The history of Afan Lido football club, Port Talbot South Wales

The Afan Lido football club owes its creation to man named Phil Robinson. Robinson was the Director of Football at the Afan Lido Sports Centre. It was his realisation that the Centre needed an official football team to unite the organisation and help give it purpose that led to the foundation of the Afan Lido Club in 1967. The team plays their home games at the Martson Stadium in Aberavon which is capable of holding up to 4200 spectators.

Following the teams’ inception in 1967, the Afan Lido Football Club earned a place in both the Port Talbot and District League during the 1967/68 season. Initial success saw the team promoted to the Welsh Football League by the 1971/72 season. During the 1973/74 football season, Afan Lido was promoted to what is now the Second Division. The team moved up the League again in the 1975/76 season when they were promoted to what is now the First Division of the Welsh Football League. After this initial success, the team fell on harder times for a few years and was relegated. However, by the 1984/85 season, Afan Lido had been readmitted to the League. In the meantime while Afan Lido was out of the League, a reorganisation had occurred which resulted in the creation of a higher ranking National League. The Afan Lido Football Club rebounded from their setbacks over the previous few years and was finally promoted to the new National League for the 1989/90 season.

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More restructuring occurred over the next few years resulting in the formation of the League of Wales in 1992. The Afan Lido Football Club became one of the founding members of the League in 1992 and succeeded in winning the League Cup in both the 1992/93 and 1993/94 seasons. In the 1994/95 season, the team placed second in the League of Wales earning them a place in the UEFA Cup. However, the team failed to capitalise on this success and lost the Cup to RAF Riga of Latvia. For the second time since it began, the Afan Lido Football Club was relegated from the League. After both the League undergoing managerial changes and the team working their way back up in the rankings, Afan Lido was readmitted into the League of Wales at the end of the 1994/95 season.

After several more seasons of struggle and success on the field, Afan Lido managed to finish tenth place in the Wales’ Premier League in the 1999/2000 season. The team qualified for the FAW Premier Cup during the 2001/02 season and again in 2003/04, but both times fell short of clinching the Premier Cup. Controversy struck the Afan Lido Football Club in 2005 when they were penalised for using an ineligible player. This violation resulted in the team leaving the Welsh Premier League later that year. The team gained acceptance into the newly formed Welsh disability league in 2007 and continued to work their way up the ranks from there. They currently belong to the Welsh Football League Division One, the southern feeder of the Welsh Premier League.

Copyright Gareth Roberts, Afan, 2011 All Rights Reserved