The New Saints played Rhyl last night in the Dafabet Welsh Premier League but meetings between Oswestry sides and Rhyl go back to the 1890s in the Combination League, Welsh League, Birmingham League, the Cheshire County and the Northern Premier. Years back our Christmas/New Year derby games were usually Rhyl or Stafford Rangers.
In Towns last LOW season, 2002/03 we met the Lillywhites on four occasions, we lost 1-2 and 1-0 in the League Cup and went down 2-3 in the league but managed a 1-1 draw at Belle Vue.
Back in time to 1921/22 in the newly formed Welsh National League and Rhyl were our first home visitors on September 3rd, and a Cricket Field (Victoria Rd) gate of 1,600 saw us win 2-1. Town went on to win that League Championship two seasons later in 1923/24.
In that period we had a full back,1922-24,Tommy(Delph)Jones who joined Manchester United from us(May 24) and went on to have a 14 year career with United and won four Welsh Caps He later went to Scunthorpe as Player Manager and won the Midland League title in 1939. Tommy was a local lad, born in Penycae.
Further to my last notes re capped players, two more from my younger days are Graham ‘Flicka’, Williams and Cliff Sear, Williams a left winger was signed from Blues by Bradford City in 1955, he had a long league career, finishing at Port Vale in 1968 after spells with Tranmere Rovers, Wrexham, Swansea Town and Everton. He won 5 caps for Wales while at Swansea and scored 1 goal in the 1-1 draw with England at Cardiff.
He also had 1 u23 cap. His son Phil ‘Whiz’ Williams was a winger with us in the N.P.L. in the 1980’s.
Cliff Sear, like Williams was from the Wrexham area, a full back, he signed for Man City from us in 1955, a defender with style who made 248 appearances for City, before he linked up with old team mate Alan Oakes at Chester in 1968, after two season playing he took up youth coaching and had spells as coach, assistant manager and manager. Cliff had one Welsh Cap v England in 1963 and two u23 caps. He moved on to Wrexham from Chester to take over their youth set-up.