A Brief History


West End United started on the fields of Parc Howard where every Sunday afternoon loads of football games were being played, this then developed into hiring local sports halls during winter months where we had anywhere from 12 – 30 people turning up to play, this led to playing a few full games against local pub teams. Several of us were playing in various local sides and got round to talking about maybe setting up our on team, this came into being in 1989 when we were accepted into the Carmarthenshire league. Some of the people who were instrumental in this were Ray Jones, Gary Dennis, Greg Phillips, Mark Samuel, Anthony Johns and little Dai!

The name was derived from the fact that we had planned to have the Princess Head as our HQ which was in West End!, this was to change however with goalkeeper Anthony Johns taking over The Brecon and it was from here that we acquired our first kit, a very fetching figure hugging all white number.
Our first league game at Penygaer was a 3-0 victory over Ponthenri, with goals from Carl Chowings, Johnny Richards and Greg Phillips. The side was captained by Greg Phillips and managed by Ray Jones who at 22 was the youngest first team manager in league and probably is a record he still holds. Of the team that played that day Ray Jones, Gareth Jones Alec Davies and Gary Dennis are still involved with the club.

Our debut in the Star cup also came that year with the draw pitching the new boys against league and west wales cup champions Trostre, we had the cheek to take the lead with a great strike from Johnny Richards but ended up losing 9-1!!
Our first local derby against E+W brought a fine 3-2 victory and in Nov we stole the Star headlines with a 1-0 senior cup victory over Penygaer who were playing in div.1, Chris Marsh providing the winner. The next round almost brought a great victory over league leaders Dafen despite going behind early on, Dai Rees brought the sides level and it was with 2 mins left that John Frater scored the winner.

The final league table for that year saw the club finish 7th having won 9, drawn 4 and lost 7 games in the league. The second year saw the dawn of the reserve side under Dai Evans and they kicked off with a trip to Drefach. This season was to prove a spring board for future success with the foundations being laid with a strong social side developing which has become one of the many great features of a club which has exceeded all expectations and enjoyed many successes in gaining promotion and winning the challenge cup on 3 occasions. The demise of local sides Penygaer and New Dock also helped with established players from both having joined.

The Third year saw the first silverware coming to the club, the first team winning the Division 3 title, under new managers Alec Davies and Huw Morris with Ray Jones having stood down midway through the season with the club undefeated at the top of the league. The reserves also clinched the div3 title following a great win in a 2-legged play off against Carmarthen town. Having lost 2-0 away it was a tough ask against a strong Carmarthen side but 2 goals from Dai Roberts who benefited from long clearance from keeper Nigel Pike and a brilliant strike from Gary John saw the side claim the title under managers Simon Williams and Phil Jones.
The next year saw the club install Phil Davies as manager and it was from here that the club became a solid, fit and entertaining side with some great players eager to join not only for the football but for the social side which was as important to everyone this is borne out by the fact that once players joined most have stayed for many years and still enjoy nights out long after they have finished playing with the friendships made lasting a lifetime.

Some the best players to have graced the club are Phil ‘Tids’ Jones. Ants Johns, Peter Warner, Gary Jones, Phil Davies but without doubt the best is the great Dean Swan who tormented defences in every game he played. My apologies to all the other players who have graced the club over the years.
The club has also benefited from the hard work and dedication from many long serving members including Ray Jones, Alec Davies, Rich Anthony, Steve Mears, Jason Rudall, Peter Warner, Gareth Jones and Gary Dennis to name but a few.
The next big event was promotion to Div1 under Phil Davies where the club became established and this enabled the reserves to climb into Res. Div1 where they are now established.

The club has had several HQ’s but none have proved to be as good as the Electric Club were West End have been based for many years. The arrival of Gary Jones as manager provided a much needed injection of new blood into the club with several new players joining and with it the first of the four challenge cup wins. The promotion of Matthew Morgan to manager saw the club struggle in his first year with points gained on the final game saving the club from relegation, his second year saw the club win the title and the challenge cup, the next year saw the club grace the premier division for the first time, this was to prove a difficult step and saw the club relegated for the first time. West End I am sure remain quite unique with the fact that both teams in 18 years having only been relegated once each.
The hope for next season will be the setting up of a junior section something which the club has had in the past but disappointingly failed to continue but with a squad getting older each year this is now a priority.

With the club now under the helm of Jason Rudall and Steve Mears and Peter Warner having returned to run the reserves, the next season needs to see an improvement in both the playing and social side of the club, but with the people who are involved this should be easily realised.

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