Rhyl Football Club (Welsh: Clwb PÍl Droed Y Rhyl) are a football team, playing in the League of Wales.
The club were founded in 1882 (though a new limited liability company was formed in 1991) and play at Belle Vue, Rhyl, which can accommodate 3,000 spectators (all seated).
Few clubs in the Welsh Premier League have as distinguished a past as Rhyl's. Football in the town dates from the late 1870s and at one time there were several Rhyl clubs in existence. Rhyl FC became founder members of the Welsh League, formed in 1890, but withdrew the following year. They reformed as Rhyl Athletic in 1893 and became founder members of the North Wales Coast League, winning the title in 1894-95. Rhyl joined forces with Rhyl Town in 1898 and in an ambitious move switched to the Anglo-Welsh competition known as The Combination. Despite financial crises, they remained in membership until the league disbanded at the end of the 1910-11 season. Under the name of Rhyl United, they rejoined the North Wales Coast League but, following the Great War, they moved to the North Wales Alliance, before becoming founder members of the Welsh National League (North) in 1921. Rhyl won the title in 1925-26 and became a limited company in 1928 as Rhyl Athletic. With North Wales football in turmoil in the early 1930s, Rhyl sought to realise their ambitions in the Birmingham and District League. Seeking relief from the onerous travelling to the Birmingham area, Rhyl successfully applied to join the Cheshire County League in 1936 and began one of the most successful chapters in the club's history.
In a post-War purple patch, Rhyl won the league title twice - in 1947-48 and 1950-51 - and the Welsh Cup twice in succession. In 1952, they beat Merthyr Tydfil 4-3 and became the first non-league side in the modern era to retain the trophy, by defeating Chester 2-1 the following season. Rhyl had been losing finalists to Cardiff City in 1930 and Crewe Alexandra in 1937, but did not feature in the final again until 1993, when they lost 5-0 to Cardiff City. In the Cheshire County League, success eluded them for several years before they won the title in 1972. On the dissolution of the Cheshire County League in 1982, Rhyl became members of the North West Counties League, winning promotion to the Northern Premier League in their first season. In 1992, they returned reluctantly to Wales but, because their application to join the League of Wales was received too late, they were placed instead in the Cymru Alliance, the second level of the pyramid system. In 1993-94, they won the title by six points and gained promotion to the League of Wales.
Over the years, the club have produced players of the highest calibre more than once, including Graham Williams (West Bromwich Albion), Barry Horne (Everton), Andy Jones (Charlton Athletic), Andy Holden (Oldham Athletic) and most recently Lee Trundle, who currently plays for Bristol City after seeing his career revitalised in his short spell with Rhyl in 2000-01. For many years the club struggled in the top flight of Welsh football but, since being taken over by a consortium under former player Peter Parry, they have seen improved results and are now one of its leading clubs.
In season 2003-04, the club won the Welsh Premier League, qualifying for the Champions' League qualification rounds (though they lost 7-1 on aggregate, to Skonto Riga of Latvia in the first qualifying round), and were winners of the League Cup and Welsh Cup, although they lost the final of the FAW Premier Cup 4-1 to Wrexham. Rhyl completed a famous quadruple by rounding off the season with a 6-0 win against Halkyn United in the Final of the North Wales Challenge Cup.
Rhyl couldn't reproduce their quadruple heroics in 2004-05. The club finished runners-up in the Welsh Premier League to TNS and also fell to the same team in both the Welsh Cup semi-final and Welsh Premier Cup quarter-final. A defeat to Carmarthen Town in the Final of the Welsh League Cup compounded a trophyless season for The Whites, although European qualification was gained by their runner-up finish in the Welsh Premier League.
In 2005-6, Rhyl recorded their first-ever win in European competition when they defeated Lithuanian side FK Atlantas 2-1 in the home leg of the first qualifying round of the UEFA Cup. Rhyl lost the away leg 3-2, but progressed on the away-goals rule, the first Welsh team to make the second qualifying round since Barry Town in 1996-7. They lost in the second round against Norwegian club Viking F.K., 3-1 on aggregate.
The Lilywhites claimed more silverware in the 2005-6 domestic season when they lifted the Welsh Cup, beating Bangor City 2-0 at the Racecourse Ground, and the North Wales Challenge Cup after a 2-1 win over Denbigh Town in the Final. A third-placed finish in the Welsh Premier League meant Rhyl would compete for a third year in a row in European Club competitions.
Rhyl's 2006-7 European adventure in the UEFA Cup was ended at the first hurdle with a 2-1 aggregate defeat by Lithuanian side FK Sūduva of Marijampole.
The club participated in the 2008 Intertoto Cup but were defeated in the first round 9-3 on aggregate by Bohemians of Ireland.
In the summer of 2008 Rhyl signed several players that would take the club to the next level. These were proven football league players some of which include full internationals such as Neil Roberts and Josh Johnson. Despite the signings of these key players, Rhyl FC insist they have no plans to become a fully professional football club.
- Welsh Premier/League of Wales:
- Winners (1): 2003-04
- Runners-up (2): 2004-05, 2006-07
- League Challenge Cup:
- Winners (2): 2002-2003, 2003-04
- Runners-up (2): 2004-05, 2006-07
- Cymru Alliance:
- Welsh Cup:
- Winners (4): 1951-52, 1952-53, 2003-04, 2005-06
- Runners-up (4): 1926-27, 1929-30, 1936-37, 1992-93
- FAW Premier Cup:
- Cymru Alliance Cup:
- Winners (1): 1992-93
- Runners-up (1): 1993-94
- North Wales FA Challenge Cup:
- Winners (15): 1927-28, 1929-30, 1933-34, 1934-35, 1938-39, 1947-48, 1949-50, 1950-51, 1951-52, 1953-54, 1954-55, 1969-70, 2003-04, 2005-06
- Welsh Amateur Cup:
- Cheshire County League:
- Champions (3): 1947-48, 1950-51, 1971-72
- Cheshire League Challenge Cup:
- NPL Presidents Cup: