Bangor City F.C.
|Full name||Bangor City Football Club|
|Founded||1876as Bangor F.C.|
|Ground||Bangor University Stadium, Bangor|
|Capacity||3,000 (1,100 seated)|
|League||Welsh Premier League|
|2015–16||Welsh Premier League, 9th|
|Website||Club home page|
Bangor City Football Club (Welsh: Clwb Pêl-droed Dinas Bangor) are a semi-professional Welsh football club from the City of Bangor, Gwynedd. The club compete in the Welsh Premier League, being ever present since the league was founded in 1992. [a]
Founded in 1876, Bangor City have played in the inaugural season of the Welsh Cup and the UEFA Europa League, along with being founder members of the North Wales Coast League, the Welsh National League, the North Wales Combination, the Welsh League (North), the Northern Premier League, the Alliance Premier League and the League of Wales.
The club's home colours have traditionally been Royal blue shirts, Royal blue shorts and Royal blue socks, although over the years home colours have varied to include Royal blue and yellow and scarlet and Royal blue.
Pre-League of Wales era (1876–1992)
Bangor City F.C. is one of Wales' older football clubs, and has an illustrious history of competition in European football, the English pyramid system and now the Welsh Premier League.
Bangor was a founder member of the North Wales Coast League in 1893, the Welsh National League in 1921, the North Wales Combination in 1930, the Welsh League (North) in 1935, the Northern Premier League in 1968, the Alliance Premier League (now Football Conference) in 1979, and in 1992 the League of Wales.
In the 1961–62 season, Bangor City won the Welsh Cup, and consequently was entered in the European Cup Winners' Cup for the first time. In the first round, Bangor was drawn against the Italian Cup winners, Napoli, at the time one of Europe's greatest football teams. A thrashing was confidently expected. In the first leg, played at Farrar Road, unexpectedly Bangor won 2–0; three weeks later, in front of a crowd of 80,000 in Naples, the result was 3–1 in Napoli's favour. Under modern rules, Bangor would have progressed under the "away goals" rule, but at the time the tie was drawn 3–3 and a playoff had to be played, at Arsenal's Highbury Stadium, in London (this was the first ECWC tie played at Highbury), and this time AS Napoli won 2–1, scoring the winner seven minutes from the end of the match, to put an end to Bangor's dreams for the moment.
World superstar Bobby Charlton guested for the Blues in the 1978 Anglo-Italian Tournament. At the end of 1977–78 when Southport was relegated from the English Football League Fourth Division, Bangor City, Boston United and Wigan Athletic were considered for promotion instead. Due to Wigan Athletic having installed crush barriers, Bangor missed out on promotion.
In 1979–80 Bangor City was invited to compete in the Alliance Premier League, which would become the English game's de facto fifth division.
On 12 May 1984 Bangor became the first Welsh club to play at Wembley since Cardiff in 1927, when reaching the FA Trophy final against Northwich Victoria. The match finished 1–1, with local boy Paul Whelan scoring for Bangor. The replay was played in Stoke's Victoria Ground, and despite a goal from another Bangor lad (Phil Lunn), Bangor lost 2–1 conceding in the last minute.
In 1985 Bangor City was back in the ECWC, in the first round drawn against the Norwegian cup winners, Fredrikstad. The first leg in Norway was a 1–1 draw, while the return leg in Bangor was a 0–0 draw, resulting in Bangor progressing to the second round, where the club was drawn against the mighty Spanish side Atlético Madrid. Atlético was expected to win easily, but in the event the first leg in Bangor was only won 2–0; in the return leg in Madrid, Bangor won much admiration with a dogged defence which only allowed Atlético one more goal, and Bangor keeper Dai Davies saved an Atlético penalty kick.
Interestingly, captain of Bangor that season was midfielder Mark Palios, who was later to find himself in the headlines as chief executive of the English Football Association during 2004–05. Against Atletico, Palios shaved the post with a header in the first minute that would have given Bangor an unlikely lead in the first leg at Farrar Road following a cross by Phil Lunn.
Early League of Wales years (1992–2007)
In 1994 as League of Wales Champions, Bangor City entered the UEFA Cup. They were drawn against the Icelandic champions, IA Akranes, and were seriously hampered by UEFA's ruling that a team could only contain three foreigners – many of Bangor's team were English, and despite some creative genealogy it was not possible to field a full-strength Welsh side. Akranes won the leg in Bangor by 2–1 (the match was played in the close season when Bangor hadn't played a competitive match in three months), while Bangor lost the match in Iceland by 2–0.
In 1995 Bangor City retained the League of Wales championship Due to the accurate service of striking from Nick Dillon, and this time drew the Polish champions Widzew Łódź in the preliminary round of the UEFA Cup. Łódź were an extremely powerful side,But Nick dominated throughout the game. Having played Liverpool, Juventus and Manchester United in earlier campaigns, and quite easily triumphed over Bangor City, winning 4–0 in Bangor and 1–0 in Łódź . Manager at the time was Nigel Adkins, now in charge of Championship side Reading.
In 1998 Bangor were back in the Cup Winners' Cup, having won the Welsh Cup under the stewardship of Scottish International and Everton legend Graeme Sharp, assisted by North West non-league expert John Hulse.
Unfortunately between winning the Welsh Cup and playing their opponents, FC Haka, the manager and most of the team had left, so new manager John King had the impossible task of putting together a completely new side, a week before the start of the Welsh football season (and three-quarters of the way through the Finnish football season). Unsurprisingly Bangor were beaten, 2–0 at home, and 1–0 in Finland.
In 2006 the club made it to the Welsh Cup final where they were beaten by Rhyl 2–0 at Wrexham's Racecourse ground. The game turned on a controversial handball decision 3 minutes after the break when Paul O'Neill was adjudged to have handled the ball, the resulting spot kick gave Rhyl a decisive lead and a second goal added 12 minutes from the end broke Bangor hearts on the day.
Powell years (2007– 2016)
The club managed to win back the Welsh Cup in 2008, defying the odds and defeating league high fliers Llanelli 4–2 after extra time at Latham Park, Newtown. An injury time equaliser saw a pitch invasion by celebrating Bangor fans before the Blues were able proceeding to defeat their expensively-assembled opponents during the additional period.
Victory in the Welsh Cup meant that Bangor had again qualified for Europe and in the following seasons UEFA Cup they were drawn to face FC Midtjylland of Denmark. The first leg was held at the Racecourse ground, Wrexham, saw Bangor beaten 6–1 by a talented Danish side.
Despite this early setback Bangor ended the 2008–09 season with yet more silverware as they retained the Welsh Cup by defeating Aberystwyth Town 2–0 in a match held at Parc Y Scarlets, Llanelli. The result maintained manager Neville Powell's 100% record in the Welsh Cup competition since joining the Farrar Road club at the start of the 2007–08 season, the manager cementing his legendary status with the club following his lengthy period as a player in the mid to late 80s including that famous Fredrikstad/Atlético Madrid campaign in 1985.
The 2008–09 Welsh Cup success meant that Bangor participated in the inaugural Europa League competition at the start of the 2009–10 season. They were drawn to face Honka Espoo in the second qualifying round and were eliminated at the first hurdle losing 3–0 on aggregate.
In the 2010–11 Europa League campaign, Bangor City were again drawn against Honka Espoo but this time they made history by overcoming the Finnish side in the Europa League second qualifying round with a 3–2 aggregate scoreline. Bangor succumbed to Portuguese side Marítimo in the third qualifying round. Despite losing the first leg heavily in Portugal, Bangor restored great pride in the second leg at Wrexham, holding a 1–0 lead at half-time before going on to lose a hard-fought game 2–1.
The 2010–11 season marked a significant change in the set-up of the Welsh Premiership, with Bangor one of the 12 sides (down from 18) contesting the championship. They won their opening 15 games of the season, eventually winning their first league title in 16 years on the final day of the season. This was achieved by beating the current champions, TNS, 1–0.
By winning their competitive league, they were involved in the 2011–12 Champions League campaign. Bangor City were against HJK Helsinki in the second qualifying round but lost 3–0 at home. In the away fixture, Bangor City were thrashed 10–0 in the game and 13–0 on aggregate. Bangor finished second in 2011-12's Welsh Premiership, keeping in contention for the title until the final game of the season, a decider against TNS who won the day.
In July 2012 Bangor City forward Les Davies made the 32-man longlist for UEFA's best player in Europe award.
2012-13 began with a 0-0 home draw against Moldovan side FC Zimbru Chisnau in the first leg of the UEFA Europa League, first qualifying round. The Citizens lost the away leg 2-1 to bow out. The season petered out with City finishing thirddomestically, losing the Welsh Cup Final 3-1 after extra time to Prestatyn Town and then being defeated days later in the European playoffs by Bala Town.
Bangor then experienced a downward trajectory, finishing fourth in 2013-14. The team did qualify for 2014–15 Europa League but crashed out 8-0 on aggregate to Icelandic side Sjarnan. It heralded a slide during which the side was in real danger of relegation for much of the season. A much better second half of the season helped the team stay up in tenth position. 2015-16 was another struggle for the blues, who ended up in ninth place.
On the 25th of July 2016 news broke that Neville Powell had been "relieved of his duties", according to a statement released by the club.
In August 2016 ex-Welsh International and FIFA Pro Licence holder Andy Legg was appointed manager of the club.
When the club was first founded, Bangor played their home games on a small field called Maes-y-Dref in the Hirael area of the City. However, visiting teams often protested about the condition of the playing area and the cramped conditions. Despite this Bangor remained at their Maes-y-Dref ground until being evicted to make way for allotments in 1919.
Farrar Road (1919–2011)
Needing to fulfill their home fixtures in the league the club used the Bangor Cricket Club ground at Farrar Road. The Farrar Road ground has served as home to the club ever since and has also hosted two Welsh Senior Cup Finals in 1928 and 1953. The ground has also hosted various other domestic finals and tournaments over the years. Bangor played their last match at Farrar Road, a 5–3 win over Prestatyn Town, on 27 December 2011 before moving to Nantporth.
The new stadium is on the outskirts of the city, at the University's former Nantporth playing field near the Menai Strait. The stadium was completed in January 2012, the first game took place on 24 January, where Bangor hosted local neighbours Caernarfon Wanderers, the score ended 6–1 to the Citizens. In July 2012 Nantporth played host to Bangor City's first European game at Bangor for 14 years in which 1022 people attended to watch Bangor City take on FC Zimbru of Moldova. Starting in 2012–13 the ground will be known officially as "The Book People Stadium" after a three-year deal with the literary company. The new ground hosted its first competitive international on 13 August 2013 as Wales U21 lost 5–1 to Finland U21, the first U21 international held in Bangor since 1983. Nantporth has hosted various other Welsh youth and schools matches and also gone on to host more Wales U21 games. On the 27th of August Bangor University announced that a new partnership had been agreed with the club, announcing the new name of the ground as Bangor University Stadium.
Kit manufacturers and sponsors
|Period||Kit manufacturer||Shirt sponsor|
|2015–16||Dafydd Hardy (Home)
Anglesey Sea Zoo (Away)
|2016-||Uhlsport||Vaughan Sports Management|
Formed in 2004, the Bangor City Football Club Supporters' Association (or BCFCSA) is independent of the club itself but its representatives are members of the management board, giving the fans a voice in the running of Bangor City. The Association has been responsible for raising almost £70,000 for the club since its inception and regularly arranges travel for fans to away matches. BCFCSA membership is open to all supporters of Bangor City.
|Welsh Premier League||2,593||Prestatyn Town||2011–12||5–3|
|Welsh Cup||12,000||Cardiff City||1927–28||0–2|
|UEFA Champions League||1,189||HJK Helsinki||2011–12||0–3|
|UEFA Europa League||1,022||Zimbru Chișinău||2012–13||0–0|
|UEFA Cup1||3,426||ÍA Akranes||1994–95||1–2|
|UEFA Cup Winners' Cup2||12,000||Napoli||1962–63||2–0|
|UEFA Intertoto Cup2||1,032||Gloria Bistriţa||2003||0–1|
- Note 1: Now known as the UEFA Europa League.
- Note 2: Competition now defunct.
- As of 20 September 2016
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
- Director of Football: Stephen Vaughan
- Chairman: Ivor Jenkins
- President: Gordon Craig
- Commercial Director: James Lees
- Director & Club Accountant: Andy Haslam
- Secretary: Gwynfor Jones
Current technical staff
|Player-Assistant Manager||Damien Allen|
|First-Team Coach||Alan Lewer|
|Goalkeeper Coach||Steve Owen|
|Child Welfare Officer||Myrddyn Hughes|
|1962–63||European Cup Winners' Cup||PR||Napoli||2–0||1–3||3–31|
|1985–86||UEFA Cup Winners' Cup||1R||Fredrikstad||0–0||1–1||1–1 (a)|
|1994–95||UEFA Cup||PR||ÍA Akranes||1–2||0–2||1–4|
|1995–96||UEFA Cup||PR||Widzew Łódź||0–4||0–1||0–5|
|1998–99||UEFA Cup Winners' Cup||QR||FC Haka||0–2||0–1||0–3|
|2000–01||UEFA Cup||QR||Halmstads BK||0–7||0–4||0–11|
|2003||UEFA Intertoto Cup||1R||Gloria Bistriţa||0–1||2–5||2–6|
|2005||UEFA Intertoto Cup||1R||Dinaburg FC||1–2||0–2||1–4|
|2008–09||UEFA Cup||1Q||FC Midtjylland||1–6||0–4||1–10|
|2009–10||UEFA Europa League||2Q||Honka Espoo||0–1||0–2||0–3|
|2010–11||UEFA Europa League||2Q||Honka Espoo||2–1||1–1||3–2|
|2011–12||UEFA Champions League||2Q||HJK Helsinki||0–3||0–10||0–13|
|2012–13||UEFA Europa League||1Q||Zimbru Chișinău||0–0||1–2||1–2|
|2014–15||UEFA Europa League||1Q||Stjarnan||0–4||0–4||0–8|
- Note 1: Napoli won playoff game 2–1 at Highbury, London.
- PR: Preliminary round
- QR: Qualifying round
- 1R: First round
- 2R: Second round
- 1Q: First qualifying round
- 2Q: Second qualifying round
- 3Q: Third qualifying round
- Welsh Premier League:[a] (1992–present)
- Northern Premier League[b]: (1968–79, 1981–82, 1984–92)
- North Wales Coast League: (1893–1898)
- Champions (5): 1895–96, 1899–00, 1900–01, 1903–04, 1919–20
- Runners-up (1): 1896–97
- The Combination (1898–1911)
- Runners-up (1): 1910–11
- North Wales Football Combination (1930–32)
- Runners-up (1): 1930–31
- Lancashire Combination (1938–50)
- Runners-up (1): 1938–39
- Cheshire County League (1950–68)
- Runners-up (2): 1953–54, 1958–59
- Welsh Senior Cup: (1877–present)
- Welsh League Cup (1992–present)
- Finalists (6): 1994, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2009
- North Wales Coast Challenge Cup:
- Winners (13): 1927, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1947, 1951, 1958, 1965, 1968, 1993, 1999, 2005, 2012
- FA Trophy
- Finalists (1): 1983–84
- Northern Premier League Challenge Cup:
- Winners (1): 1969
- Northern Premier League President's Cup:
- Winners (1): 1989
- Northern Premier League Shield:
- Winners (1): 1987
- North Wales Coast Amateur Cup:[c]
- Winners (9): 1895, 1896, 1898, 1899, 1901, 1903, 1905, 1906, 1912
- North West Wales Challenge Cup:
- Winners (1): 1886
History in domestic competitions
Since the formation of the League of Wales in 1992.
|Season||League||Position||Pld||W||D||L||GF||GA||GD||Pts||Welsh Cup||League Cup|
|1992–93||Welsh Premier League||5th||38||19||7||12||77||58||+19||64||Fourth round||First round|
|1993–94||Welsh Premier League||1st||38||26||5||7||82||26||+56||83||Semi-finals||Runners-up|
|1994–95||Welsh Premier League||1st||38||27||7||4||96||26||+70||88||Quarter-finals||Quarter-finals|
|1995–96||Welsh Premier League||4th||40||21||6||13||72||65||+7||69||Third round||First round|
|1996–97||Welsh Premier League||8th||40||20||5||15||82||62||+20||65||Third round||Runners-up|
|1997–98||Welsh Premier League||6th||38||20||8||10||72||54||+18||68||Winners||Runners-up|
|1998–99||Welsh Premier League||11th||32||11||6||15||44||49||–5||39||Third round||Semi-finals|
|1999–00||Welsh Premier League||9th||34||15||3||16||56||61||–5||48||Winners||Runners-up|
|2000–01||Welsh Premier League||14th||34||10||7||17||56||84||–28||37||Quarter-finals||First round|
|2001–02||Welsh Premier League||3rd||34||21||6||7||83||38||+45||69||Runners-up||Quarter-finals|
|2002–03||Welsh Premier League||3rd||34||22||5||7||75||34||+41||71||Quarter-finals||Runners-up|
|2003–04||Welsh Premier League||6th||32||16||6||10||72||47||+25||54||Second round||Semi-finals|
|2004–05||Welsh Premier League||3rd||34||20||7||7||73||44||+29||67||Fourth round||First round|
|2005–06||Welsh Premier League||9th||34||14||3||17||51||54||–3||45||Runners-up||First round|
|2006–07||Welsh Premier League||9th||32||14||6||12||55||47||+8||48||Third round||First round|
|2007–08||Welsh Premier League||5th||34||15||10||9||62||31||+31||55||Winners||Semi-finals|
|2008–09||Welsh Premier League||6th||34||16||7||11||58||40||+18||55||Winners||Runners-up|
|2009–10||Welsh Premier League||5th||34||19||6||9||75||45||+30||63||Winners||First round|
|2010–11||Welsh Premier League||1st||32||22||4||6||80||44||+36||70||Runners-up||Semi-finals|
|2011–12||Welsh Premier League||2nd||32||22||3||7||72||45||+27||69||Third round||Second round|
|2012–13||Welsh Premier League||3rd||32||14||9||9||65||53||+12||51||Runners-up||Second round|
|2013–14||Welsh Premier League||4th||32||14||6||12||47||50||–3||48||Fourth round||First round|
|2014–15||Welsh Premier League||10th||32||9||8||15||48||62||–14||35||Quarter-finals||Third round|
|2015–16||Welsh Premier League||9th||32||13||6||13||49||52||-3||45||Third round||First round|
Biggest victories and losses
- Biggest win: 14–0 v. CPD Gwalchmai in 2013
- Biggest defeat: 0–12 v. Everton Reserves in the 1930s.
- Biggest League of Wales win: 9–0 v. Haverfordwest County in 1994.
- Biggest League of Wales defeat: 1–9 v. The New Saints in 2014.
- Biggest European Competition win: 2–0 v. Napoli, 5 September 1962.
- Biggest European Competition defeat: 0–10 v. HJK Helsinki, 19 July 2011.
|1937–39||David Pratt||Manager until the outbreak of World War II|
|1957–67||T. G. Jones|
|1975||Barry Ashworth||Caretaker player-manager|
|2005–06||Mel Jones||Caretaker manager|
|July 2007–25 July 2016||Neville Powell|
|1 August 2016 – 22 November 2016||Andy Legg|
|24 November 2016-||Ian Dawes|
Notable former players
- a Prior to 2002 the Welsh Premier League was known as the League of Wales.
- b Originally known as North Wales Coast Senior Cup.
- Davies, Gareth M (1994). A Coast of soccer memories 1894–1994: the centenary book of the North Wales Coast Football Association. Gareth M Davies. ISBN 0-9524950-0-7.
- Garland, Ian (1993). The History of the Welsh Cup 1877–1993. Bridge Books. ISBN 1-872424-37-6.
- "BCFC Early History". The Independent Bangor City Historical Website. Retrieved 5 March 2011.
- "1978 Anglo-Italian Cup results at RSSSF". rsssf.com. Retrieved 5 March 2011.
- Garland 1993, p. 90
- http://www.thebookpeople.co.uk/blog/index.php/2012/08/14/the-book-people-and-bangor-city-fc-agree-sponsorship-deal/ Agreement info.
- "Official Bangor City F.C. website". bangorcityfc.com. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
- Bangor City F.C. official website
- Bangor City's official Facebook page
- Bangor City's official Twitter page
- @BangorCityFans – Independent fans' Twitter page
- The Citizens Choice – Independent fans' site
- Bangorcitizens.com – Fans' forum with full radio commentary of every game