Red shirts, shorts and socks
Blue shirts, shorts and socks
Stebonheath Park, Llanelli
The game of association football was introduced to the town’s people of Llanelly when workers from the Staffordshire area of England migrated to the town to work in the ‘newest’ of the town industries - the Pottery works from 1892 to 1920. The club initially played in the Swansea & District League playing their first matches at Cae Blake, Furnace, then the Peoples Park before moving to Tunnel Road and then at Penyfan Fields.
In 1912-13 the club decided to become fully professional and applied for membership of both the Southern and Welsh League. They also moved to a new ground, Halfway Park, a former Cycle Stadium, which was situated two miles from the town centre. Their first season 1912-13 was an immediate success finishing in sixth position in the Southern League and third in the Welsh League. The following season they entered into the Welsh Cup and reached the final at their first attempt before losing to Wrexham in a replay at Oswestry after the team had initially drawn 0-0 at Swansea Town Vetch Field.
After the First World War the club continued to participate in the Southern League and in the Welsh League with moderate success. They had ambitions of reaching the Football League and as a first step they moved to a new ground in Stebonheath in 1922 Tottenham Hotspur were the FA Cup winners of the previous season were invited to make the occasion of opening the new ground by playing the local team and the Londoners were given a rude awakening when they lost 2-1 on the day. For the next three years Llanelli built up a reputation of being one of the leading non-league clubs in the country, and in 1925 become the only club to contest every round in the FA Cup from Preliminary to Qualifying rounds and on to the equivalent Third Round of today when they met Fulham at Craven Cottage before losing by the odd goal in a highly emotional game.
At the end of World War II with league football returning back to normality, Llanelly AFC in common with other Welsh clubs returned to the Welsh League fold and again gained a place in the Southern League succeeding Colchester United who had gained a place in the Football League. This was another venture into a league blessed with ex-Football League players coming to the end of their careers. The manager of the time long servant Jack Goldsborough who had been a fixture in Stebo circles since 1923 as a player, trainer, coach, groundsman and secretary/manager assembled a team blessed in the main by ex Scottish League players including one John (Jock) Stein who was to find fame with Glasgow Celtic and Scotland in a managerial capacity after his playing days were over, but had made history in the FA Cup with the Reds in 50-51, before the club lost to Bristol Rovers after a 2nd replay at Ninian Park.
But even he and a succession of worthy managers could not prevent the indifferent seasons the club suffered which meant a lack of people through the turnstiles and by 1958 they had to seek re-election to both Southern and Welsh Leagues. They were granted a stay in the Southern League whilst had to be relegated in the Welsh League Division II (West). But worse was to follow when the Welsh FA refused to sanction their stay in the Southern League.
Llanelli were left in limbo with an all-time low for their future for the 1958-59 season. But under the astute managership of Wilf Grant an England B International, promotion was gained to Division One of the Welsh League.
But when Wilf Grant went on to other climes Doug Wallace and Des Palmer became managers in succession without gaining honours. For the 1967-68 season brought Gwyn Grant (who had been a backroom boy for years after a playing career) to the hot seat and his achievements were noteworthy. Three Welsh League Championship titles in 1970-71, 1976-77 and 1977-78 inspired by Gilbert Lloyd followed, but the club’s ambitions of a higher grade of football were always denied.
With the advent of the League of Wales in 1992-93 season they became founder members. After an initial successful season the club fell away once more, and again due to financial constraints they were relegated in season 1995-96. However, the advent of Robert Jones to the club as owner and Chairman saw the club take on a new lease of life. First Dudley Lewis as player/manager set the seeds in motion and Robbie James took over in consecutive years but in February 1988 Robbie James tragically died at Stebonheath playing against Porthcawl.
His place was taken over by Leighton James who gained promotion for the club once more to the League of Wales by virtue of their ending as runners-up to Champions Ton Pentre who had declined promotion. After one season when the club ended in a creditable fifth position he suddenly resigned and it all turned sour by 2002-03 when the club was relegated to the Welsh Division 1 once more.
In season 2003-04 saw the club regain their rightful place in the Welsh Premier League under the management of ex-players of yester year Neil O’Brien and Lee Randall. Season 2004-05 saw firstly Eddie May followed by Nick Tucker took over the helm and he managed to stave off relegation at the end of the season.
During the close season the club which had been ‘up for sale’ was taken over by the Jesco Group, who decided that the club needed to turn fully professional once again after half a century of lack lustre competition except for the Welsh League Championships of 1970-71, 76-77, 77-78 seasons. Spaniard Luca Cazorla become Director of Football and six Spanish players arrived at Stebonheath Park. But by Christmas something was adrift and Luca Cazorla left by mutual agreement with Peter Nicholas assuming control, achieving for the club for the first time in their history a position in the UEFA Cup after gaining 2nd spot. The following season 2007-08 was one of success becoming League Champions and winning the League Cup.
In season 2008-09 their Championship hopes were high but they ended in the runners-up spot the biggest shock was to come before the season’s end when the tenure of Peter Nicholas was ended after five years at the helm, his contract was not renewed and Andy Legg was appointed to the ‘hot seat’. Season 2010-11 Legg saw his Reds side lift the coveted Welsh Cup with an emphatic 4-1 win against League Champions Bangor City at Parc y Scarlets and won the play-offs in 2011-12 beating Bala 2-1 in the final. This proved the last game for prolific striker Rhys Griffiths, who had scored 280 goals in 281 games. The club has also enjoyed extraordinary success on the European front beating Gefle, FK Vetra, Ventspils, Motherwell and Dinamo Tbilisi, although only the win against Gefle saw the club progress over two legs.
Season 2012-13, started with the club coming agonisingly close to reaching the second round of the Europa Cup, losing 3-2 to Kups. Financial trouble then hit, with Andy Legg leaving in October 2012 and Bob Jeffrey taking over in a vast cost cutting exercise. However the club was unable to starve of HMRC and were sadly liquated in the High Court in London on 22nd April 2013. Llanelli Town rose and finished 6th and Champions in Welsh League Division Three and then 7th in Division Two over the last three seasons before last season’s spectacular Championship.
05/08/84. Born Swansea. The prodigal son returned in 2014 after making 12 Reds appearances before hitting the Welsh League gravy train with Ammanford and Haverfordwest. Made his name at Llanelli Steel.
10/07/87. Born Swansea. Known as ‘Goal’. He has played Welsh Premier football for Neath and Carmarthen. Joined the Reds after turning out for Goytre United last season. Commanding central defender who is also club captain.
29/05/93. Born Swansea. Still has enormous potential to fulfil in his third season at this level. Could go as far as he wants to in the game and this could be the season to step up another level for the ex-Tigers protégé.
14/08/88. Born Swansea. Signed from local side Seaside last season and has followed in his brother’s footsteps, Chris Thomas a European hero with the Reds by becoming a star in his own right. Has an explosive turn of pace.
14/04/93. Born Swansea. Sill arguably the most promising player in Welsh League Football despite a broken leg. Now fully fit and looking to add to his 37 goals in 94 games for the Reds.
16/01/83. Born Swansea. Signed for the club for the third time and twice from Carmarthen. Brother of Reds star Rob Thomas, Chris will add some steel to the Reds defence as the club looks to build a promotion push.
27/07/81. Born Carmarthen. Back with the Reds for his third spell, the former Trostre protégé has had a colorful career with Neath, Aberystwyth, Merthyr T and Haverfordwest. Reds Player of the Year in 2012-13.
01/04/89. Born London. Started his career with Swansea and received Roberto Martinez first ever contract to a player. The versatile defender has gone on to play for Lido, Neath, Carmarthen, Haverfordwest and Goytre Utd.
05/09/91. Born Swansea. Finsey started his career with Swansea before spells with Aberystwyth, Lido and West End. Will be looking to dominate games this season before chilling out with his mother.
05/07/90. Born Swansea. Was another star of Bob Jeffrey’s youth set up but has developed into a classy midfielder in his years at Goytre United. Will be looking to dance around a few midfield’s this season.
23/03/90. Born Swansea. Scored the greatest goals in Reds history with his double in the 2-1 win over Dinamo Tbilisi five years ago. Back for his third spell with the Reds and has formed a razor sharp strike force with Trunds.
10/10/91. Born Swansea. A latecomer to the squad after impressing in friendlies against Port Talbot and Penybont. The former Goytre United midfielder will bring some steel and passion to the Reds.
17/02/90. Born Swansea. Another product of the Reds Youth who moved to Australia for a spell before stints a West End and Goytre United. Played for the Reds against Manchester United five years ago.
10/10/76. Born Liverpool. Has played for numerous clubs, including Wrexham, Swansea, Bristol City and Leeds United. Scored 83 goals in 166 games for the Swans earning the nickname Magic Daps. 56 goals in 31 games.
26/08/90. Born Swansea. Can play in almost all forward positions with his silky skills. Will be looking for better luck this season with injuries, but could be surprise package with his freshness this season
13/09/91. Born Swansea. Joined the Reds at the start of the year from Aberystwyth who he signed out with on a high with a double at Newtown. Ex Reds Youth player who has also been at Goytre and Port Talbot. Club Captain this season and has set himself a 20 goal target from midfield.
16/05/94 Born Swansea. Former Swansea City player who signed for Reds last season from Port Talbot. Started season on fine form with hat-trick away to Briton Ferry Llansawel.
30/03/93. Born Swansea. Can play in defence or midfield. An excellent signing from Aberystwyth Town las season. Started his career with Swansea City before moving to Port Talbot. Oozes class on the ball
12/09/89. Born Swansea. Has played for Swansea City, Grimsby Town, Neath, TNS, Gloucester City, Port Talbot and also played for Wales at Under 17,19,21 and semi -pro level.
10/02/99. Born Swansea. Signed for the Reds after playing for Aberystwyth Town and Merthyr Town this season on trial. Previously with Cardiff City and also played for Wales up to Under 19 level.
27/02/91. Born Swansea. Joined the Reds Academy from Cardiff City, before moving onto Carmarthen Town and Haverfordwest. Returned to his home town club this season to compete for the left back spot.