Menai Bridge

City:
Bangor
Manager:
Warren Gibbs

HISTORY

Football in the town of Menai Bridge can be traced back as early as 1878, when The North Wales Express reported on a Christmas Day football match between the Menai Football Club and Blue Star, with the latter winning by 3 goals (plus one disputed) to one.

In 1897, the Menai Bridge Football Club unanimously resolved to join the proposed Anglesey League, with Councillor Thomas Roberts of Tyddyn Isaf once again allowing the use of one of his fields, free of charge. Menai Bridge were champions in the first season, and in the summer of 1898 were admitted as new members of the North Wales Coast League.

A notable newspaper report from The North Wales Weekly News in October 1910 refers to Menai Bridge wearing “new jerseys of bright amber and black vertical stripes,” and match reports from November editions of the same title begin to make reference to the “Tigers”; it appears that this new strip gave rise to the name which the current Club proudly bears.

The same report refers to the Tyddyn Isaf ground as being "situated upon the heights above the interesting village, and the view therefrom is splendid, the top of the tubular bridge being conspicuous amidst glorious surroundings." The same bridge is a little more than "conspicuous" from today's home ground.

Perhaps the new colours were lucky as Menai Bridge Tigers lifted the prestigious North Wales Coast FA Junior Challenge Cup for the first time in 1912, and again two years later in the final edition of the tournament before the outbreak of the First World War. The Club appeared to be in a healthy state at this point; The North Wales Chronicle stated in November 1914 that “out of 93 local men now serving their country 23 were members of the Menai Bridge Football Club”.

The wartime era looked to be the end of the Club, however The North Wales Chronicle reported in September 1919:

"Though it was thought some weeks ago that it would be impossible to revive the Menai Bridge Football Club, the enthusiasm for "Soccer" is so strong locally that in all probability a team will be formed this season. The chief difficulty is to find a suitable field."

Some things never change!

The period between the World Wars was a successful one, winning a third Junior Cup in 1927 followed by an Anglesey League & Dargie Cup double in 1928/29. Tigers had further success in the Junior Cup in the 1930s, lifting the trophy three times in four years between 1930 and 1933, and won the Megan Cup followed by back-to-back Bangor & District League titles.

Tigers picked up where they left off after the Second World War, lifting the Junior Cup in 1947 and again in 1948, the eighth time that Menai Bridge Tigers have won it; a competition record which still stands today.

The Anglesey League operated two divisions for a while in the late 1940s and early '50s, and Menai Bridge won the second division in 1951. The following years were barren by the previous standards, with Tigers staying in mid-table without any cup success. Evidence of a Menai Bridge team seems to disappear in the late 1960s, although there was a resurface in the late 1970s with Tigers coming agonisingly close to further silverware, finishing runners-up in the Anglesey League in three consecutive seasons.

Tigers started the 1980s with two seasons in the Welsh League North, which at the time was the best in the area below the clubs who played in the English system. That team was notable for containing a teenage Osian Roberts, who years later would write his name into Welsh football history as technical director of the FAW Trust and assistant manager to Chris Coleman during Cymru's famous Euro 2016 campaign.

Menai Bridge hosted the meeting to found the Gwynedd League in 1983, and spent one season in the new league before apparently resigning due to financial difficulties. A side known as Menai Bridge Town spent a few years in the Anglesey League before disappearing after the 1989 season.

The Club spent the following two decades as a junior-only football club before finally re-introducing a senior side in 2009, after a season in Sunday football under the name Victoria Tigers. It took a few seasons to find their feet before winning the Megan Cup & Elias Cup in 2012/13, and narrowly missed out on a first Junior Cup title in over 65 years, losing 4-3 to CPD Y Felinheli.

Tigers ended an 85 year wait to lift another Anglesey League title in 2013/14, and this was topped off by retaining the Megan Cup and winning the inaugural IPP Cup to complete a treble.

Menai Bridge lifted their first Gwynedd League title in 2018-19, but were denied promotion to the Welsh Alliance due to inadequate facilities. This coincided with the departure of manager Sean Brett, and Tigers stalwart Aaron Rowlands took the step up to managing the side having previously been a member of the coaching staff.

Another attempt at a ninth Junior Cup title was in reach in 2020 as Tigers reached the semi-final stage, however sadly the match was never played as the season was curtailed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Tigers made the difficult decision to leave their home at Maes y Coed in 2020, and begin playing home matches over the bridge at Bangor University's Treborth site. This move was essential to secure a place in the newly-formed North Wales Coast (West) Premier Division, although the club's junior sides will continue to use the library pitch.

League results

Rank Played Won Drawn Lost GD Points
11 0 0 0 0 0 0

Upcoming matches

Date Team Location Result
30-07-2024 18:45 Llangefni Town FCHome
10-08-2024 14:30 CPD Y Felinheli FCAway
14-08-2024 18:30 Trearddur BayAway
17-08-2024 14:30 Connahs Quay TownHome
23-08-2024 18:30 Porthmadog FCHome

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