With no team bus to Newtown at the weekend, and the media team all having individual plans, I found myself driving solo to Latham Park and back. It meant that, instead of taking the A5 right to Park Hall, I turned off on the A458 at Shrewsbury in the direction of Welshpool.
It was that leg of the journey that saw me passing through the area that yields a distant branch of my family tree. My great-great grandfather (John Manley) was born in the village of Westbury in the year 1844.
A lead smelter, he married Sarah Thomas from nearby Alberbury, which although in Shropshire is right on the border, with Montgomeryshire just a stone’s throw away. They had seven children and their birthplaces are listed as Cardestone (4), Ford (2) and Pontesbury (1).
I could go on with lots more information but I think you get the picture. Having roots, albeit in the dim and distant past, in the area is all part of the wider attraction of The New Saints for me personally. When you then throw into the mix that I also have blood flowing through my veins from the other side of the border, the image is complete.
I love Welsh football history and if you can combine it with your own genealogy, then it make things much more interesting. Although TNS’ past is just three years longer than my own existence on this planet, as the recent focus on the merger with Oswestry Town shows, there is a lot of historical depth and quality that goes back, like my own area lineage, to the 19th century.
Just like I’m very proud of my bloodline then so should football supporters be equally so of their own club’s history. Which is why, when I see comments such as ‘TNS has no history’, all I read is a factually incorrect statement.
Of course the club does and even a casual glance at the list of trophies, just from the Llansantffraid bloodline alone, shows that although not as extended as many others in terms of decades of existence, what it lacks in quantity of years it certainly more than makes up for in terms of quality.
Back to the present though and the game itself. It was great to see TNS get back to league winning ways in big style courtesy of a 6-0 win. Having missed the previous Latham Park clash due to my car dying on Christmas Day, it was good to get in the press box this time round.
With both Jonny Drury and Gilbert Woolley joining Sam Thomas and me, it was a Press Officers’ special. We also had Twitter interaction from two of our regular North American listeners, Darius Jason and Paolo Fabrizio from USA and Canada respectively.
All were great and made for another enjoyable show, including another appearance from Tallie Brazier, who herself is quite a regular on TNS Radio. If you’re at a game yourself then why not pay us a visit, we welcome everyone. And just like our friends from across the pond, if you’re not there in person then connect with us using the hashtag #TNSRadio on Twitter.
We are live on air fifteen minutes before each game and the link is on the club website. We look forward to your company! Don’t forget to check the site out anyway during the week as it is updated regularly with news from Park Hall. Have a good week.
Stewart Bloor. Contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org