Porthmadog Football Club (Welsh: Clwb PÍl Droed Porthmadog) is a football team, playing in the League of Wales.
The club was founded in 1884 and plays at Y Traeth, Porthmadog, which accommodates 2,000 spectators (500 seated).
Porthmadog Football Club was founded in 1884, which makes them one of Wales' oldest clubs. In 1900, the club joined the North Wales League and the team won this league in 1902/03.
The '50s, '60s and '70s were successful decades for Port. The Welsh Amateur Cup was won in 1955/56 and 1956/57. After losing their amateur status, and signing Mel Charles, more success came to the Traeth. In 1966, they played against Swansea City in the Welsh Cup and, in the replay at the Vetch, Swansea's largest crowd of the season was attracted - 10,941. They then won the Welsh League (North) on 5 occasions in 9 years.
They had to wait until 1989/90 for Port's next championship win, when they won the Daily Post Welsh Alliance. This was enough to ensure Port's place as inaugural members of the Cymru Alliance League in 1990 and, in 1992, Port became inaugural members of the League of Wales (Konica League at the time).
While good work had been completed, to secure that the stadium reached the league's criteria, the team struggled to make an impact on the pitch. But, a late surge in the final months of the season, thanks mainly to the signing of striker Dave Taylor who netted freely, Manager, Meilyr Owen, picked up a manager of the month award, and the team finished in a respectable ninth place. Dave went on, in his second season, to become the league's top scorer as well as Europe - earning the European Golden Boot. During his spell at the club, he scored 62 goals in 66 games.
Despite the 70 goals netted by Dave Taylor and Marc Lloyd-Williams, in the 1993-4 season, the results were very inconsistent as they finished in 11th spot. Port did, however, break another record - the biggest attendance in the League of Wales. A crowd of 2,500 came to see Bangor City push for the league title. On the night, Bangor won by 2-0 and, therefore, won the league, and the right to play in Europe.
The third season started with a new manager, following the surprising decision to sack Meilyr Owen as club manager. Ex Wales International, Ian Edwards became manager but, after a good start, the team dropped from fourth position and he was sent packing. Things went from bad to worse after Mickey Thomas, ex Man. U., Wrexham and Wales player took over. His costly team were nearly relegated. Only, with the help of assistant Colin Hawkins, did the team manage to escape the drop.
The fourth season started with another change of manager. Colin Hawkins was promoted to the manager's job. On the field, this proved to be a very quiet season. Events off the field were anything but quiet. The club nearly folded because of the serious financial trouble but, thanks to the hard work of the directors, the club was re-launched as a limited company. £10,000 was raised through the sale of shares and extra money was raised through friendly matches, such as against Blackburn Rovers and a team of stars from S4C.
In 1996/97, with the financial situation much better, the team had a brilliant start to the season. No home game was lost until the New Year and, when Barry came to Y Traeth, it was second against fourth, with only goal difference separating both clubs. One of Port's most influential players, during the good start, was Paul Roberts. Before leaving the club to join Wrexham for £10,000, he had played for Wales Under-21 and was the league's top scorer. His chance to play for the Welsh youngsters came after he had scored for Port to beat them in a friendly match [Port 1:0 Wales U21].
After Paul's departure, Port's season changed completely, as they finished in tenth place. The season did, however, end on a high note, with a win against Caernarfon in the North Wales Coast Challenge Cup Final, following victories over Bangor and Colwyn Bay in earlier rounds.
In the 1997/98 season, Port's time in the League of Wales came to an end. Despite looking safe at the end of April, a string of difficult games in May, proved too much for Port. On the second of May at Fara Road, Bangor, Port's destiny would be decided. With Port's fixtures completed, they had to hope that Bangor, would be able to beat Haverfordwest. The game finished, Bangor 1, Haverfordwest 2 - Port finished fourth from bottom.
But, there was still a ray of hope that the decision to relegate Port to the Cymru Alliance could be overturned, with legal action against the League being considered. It was alleged that the decision to relegate four clubs, was taken during the season and that this was therefore, illegal. When Ebbw Vale were banned from the league, Port felt that the battle had been won. But Port were made to join the Cymru Alliance, when the south Wales club decided to appeal against this decision at the very last minute.
After occupying the second spot for most of the 1998/99 season, things started to go down hill, in the New Year, with the news that Port would not be promoted due to a lack of facilities. This was a big blow that pushed Port into a mid-table finish. Some pride was restored as they won the League Cup, after beating Rhydymwyn in the final. There was also disappointment in the 1999-2000 season with the club only finishing in 5th place, despite a run of victories after Viv Williams took charge following the departure of Colin Hawkins. After another disappointing season in 2000-1, the club then took some positive steps forward in 2001-2, with Williams rebuilding the squad, raising the hopes of the fans that the good days were on their way back to Y Traeth.
The good days werenít that far away, as Port went on to have one of the most successful seasons in their history in 2002-03. Every home game was won throughout the season, with the only two defeats coming after they had secured promotion with a 3-2 victory away at Buckley. Port were promoted to the Welsh Premier with an advantage of 19 points at the top of the Cymru Alliance. But things werenít as straightforward as it seems with Port being accused of playing Richard Harvey without international clearance after signing him from Cemaes Bay. In the end the decision was made that Port were only technically guilty as he had played in Wales for a whole year before they had signed him. The relief after the decision gave Port a boost as they went on to add two cups (North Wales Coast Challenge Cup and League Cups) to their haul.
The 16th January 2007 will go down as a dark day in the history of Port as it was the day that the club were deducted 3 Welsh Premier League Points and fined £13,500 (£1,000 payable upfront with the remaining £12,500 suspended until 1st January 2008) after the Football Association of Wales charged the club with failing to control their supporters after assistant referee Gary Ismial was racially abused by an individual during their Welsh Premier League match against Cwmbran Town on 9 December 2006. The seemingly harsh punishment led to outcry by followers of Welsh football - an on-line petition protesting against the punishment was signed by over 750 people from across Wales and worldwide. Porthmadog maintain that they acted decisively and have banned the individual from all matches at Y Traeth. The club's appeal to independent arbitrators saw their position vindicated - the fine was slashed by £12,500 and the arbitrators ordered theFootball Association of Wales to pay £4,000 towards the costs incurred by the club in having to take the matter so far. The arbitrators also decided that the decision to deduct 3 points should also be reversed.
On 7th May 2007, Porthmadog announced that their management team - Osian Roberts and Viv Williams - would be leaving the club. Osian Roberts had just been appointed the Football Association of Walesís Technical Director of Football and could therefore not devote enough time to the job, while Viv Williams cited personal reasons. Former Wales and Manchester United star Clayton Blackmore, who signed for the club as a player earlier in the season, took over as manager but was sacked after three months due to a string of poor results. Following Blackmore's departure, former manager Viv Williams agreed to take up the reigns - initially on a temporary basis. Former Airbus UK Broughton assistant manager Alan Bickerstaff later agreed to join Viv Williams as assistant manger.
The season continued poorly, especially at home, where Porthmadog failed to win a league game until the last day of the season against Rhyl FC This win, coupled with other results in their favour, took Porthmadog out of the bottom 2, and into safety. Viv Williams, as agreed, left Porthmadog and became manager at Llangefni, and Alan Bickerstaff has joined Rhyl FC A new manager, and former player, Paul Whelan was appointed in May 2008.
Biggest victories and losses
Biggest League of Wales win: 9-0 v Abergavenny Thursdays in 1993 and v Haverfordwest County in 1994.
Biggest League of Wales defeat: 0-7 by TNS in 2006.
Assistant manager: Steve Owen