.

The club was back in 1989, winning the Montgomeryshire League second division in 1991 and would enjoy three seasons in the first division before relegation in 1994 and resignation in 1997.

However the long story of football in Llanymymech was not over.

In 2011 the club reformed once again with the new club adopting the red kit of their ancestors which they wore with pride to promotion from the second division of the Montgomeryshire League in 2015.

The club competed in the first division for several seasons before relegation back to the second division though have enjoyed success since with the Consolation Cup won in 2017.

Llanymynech Football Club is here to stay with their Station Road home now synonymous with the Reds.

A club spokesman said: "Our ambitions for the future are to keep football at Llanymynech and to have a strong connection with our junior side, offering young lads from the local area a great club to join after junior football.

"Nathan Bartram and Scott Hamilton reformed the club in 2011 and Simon Botley ran the club single handedly for a number of years keeping the club afloat despite financial difficulties.

"In more recent times, Josh Hayward our player manager has gone above and beyond for the club alongside his committee team of Jack Roberts, Mat Edwards, Daniel Astley, Callum Whyte, Ben Ridgeway and Lewis Williams.

"Jamie Phillips has played the most games since our reformation at 190 games for the club and Callum Whyte is the club's top scorer since it’s reformation with 67 goals.

"Unlike many local clubs we have kept the same core of a squad for almost ten years which has created a real family feel around the place."

Bartram is now back at the helm and eagerly awaiting the start of football activities once more.