Monday, 19 July 2010

Llanfairpwll FC (Wales)

Over the course of this list we've talked about many of the biggest names in world football - Juventus, Newcastle United, Botafoga, Besiktas, TP Mazembe, Partizan Belgrade and a whole lot more besides. But the biggest name in all world football come from a tiny village on the Welsh island on Anglesey - ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to Llanfairpwll FC. "That's not a big name team!" I hear you bleat. True, but it's not their full name, as the town that they call home is more famously known as Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch - the longest place name in Europe!

Formed way back in 1899, they were originally known as Llanfair Rovers, and played for many years in the North Welsh Coast league. However there was strong condemnation from local chapel leaders in this fiercely religious part of the country, and the game was denounced by the town's elders. But in time the benefit of the game in keeping the local youth fit and busy was realised, and the church turned tail and actively helped out with the club's foundation. They spent 99 years of their history at the Y Gors ground, only yards from the much-visited railway station that has the longest name sign in the world, moving ta massive 400 yards to their current home at Maes Eilian.

After three near misses, they won the Welsh Alliance League in 2001, finally reaching the second tier of Welsh football - Cymru Alliance - where they still ply their trade today. But they haven't always played in the black and white stripes. For a period in the 1920s they played in chocolate brown shirts, and indeed were known locally as The Chocolates. Thank heavens they eventually changed their minds.

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