Ton Pentre Football Club is a football team based in Ton Pentre, Wales, which plays in the Welsh Football League First Division.
Nicknamed the "Rhondda Bulldogs", the team plays at Ynys Park, Ton Pentre, Rhondda Cynon Taff, which accommodates 2700 seated spectators. Home strip is all red, away strip is blue and black striped shirts.
The seated stand was demolished in 2003 to enable a walled enclosure to be demolished in accordance with insurance instructions following an injury claim.At present the club offers no seating to fans .
The present club was founded in 1935, but there were at least two earlier Ton Pentre F.C.'s, dating back to at least 1896, when Ton Pentre was a soccer-playing island in the rugby union sea of the South Wales valleys.
After the Second World War, the Welsh National League (South) was re-introduced and besides having Division One a new Division Two was regionalised into East and West sections, with the two respective champions being promoted to replace the bottom two clubs of Division One. Ton Pentre were placed in the Division Two (West) competition and became the first champions. As a result they were promoted into Division One, where they were to remain a potent force through all the reorganisation of the Welsh National League, and the onset of the League of Wales in the 1992-93 season.
Ton Pentre’s cup exploits have been noteworthy if not exemplary. In 1951-52 the Rhondda outfit added the Welsh Amateur Cup to their honours and were winners of the South Wales F.A. Senior Cup on six occasions between 1947-48 and 1992-93.
On the 15 November 1986 Ton Pentre played Cardiff City at Ynys Park in the First Round of the F.A. Cup. A full house of 2,800, and the ‘Match Of The Day’ cameras, saw the ‘Bluebirds’ win 4-1, with Ton Pentre’s consolation goal being scored by Gareth Bees. A 1992-93 Welsh Cup-tie provided a closer run 0-2 result at Ynys Park.
They were invited to be founder members when the League of Wales (now called the Welsh Premiership) was created in 1992. Ton Pentre however preferred to be promoted to the highest level on their own merits, which was achieved the next year.
In each of its first two seasons in the League of Wales, Ton Pentre finished in a creditable third position. In 1995 they played in the UEFA Intertoto Cup, playing summer games against Næstved (Denmark), Bekescabai Elore (Hungary), Uniao Leira (Portugal), and Heerenveen (Netherlands); although Ton Pentre lost all their matches, respectively 2-0, 3-0, 4-0, and 7-0, their players had the experience of playing against future international stars such as Jon Dahl Tomasson and Ruud van Nistelrooy.
Unfortunately, the clubs' European experience had unfortunate consequences on its finances, the club came close to bankruptcy, and in a shock decision in February 1996 Ton Pentre resigned from the League of Wales and returned to the Welsh League once more.
Since 1996, Ton Pentre has won the Welsh League Championship six times in eight years (1997/98, 1998/99, 1999/2000, 2000/01, 2001/02 and 2004/05).
The team has also achieved two doubles adding the Welsh League Challenge Cup to their honours. Through the Welsh Cup they have proved time and time again that they can compete at the highest level with wins in the 2001-02 and 2002-03 seasons against Welsh Premier opposition. Both seasons the Rhondda side reached the Semi-Finals first losing out to Barry Town 2-0 after extra-time and Cwmbran Town 2-1 having led the match eight minutes from time. Had Ton Pentre held out for the win they would have qualified for the UEFA Cup as Barry Town had secured European qualification through the league.
Following two fruitless seasons without silverware Ton Pentre were again crowned Welsh League Champions in the 2004-05 season for an incredible sixth time in eight seasons.
Ton Pentre do hope to once again grace the top echelon of Welsh football by returning to the Welsh Premier sometime in the future. However, in order to do so the club must secure sound financial backing along with significant improvements to the facilities at Ynys Park.
Welsh League champions (11): 1957/58, 1960/61, 1973/74, 1981/82, 1992/93, 1997/98, 1998/99, 1999/2000, 2000/01, 2001/02, 2004/05.