- Druids F.C.
Druids Full name Ruabon Druids Football Club Nickname(s) The Ancients, Druids, Founded 1869 (as Plasmadoc FC) Dissolved 1923 (merged with Acrefair United F.C. to form Druids United) Ground Wynnstay Park
Ruabon Druids F.C. (Welsh - CP Derwyddon) were a football club based in village of Ruabon near Wrexham. The club was founded in 1869 as Plasmadoc F.C. by David Thomson and his brother, George, of Ruabon. In 1872, Plasmadoc amalgamated with two other Ruabon clubs, Ruabon Rovers F.C. and Ruabon Volenteers F.C., and under the guidance of Llewelyn Kenrick became Ruabon Druids.
The club was formed in 1869 as Plasmadoc F.C. by David Thomson and his brother in Cefn Mawr, where they played at the Plasmadoc Ground. Three years later, under the guidance of Llewelyn Kenrick of Wynn Hall, Plasmadoc amalgamated with Ruabon Rovers (a colliery team) and Ruabon Volunteers to form Ruabon Druids F.C., known simply as Druids F.C..
In March 1876, the Football Association of Wales was founded by Kenrick at the Wynnstay Arms Hotel, Ruabon and was followed on 25 March with Wales' first international match against Scotland. The match which was organised by Kenrick, himself, saw him gain his first cap playing in a full-back position.
1876 also saw Druids become the first Welsh club to enter the newly organised English F.A. Cup. Drawn against Shropshire Wanderers in the First Round, Druids withdrew before the match was played. In the next year, Druids once again entered the F.A. Cup, again drawn against Shropshire Wanderers in the First Round, they progressed to the Third Round where they were thumped 8–0 by eventually Runners-up Royal Engineers.
1877 saw the inaugural season of the Football Association of Wales Challenge Cup competition, to run on similar lines to the English FA Cup. Druids entered the competition, playing Newtown in the first ever match in the competition, and eventually reaching the Final, played at Acton Park, Wrexham, where they lost to Wrexham 1-0.
Following the death of David Thomson, aged 29, in 1878 Druids lost the use of the Plasmadoc Ground. Because of this, Druids were forced to withdraw form the 1878–79 edition of the Welsh Cup. This inconvenience meant Druids could no longer play home games, which resulted in many players, including Kenrick, leaving the club. Salvation was found in the form of the Williams-Wynn family as they allowed the club to use an area of the Wynnstay Estate, which became Wynnstay Park and home to the Druids for the next forty years.
With their new home Druids once again entered the Welsh Cup and the 1879–80 edition saw the start of an era of success for the Ruabon Club. Druids reached the Welsh Cup final seven consecutive times between 1879 and 1886 winning the trophy five times. Druids also had some success in the FA Cup reaching the Fifth Round (last eight) in 1882–83 and the Fourth Round in 1884–85
After seven years of success in Welsh football Druids would begin to suffer with the advent of professionalism. Druids failed to reach further than the Second Round in the Welsh Cup until the 1892–93 season. The earlier success in the FA Cup was also not to be matched as after 1887–88 they did not progress to the First Round proper again.
In 1897–98 season Druids joined The Combination and remained there until 1899–1900 season, finishing Fourth in 1898–99 and Third in 1899–1900. The 1897–98 season also saw Druids win the Welsh Cup for the Sixth time. More Welsh Cup success followed the following year, followed by two Runners-up spots in 1899–1900 and 1900–01. More silver ware would follow in the form of the Welsh Amateur Cup in 1902–03 and the Welsh Cup again for the Eighth and final time in 1903–04.
By now the Wynnstay Park Ground was fast becoming unsuitable and as the Estate would not allow improvement on the site, Druids began to suffer financially. With the outbreak of World War I in 1914 football in the country ceased until 1920, which in lue prevented Druids from becoming nothing more than a foot-note in the History of Welsh football. After the War Druids left Wynnstay Park and combined with Rhosymedre F.C. to form Rhosymedre Druids F.C. who played on the Church Field in Rhosymedre.[a]
Despite this new pairing, Druids still faced financial trouble and amalgamated once more 1923 with Acrefair United F.C. to form a new club Druids United.
Druids United F.C. continued to ply their trade in the area and they too amalgamated, with Cefn Albion F.C. in 1992 to form Cefn Druids F.C., who still carry on the name and success of the old club as Cefn Druids in the Cymru Alliance.
Several Druids players have represented Wales in international matches, who are listed below, with the number of caps won whilst with Druids and the total caps in parentheses:
- Harry Adams (2) (4)
- Edward Bowen (2) (2)
- William Butler (2) (2)
- Knyvett Crosse (3) (3)
- Arthur Davies (1) (2)
- John Price Davies (2) (2)
- Robert Davies (1) (1)
- Thomas Davies (4) (4)
- Jack Doughty (1) (8)
- Daniel Grey (2) (2)
- Reuben Humphreys (1) (1)
- John Jones (1) (1)
- Ralph Jones (1) (1)
- Robert Albert Jones (4) (4)
- Samuel Jones (1) (6)
- William P. Jones (2) (4)
- Llewelyn Kenrick (3) (5)
- Charles Ketley (1) (1)
- Richard Morris (2) (11)
- Jack Powell (9) (15)
- George Richards (3) (6)
- Robert Roberts (1) (9)
- Charles Thomas (2) (2)
- David Thomson (1) (1)
- George Thomson (2) (2)
- Jim Vaughan (4) (4)
- John Vaughan (9) (11)
- Ephraim Williams (5) (5)
- William Williams (9) (11)
For further details of their international careers, see List of Wales international footballers
- Welsh Senior League
- 1890-91, 1892–93, 1896–97
- Welsh Cup
- 1879–80, 1880–81, 1881–82, 1884–85, 1885–86, 1897–98, 1898–99, 1903–04
- Welsh Amateur Cup
- a Church Field, Rhosymedre was home at one point to the original Druids F.C. as well as the preceding club Druids United and Cefn Albion. Cefn Druids, who were formed by the amalgamation Druids United and Cefn Albion, play in a newly built stadium in Rhosymedre called The Rock/Rhosymedre Stadium. This new stadium is mere metres away from Church Field.
- ^ Druids kit on historicalkits.co.uk Retrieved 27 August 2009.
- ^ a b The History of the Welsh Cup 1877-1993 by Ian Garland (1991) ISBN 1-872424-37-6
- ^ a b c d History of Elements Cefn Druids AFC on welshpremier.com Retrieved 27 August 2009.
- ^ "History Of Cefn Druids AFC". Cefn Druids website. 2010. http://www.cefndruidsafc.co.uk/page.php?id=48. Retrieved 17 October 2010.
- ^ to form Elements Cefn Druids AFC on sportsnetwork.net Retrieved 27 August 2009.
- ^ The National Library of Wales:Directory of Welsh Biography Retrieved 27 August 2009.
- ^ The Guinness Record of the FA Cup by Mike Collett (1993) ISBN 0-85112-538-7
- ^ "'Oldest club' Tesco deal approved". BBC News (Wales). 13 March 2009. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/7942019.stm. Retrieved 17 October 2010.
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