Tag Archives: football

The History of The Willows, Troedyrhiw


Another well attended meeting of Troed-y-rhiw Local history forum was held last Thursday at Carmel Chapel.

Brian Barnett made an extremely interesting presentation on the history of The Willows. His talk touched on:-

  • early interest from the Council in creating a recreation ground on what was boggy land which was drained, raised and levelled by tipping domestic ash and rubbish;
  • the opening, in 1931, of the Welfare Ground which was then maintained through a levy on colliers’ wages;
  • the establishment, in 1932, of a Boys’ club for over 16’s;
  • the importance of football over many years as a mainstay of the Willows including the glory years of the late 1940’s when games against Merthyr would attract crowds in excess of 3,000;
  • the use of the Willows by a whole range of other village groups and as a focal point for numerous events and celebrations including the 1951 Festival of Britain, 1952 Festival of Music & Art and 1953 Coronation.

Brian, who has been associated with Troedyrhiw Boys’ and Girls’ Club for over 50 years and, in 2006, was awarded an M.B.E. for his work, described how what was originally a boys-only   organisation grew from humble beginnings. He explained how, despite setbacks including three serious arson attacks, it was possible to raise the support and funding required to build the splendid Willows Centre which operates as a youth and community centre for the benefit of the whole community.

In his closing remarks Brian referred to the fact that the current trustees of The Willows are all aged over 65 and explained that the committee desperately needs new members to ensure that this vital community asset remains in the ownership of residents.

If you can help in any way please contact The Willows Centre, Troedyrhiw on Tel: 01443 692198 or Email: member@troedyrhiwclub.fsnet.co.uk


Take pride in achievements from Troedyrhiw’s past

London Olympics 1948 - GB team v Netherlands

London Olympics 1948 – GB team v Netherlands

Gwyn Manning was an all round sportsman excelling at cricket and golf as well as his first love, football. He played for Troedyrhiw and won the Welsh Amateur Cup with them in 1947, when they beat Llay United 5-0 in the final. The following season Troedyrhiw were runners-up in the Welsh League and lost to Flint Town in the Amateur Cup final. Captain of the Welsh amateur international team Manning played in Wales’ famous 3-2 win over England at Shrewsbury in 1948 which helped gain him his selection for that year’s Great Britain Olympic squad. A full-back, he played only in the opening game against Netherlands at the Olympics. A very humble man, he rarely talked about his Olympic success and nine years after his death his son found his commemorative medal from the Games wrapped up in a wardrobe in the family home at Pentrebach.


With the Olympic Games all but upon us readers may be interested to know that, when the Games were last in London in 1948, Troedyrhiw could boast no less than two players in the 22 man squad. These were G. Manning and T. Reynolds.One can only imagine the feeling of pride which this achievement must have brought to the village at that time. Manning played in a 4-3 win over the Netherlands in the first round and was a substitute in both the 2-1 quarter final victory over France and an eventual 1-3 loss to Yugoslavia at the semi-final stage.Image

Great Britain v Yugoslavia. 1948 Olympics.