The brainchild of Newtown based member Ken Davies.
The Welsh Football Data Archive became aware of a collection of football photographs held by Newtown AFC’s former Chairman, Keith Harding. The family were approached for permission to use the photographs on a webpage in Keith’s memory. These will appear on the WFDA’s website from 1st July 2008.
Age Concern, Montgomeryshire heard about this project, and immediately offered display space during June at their offices in Market Street, Newtown to help promote the event.
A selection of photos and other items have been put together to cover a condensed history of Newtown Football Club commencing with Newtown White Stars from the 1870’s to the present day with a photo of Jack and Rhoda Blayney on their retirement from helping the club for over 50 years.
An Age Concern spokesperson said they have never seen so much interest, particularly from men, in their display window. Within a couple days, another display board with additional photos supplied by former players was, set up. Volunteers have also knitted bottle cover tops in Newtown’s home and away colours for the display.
Newtown AFC has been extremely supportive, supplying photos, and together with many former players, have succeeded in naming most of those appearing in the photos. Many players have shared their memories with the mid Wales representative of the WFDA. One of the many highlights was being able to take a photograph of the Winners Medal awarded to C P Challinor who played in the first ever Montgomeryshire Cup Final in 1906/07.
Former players are contacting their families, particularly those living abroad to visit an associated website to see much more information relating to Keith Harding’s collection and a short history of Newtown Football Club. Lembit Opik M.P. has also shown a keen interest in the project.
A Football Fun Quiz has been arranged to help raise funds for Newtown FC’s Junior clubs, the White Stars and Age Concern.
As a result of the popularity of the collection and to mark the end of the display, ‘extra time’ will be played. A reunion of former Newtown players during the 1940’s, 1950’s and 1960’s is being arranged. It will be held at the Latham Park Clubhouse, Newtown on Saturday 19th July 2008 between 1pm and 5pm and is open to players from those years and also to the wives of those players who have sadly passed away.
The Welsh Football Data Archive is very grateful to Mrs May Harding, daughter Nicky and everyone else who have assisted, for their support with The Keith Harding Collection.
Ken’s very original idea, backed by the Harding family, opens an avenue for other clubs to publicise their history within their own town.
Hopefully clubs will approach fans, former players and committee members to collect together memorabilia and photographs and put them on display in a local charity shop so that the charity also get some benefit.
We at the WFDA would only be too pleased to add the photos to its website to ensure their preservation as historical documents as part of Welsh football heritage.
We would encourage clubs to get in touch as soon as possible for more advice. The WFDA will accept any photos for inclusion on their site and we would hope that clubs will feature a piece on the project in one of their match-day programmes next season. The WFDA will supply the text.
Look out for the official launch details in the press.

Football in Holyhead exhibition

The exhibition has still a short time to run and the memorabilia section is worth a visit. It is hoped that the photographs that were on display will be made available to the WFDA in the not too distant future.

Ongoing research
Mid-Wales (South) League
Some areas between 1950 and 1962 still require attention. We hope to resolve these soon.
Brecon & District League
Aled will be continuing this research as time allows.
Aberystwyth & District League & Cardiganshire League
Both these League are close to completion and we appeal to members with time to hit the NLW in Aberystwyth to help tie these off. Get in touch for details.
Full International line-ups
Steadily being updated. The BBC in London got in touch wanting info on the Italy Wales match in 1988 regarding current Italy manager Donadoni. We were glad to help!
Amateur line-ups
Progress still being made.

Other news

We’re still trying to open up South Wales with some research but having little response. Any members with suggestions on how we can break into this area could they please get in touch.
We’re looking at hitting all the Welsh local papers before the start of the season with an appeal for researchers. Would anyone with a list of all current local weekly papers please get in touch.
Official meeting
Plans are at an early stage for the first official meeting.
More news soon.

Those directly involved with the project so far are:

  • Mel Thomas
  • Ian Garland
  • Aled Jones
  • Alun Evans
  • Peter Arrowsmith
  • Gavin Grosvenor
  • Dave Rapson
  • Alan Ahearne
  • Gareth Hughes
  • Clive Wyatt
  • Dave Collins
  • Tony Griffiths
  • Gwyn Jenkins
  • Gwynant Phillips
  • Bernard Steer MA
  • Gary Pritchard
  • David James
  • Gareth M Davies
  • Terry Grandin
  • Michael van Baaren
  • William Davies
  • Joe Furnival
  • Keith Parry
  • Rob Culley
  • Richard Huws
  • Mike Robinson
  • Ken Davies

Mel 18/06/08