The history of TNS is interesting. That it encompasses both sides of the Shropshire and Montgomeryshire border reflects my own heritage as well.
With one side of the football family birthed in Llansantffraid, even before I visited a Welsh Premier League game, I found this fascinating, almost magical.
That a village of less than a thousand people had spawned a team that had then gone on to play European football, was in my eyes, the sort of thing that dreams are made of. The closest you’ll get to Roy Of The Rovers in real life.
Then, of course, there is Oswestry Town. Based in Shropshire, but founder members of the FA Wales in the nineteeenth century.
Having competed in Welsh football over the years including the League of Wales, as it was then, and the Welsh Cup which they won under a previous name, Oswestry United, the border is blurred, certainly as far as football is concerned.
Although Offa’s Dyke runs through the area, the Englishness and Welshness sit comfortably side by side. Having been in Wales in the dim and distant past, there was even discussion in the 1970s whether it should be Oswestry or Croesoswallt.
Even though it is now firmly in England, even a casual walk through the town reveals links with Wales. Whenever I go into Oswestry from Park Hall, I park in Llwyn Street, one of several road names that testify to its Welsh history.
TNS’ recent In The Park event was held at Cae Glas and there are still Welsh-speaking churches in the town, as well as a Cymraeg bookshop in Oswestry indoor market.
Back to my own personal heritage, this is mirrored in my own roots, with ancestry in the area on both sides of the border through my paternal line.
Back in the days when babies were born at home rather than the local hospital, villages such as Alberbury, Carderston, Ford and Pontesbury are regularly mentioned in my family tree records.
Yes, just like The New Saints FC, I really do have the best of both worlds as far as my heritage is concerned. It’s something that I’m very proud of.
Stewart Bloor – Media & Communications Officer.
Rev’s Ramblings is an ongoing weekly blog from the perspective of my own involvement with the champions of Wales.