Barmouth & Dyffryn United Football Club - History
The club was founded in 1863 shortly before the FAW was formed, however, archived records have shown that Barmouth FC was a club during this time, in 1884/85 Dr.Alfred Owen Davies won the first of his nine full Welsh International caps whilst playing for Barmouth and the following season 1885/86 winning another two caps and captaining the side, although it cannot say whether the Club actually played in a competitive match until 1896 when the Club were inaugural members of the newly formed Cambrian League that later became known as the Cambrian Coast Football League from the 1920/21 season until it ended in 1963.
Although coverage of football in the press during this time and into the early 1900s was very sporadic, little information has been gleaned thus far on the Cambrian League but according to sources the League was founded in October 1896 at a meeting in Porthmadog with six clubs competing the inaugural season, Towyn, Porthmadog, Dolgellau, Blaenau Ffestiniog, Barmouth and surprisingly Penygroes with Towyn taking the title. Little has been traced since that initial season and it may well have been disbanded following the formation of other surrounding local leagues and research is ongoing to clarify the situation. The Cambrian Coast Football League was founded following a meeting at the old Unionist Club in Barmouth on Saturday 17th January 1920 with member clubs being Criccieth, Porthmadog, Harlech, Barmouth and Pwllheli Comrades. Barmouth were the first Champions of the League in 1920 and the League was born.
Having finished runners up in 1921, Barmouth recaptured the title in 1922 as the League was being run as part of the Welsh National League Central Section following the reorganisation of football within the FAW. After the collapse of the National League structure in 1930, the Cambrian Coast League was revived with Barmouth becoming members of an eight team structure and sadly finished last in 1930/31 season. According to records, Barmouth resigned from season 1932 until the 1936/37 season there was no team in Barmouth and the club finished in the bottom position and struggled until the outbreak of the Second World War when all competitions ceased.
After the war the club merged with Dyffryn Ardudwy to become known as Barmouth & Dyffryn United, and it still stands today. Due to housing restructuring in Barmouth, they adopted Dyffryn as their home base to play fixtures competed respectively for the next few years and for the next four years from 1948 until 1952, even had a Reserve Team for the first time that won the Second Division Challenge Cup in 1951.
In 1953, the Club finished third then second in 1954 and after a gap of over thirty years, captured the title for the third time. From then on, Barmouth were always in with a shout but with Aberystwyth and 55th RA Tonfannau amongst the member clubs fielding very strong sides. We failed to capture another League title until the Cambrian Coast ended in 1963, although the club did finish as Runners-up on three occasions. It was also during this time 1955/56 season that Barmouth flew the flag of the Cambrian Coast League as we captured the old North Wales Coast Amateur Cup by defeating Buckley Wanderers 1-0 in the final at Llandudno, the captain being none other than John 'Jack' Morris. Other cup triumphs during this period saw the Magpies claim their only ever Challenge Cup success when they beat Trawsfynydd 3-0 in the final at Dolgellau, the Club finished runners-up five times between 1948 and 1961. The club did in fact win the League Cup three times in 1957, 1958 and 1960 and were finalists in 1962 and 1963, therefore it is fair to say that the club enjoyed its golden age years between 1954 and 1963.From archived information, it has been reported that over 7000 spectators witnessed the club's semi-final win over Aberystwyth in the 1948 Challenge Cup albeit the club lost out to Machynlleth in the final played at Aberdyfi.
With the Central Wales League being set up following another revamping by the FAW in the mid sixties, the club had little option but to take up the offer of becoming members in the 1963/64, the club finished third in the 1968/69 season, actually won the NWCFA Senior Challenge Cup against Holyhead Town but better things were on the horizon with players as far afield from the Wrexham area turning out for the Magpies under captain Idris Price and Manager John Morris.
In the 1969/70 season, Barmouth became Champions of the Central Wales League and reached the fifth round of the Welsh Cup when the team were faced with the daunting task of overcoming the mighty Cardiff City on Wednesday, 21st January 1970. The Club was a force in Welsh Football and again won the NWCFA Challenge Cup in 1971 and finished league runners-up in 1973, and also won the Central Wales Challenge Cup. This latest purple patch in the clubs history finally ended at the end of 1972/73 season when the club then resigned from the League and went into the wilderness.
The Club rose again to compete in the Aberystwyth & District League during the 1978/79 season. Captained by John Holland, the Club won the League for the only time in 1982 and finished Runners-up four times, in 1990 losing only 1 game along the way to the champions Penparcau in the final match of the Season. The Club were League Cup winners in 1984 and 1990 and also picked up the North Cards Cup in 1990 under Manager Brian Harvey. Other triumphs saw the club win the 1st Division Trophy in 1989 , the Bert Pritchard Memorial Trophy in 1982 and 1984 for being the League top scorers and reached the final of the Youth Cup in 1982, 1986 and 1991. The clubs association with the League ended on a sour note at the end of 1992/93 and the club became members of the Gwynedd Football League. Secretary of the League at the time was none other than our former Vice President Alun Foulkes and he can recollect the trauma faced by the club on the eve of the 1993/94 season when John Morris had to travel to Caersws to pay an outstanding fine to the CWFA, otherwise their opening match in the Gwynedd League against Llandegfan would be postponed. Luckily the fine was paid and what transpired as their first campaign in the Gwynedd League became a disaster and a nightmare, conceding 220 goals in the process of 34 games that yielded 4 League wins throughout - records were created all for the wrong reasons.
The club fared much better during the 1995/96 season finishing fifth during the latter, but at the end of the 2000/01 season decided to withdraw from the League for various reasons after finishing last but one.
Manager Dan Papirnyk Snr and Secretary Tony Jeffs saw their hard work and efforts rewarded as the young team finished second in 2001/02 and won the inaugural AEEU Cup beating CPD Bethel in the final at Caernarfon. They quickly became Champions of the Caernarfon & District League in 2002/03 to return to the Gwynedd Football League and the success continued with the side finishing third in 2005/06 only to win the League in 2006/07 under Player Manager Craig Papirnyk, but were denied promotion to the Welsh Alliance League due to ground criteria. Season 2007/08 saw the club win the NWCFA Junior Cup, the Gwynedd Leagues' Eryri Shield and became finalists of the Welsh Alliance Leagues' Barritt Cup but were narrowly pipped to retain the Gwynedd League title by Llanllyfni that sparked a huge row when Llanllyfni were given promotion to the Welsh Alliance League having an inferior ground to Barmouth.
Spearheaded by Chairman William Huntley and Alun Foulkes who had returned to the club as Secretary, the club successfully appealed to the FAW and the club took up its position in the third tier of Welsh Football for the first time in 35 years and the club has never looked back. With Brian Harvey back at the helm, the club finished tenth in its first full season, the side were the third highest scorers, with 85 goals, that was made up entirely of home grown players. In Season 2009/10 the club finished fourth under the guidance of Manager Iolo Owen and Assistant Steve Smith, after being in the top two until the final three matches of the season, three wins would have seen promotion to the Cymru Alliance, instead it was three home draws. Season 2010/11 Barmouth just escaped relegation on the last day of the season, with a 2-2 home draw against Llandudno Junction.
2011/12 season Barmouth again struggled in the league and looked certain relegation candidates in January, but a remarkable run of seven consecutive wins saw the club ease away from the drop and finished mid-table and earned manager Iolo Owen the manager of the month award. The season also saw Barmouth have a good Welsh Cup run, beating Aberdyfi, Hawarden and Ruthin Town before unluckily losing to Caersws. In season 2012/13, the club had a new management team of manager Dan Papirnyk jnr. and Stuart Pilling as assistant, who replaced Iolo Owen due to his work commitments. And what a good season it proved, after a fine start with an impressive series of results the Magpies were league leaders in October and November before the bad winter weather intervened, before slipping down to a well deserved fourth position.
The 2013/14 season saw Pete Griffith took over the managers role from Dan Papirnyk, two weeks into the season, who had to step down due to other commitments with Llyr Hughes helping with the coaching duties. A fourth place position was achieved despite a poor end of season run in due to the lack of availability of players and management. Two good away Welsh Cup wins then saw the club take on Cymru Alliance champions elect Cefn Druids at the Wern Mynach and were unlucky to lose a close match. And the reformed reserves playing in the Caernarfon & District League with Dan Griffith as player manager, assisted by Dave Harding, enjoyed a good season setting the pace in the league before slipping down to a respectable fifth position.
Season 2014/15, Dan Papirnyk resumed the managers role with Carl Ryan as his assistant and Stuart Pilling helping with the coaching duties. And it was an up and down season, a poor start to the season in the league and early exits in the FAW Welsh Cup and Trophy did not look good, but finding form from November onwards saw Barmouth climb the table, eventually finishing in eighth position. Former player Rob Gunton took over the reserves in the Gwynedd League, unfortunately due to certain circumstances the Club had to resign from League in mid September.
Season 2015/16 former player Llyr Hughes took over as player manager assisted by Iwan Bryn Roberts, both had experience from playing in the Welsh Premier League and the Cymru Alliance, but the season turned out to be poor, early exits in all cup competitions and a tenth place finish in the league.
The 2016/17 season Llyr Hughes continued as manager, but the season was another disappointing one, as the team lacked consistency, a good performance was followed by several poor ones and so on, the club eventually finished in 14th position, just escaping relegation.
Off the field of play the installation of floodlights are being undertaken, in three phases, phase one was the bases for the pylons at a cost of £10.000, phase two is the erection of the pylons, the fitting of the electrics and a generator, costing £28,000, and the final phase which will be completed during the 2017/18 season is the fitting of the floodlight bulbs, costing another £18.000.
This season see’s a change of management, with two local favourites in charge, Carl Ryan takes over as manager, assisted by Paul Lewis.