Recognising some of the great players in the history of Wrexham FCBILLY ASHCROFTwas born less than 100 yards away from South Liverpool's football ground. At school he never took football seriously until towards the end of his time there, but in less than a year had signed for Blackpool as an associate schoolboy.
However, he left Bloomfield Road because of the travelling and his wish to concentrate on his studies.
Although he had trials with both Everton and Tranmere, both of which came to nothing, it was only after switching from playing wing-half to centre forward that he came to Wrexham's attention.
He made an immediate impact and signed for the Town straight from school in 1968, eventually being given professional terms by the club on his 18th birthday in 1970.
It was two days later that he made his Football League debut, before establishing himself in the team and as a firm favourite with the crowd.
Billy shared in what it was arguably the club's most successful period in the 1970's scoring 96 goals in the process before his ex-manager John Neal, then at Middlesbrough, returned to the Racecourse to sign his 'star pupil' for £120,000.
He went on to play in Holland with Twente Enschede before returning to these shores to turn out for Tranmere Rovers.
Once he retired from football, Billy moved into the licensing trade, running a pub in Southport.
TOMMY BAMFORD is one of THE legends of Wrexham Football Club.
He holds a number of goalscoring records for the club, including a record tally of 174 league goals, and the most league goals in a season, 44, during 1933/34.
At the relatively late age of 23, he started his league career with Wrexham after playing most of his earlier football in the local leagues around South Wales.
Tommy's debut in the Football League got off to great start, with a return of six goals in his first seven games at the end of 1928/29.
While his International career with Wales was to start similarly, with a goal on his debut against Scotland at Hampden Park.
His goalscoring record soon began to attract the attention of bigger clubs, and in 1934 he was transferred to Manchester United, where he went on to win the Second Division Championship, before returning to South Wales to sign for Swansea Town, where he stayed until the outbreak of WW2.
During this period he did play for Wrexham once again, as a 'guest' player, scoring a further eight goals from 14 appearances.
GARY BENNETT or 'Psycho' as he was affectionately known, will go down as one of the true legends of the Racecourse. He amassed an amazing 114 goals in just 177 games for Wrexham, the likes of which had not been seen since the great Tommy Bamford.
His direct style of play and never say die attitude meant that the likeable Scouser soon became a crowd favourite - well, with the home fans anyway! Not bad for a free transfer and one from Chester City at that!
After spells at Wigan Athletic, Chester City and Southend United, before being released by our local rivals, he was snapped up by Brian Flynn - who initially took some stick for signing a 'Chester Reject'.
Once again though his talent for spotting a bargain paid dividends, when a return of 16 goals helped us to achieve promotion to the Second Division. His next two seasons at the Racecourse were to prove to be even more prolific, with 39 and 47 goals scored respectively.
With the play-off positions just out of reach, Gary's desire to test himself at a higher level led to a £300,000 move to Tranmere Rovers where, despite averaging a goal every three games, it didn't really work out for him on the Wirral.
A £100,000 switch to Preston North End followed where he scored one goal in eight league games to help the Deepdale outfit to the Third Division Championship.
His love affair with Wrexham was not over yet though, and he returned to North Wales on the eve of the clubs FA Cup Quarter Final tie against Chesterfield.
Things were to prove more difficult second time round though, and with FA Cup glory now out of reach he was allowed to re-join Chester City for £50,000, where he finished his career.
Gary is still a very popular figure amongst the Wrexham fans and his goalscoring feats for the club will never be forgotten.
A NATIVE of Liverpool, KARL CONNOLLY was playing local football with Napoli (in the Warrington Sunday League!) when he was spotted by Wrexham scout Keith McKeown. After a trial at the club, he was initially signed on non-contract terms, followed by a three month contract at the beginning of the 1991/92 season.
Much to Karl's surprise he made his debut in the first match of that season against Hereford United, after which he never looked back.
When he first arrived at the club his favoured position was as a forward, but he was soon moved out to the left wing where his trickery caused havoc for opposing defenders. He played in the epic FA Cup victory over Arsenal, as well as assisting the side to promotion to Division Two in 1992/93.
He won a Welsh Cup Winners medal in 1995, when Wrexham beat Cardiff City in the final at the National Stadium, and the 1995/96 season saw him selected by his fellow professionals for the PFA's Second Division team. This was after switching to play in his favoured position of centre-forward following the departure of Gary Bennett, where he scored 21 goals.
The end of the 1999/2000 season saw him move on a 'Bosman' free to Queens Park Rangers to provide him with a 'fresh challenge'.
DAI DAVIES was a late convert to football as he attended a rugby only school, Amman Valley Grammar, in his native South Wales. However, he did play in goal during his schooldays for his local side, Ammanford Town.
It was from here that he was spotted by Swansea Town, and he played for them whilst continuing his education until 1969 when he signed professional forms.
Everton soon became interested in the Welshman, signing him for an initial fee of £25,000. He remained on Merseyside until 1977, when Wrexham manager Arfon Griffiths paid £8,000 for his services.
He turned out to be an inspirational signing, helping the club to the Third Division Championship. A very commanding figure, Dai became an 'extra defender' with superb organisational skills and control of his area.
After 144 appearances for the club, he moved on to Swansea and then to Tranmere Rovers where he finished his career.
He did however appear for Wrexham again in the mid 80's, when Wrexham manager Dixie McNeil asked him to play in goal for the Welsh Cup fixtures, as the regular keeper was cup-tied.
Dai went on to lift the cup that season, and he remains a keen supporter of the club - often found watching from the stands.
A MAINSTAY of the most successful side in the club's history, GARETH DAVIES' unassuming efficiency at the back was a cornerstone of the glory days of the 1970s.
Signed by Alvan Williams, initially as a centre forward, having been spotted playing for the Welsh Youth team, he was switched to centre back by John Neal, and went from strength to strength. Only Arfon Griffiths made more appearances for the club in its history as Davies managed over six hundred games, and nobody played more often in Europe.
In a 16-year run in the first team, he picked up three Welsh Cup winners medals and played his part in those memorable runs to the quarter finals of both the FA and League Cups in the 1977-8 season.
That was, of course, a campaign capped by the Third Division championship, after Davies had been a mainstay of the side which came agonisingly close to reaching the Second Division for the first time in the club's history the previous season.
That was not Davies' first promotion, though, as he was also a part of the team which were runners-up in the Fourth Division eight years earlier.
Davies also picked up three Welsh caps, but this list of achievements and the bare facts of his career's longevity hardly do justice to a player whose elegant consistency was almost taken for granted at the back, or a man who exuded quiet dignity.
ALAN DWYER was spotted when playing for Halewood Youth Club in his native Liverpool by the productive scouting network that Wrexham employed during the astute managership of John Neal.
Starting his career as a forward, Alan was soon moved to the left-back position, which he was to make his own during his time at the Racecourse. A great passer of the ball, a succession of niggling injuries were to scupper his chances of a 'big move', whilst also costing him many appearances for the club.
Alan helped the club to promotion in 1978, whilst also reaching the quarter finals of both the FA Cup and League Cup. He was also to play in two European campaigns for the club, but was released in 1981, after which he had trials with both Chesterfield and Leicester City, before signing for Stockport County.
ARFON GRIFFITHS’ place in the Wrexham 'Hall of Fame' is assured after he became the first manager to guide the club to the old Second Division. Before this though he was a player for the club, and a good one at that.
Spotted playing local football by former Wrexham player Frank Blew, he was signed initially on amateur forms in 1957. He made his first team debut at 17 against Darlington in an FA Cup match, coming on for Brian Cripsey.
After becoming a regular in the team, bigger clubs started taking an interest in him and Arsenal snapped him up for £15,500 in 1961. After 14 appearances for the North London club he was allowed to leave and returned to Wrexham, and thus began a nineteen year link with the club.
He was involved in arguably the best years of the club's history: guiding the club to promotion in 1963 and 1970; winning the Welsh Cup four times; playing in three European campaigns - reaching the quarter finals in 1976; making a club record 591 Football League appearances; and scoring 120 goals for the club in the process.
An impressive list by anyone's standards, these successes also led him on to international recognition with Wales, gaining 17 caps.
BARRY HORNE enjoyed considerable success in football during his school days, winning a number of trophies and representing district teams.
On leaving school he received a number of offers from league teams, but decided to consider his education, studying Chemistry for three years at Liverpool University. Upon leaving University, with a BSC and a Masters Degree in Engineering, he signed for Northern Premier League side Rhyl.
It was here that he caught the eye of Wrexham manager Bobby Roberts who signed him on professional terms in 1984. After going straight into the first team, he missed just two league games in his remaining three years at the club.
Barry collected a Welsh Cup Winners medal in 1986, and also played in two European campaigns for the club, including the famous victory over FC Porto where he scored one of the most important away goals in the history of the club.
He then moved onto Portsmouth before a £700,000 move to neighbours Southampton. A move to Everton followed, where he scored one of the most important goals in their history - against Wimbledon to save the club from relegation.
Barry was to play against Wrexham in an FA Cup game for Birmingham City, a game which the Red Dragons went on to win 3-1, before stumbling at the quarter final stage.
STILL only 17 at the time, BRYAN HUGHES became a regular in the team over the course of the following season, even helping the club to the Welsh Cup Final, where a 2-1 victory over Cardiff City enabled the club to lift the trophy for a record 23rd time.
After suffering a frustrating time in 1995/96 due to a dip in form, he returned to the team the next season following an injury to Phillips.
His career was to blossom, with some outstanding performances helping the club to the quarter finals of the FA Cup, beating Birmingham City along the way.
This was enough to persuade Brum boss Trevor Francis to splash out £900,000 for the talented midfielder. Bryan went on to play in a League Cup Final against Liverpool, as well as attracting attention from Premiership clubs.
After over 250 appearances for the Blues, Bryan moved on a free transfer to Charlton Athletic when his contract with Birmingham ran out in 2004.
The Valley was Bryan's home for three seasons as his racked up nearly another 100 games, before the upheaval of managerial changes and inevitable relegation sparked a major shakeup in the playing squad.
Bryan's latest move has seen him leave London and take up the new challenge of assisting Hull City in their quest for Premiership football.
JOEY JONES is a true Wrexham legend and will forever retain a prominent part in the club's history. His affinity with the club began when he left school in 1971 to become one of manager John Neal's crop of promising youngsters.
He progressed quickly, and was called up for his first team debut at the age of 17 in a local 'derby' against Chester in a Welsh Cup tie, which Wrexham lost 1-0.
Shrugging off that disappointment Joey went on to make his Football League debut in the next match, a 1-1 draw at Rotherham.
He immediately established himself in the first team at right-back, going on to become a member of the Wrexham team that reached the quarter finals of the FA Cup for the first time in the club's history during the 1973/74 season, beating Second Division sides, Crystal Palace and Middlesbrough, and First Division Southampton before going out to Burnley.
Joey won his first domestic honour in 1975 when Wrexham beat Cardiff City in the Welsh Cup Final, but before he could make his debut in European Football, was sold to Liverpool, the club that he supported as a boy, for £110,000.
After winning two League Championships and the European Cup in his time on Merseyside, he returned to Wrexham for a fee of £210,000, a fee which still stands as a club record. Spells at Chelsea and Huddersfield followed, picking up another League Championship on the way, before rejoining Wrexham for a third spell in August 1987.
In December 1989 he was appointed player/coach to the new manager Brian Flynn, before announcing his retirement form first team football in March 1992.
Joey is, and always will be, remembered for his 100% effort given on the football field, and of course for his famous clenched fist salute.
THE sight of ALBERT KINSEY receiving his Hall of Fame certificate at The Racecourse in 2002 will have been a welcome reminder to supporters who recalled his contribution to the club.
He was a cult hero in that era and made a huge contribution as the foundations for the success of the 1970s were being laid.
Albert was a powerful centre forward with an eye for the spectacular, and his charismatic leading of the line endeared him to team-mates and terrified opponents alike.
His zenith came in the 1969-70 season, when he finished top scorer in the Fourth Division as Wrexham were promoted. Furthermore, 12 goals in the last sixteen games gave the side the impetus required to force their way into the Third Division.
The step up in class did not diminish his threat in the penalty area either, as he notched 17 goals in 32 games in the following campaign, and the season after that he scored in both legs of the Welsh Cup Final, including the winning goal to overcome Cardiff.
This salvo earned Wrexham their first tilt at the European Cup Winners Cup, and who scored the Robins' first goal in Europe? Silly question really!
Albert now lives in Australia, but his heroics for the club, with only six men having scored more goals in its history, ensure that he will never be forgotten in this corner of the Northern Hemisphere!
INITIALLY on Leicester City's books, DIXIE McNEIL signed for Fourth Division Exeter City, after his release from Filbert Street.
Despite finishing as the club's top scorer with eleven goals he was also released by the South Coast club, so then joined Corby Town.
Spells at Northampton Town, Lincoln City and Hereford United followed before a move to the Racecourse at the beginning of the 1977/78 season.
He became an instant success at the club, scoring on his debut in a 2-1 victory over Swindon Town. His scoring exploits were to prove a major influence as the club stormed to the Third Division Championship.
Dixie remained in prolific form over the next four seasons before being released to rejoin Hereford United.
After his retirement he returned to the Wrexham area, and was appointed the clubs manager in 1985, in succession to Bobby Roberts.
He was to remain in the hot-seat until 1989, guiding the club to the brink of promotion and into European competition along the way, before his resignation.
SIGNED by Wrexham as a 14-year-old schoolboy, EDDIE NIEDZWIECKI made his debut in August 1977 replacing the out of favour Brian Lloyd.
Despite playing in a number of games during the promotion campaign of 1978, he was regularly behind the in-form Dai Davies in the battle for the number one jersey.
This changed in 1981 when Dai moved onto Swansea, allowing his fellow Welshman to retain the coveted spot for the following two seasons.
Ex-Wrexham manager John Neal was alerted to his outstanding performances and did not hesitate in splashing out £45,000 to take him to Chelsea, where he went straight into the first team.
His playing career was to come to a somewhat premature end in 1988 after sustaining a knee injury two years earlier against QPR.
After various coaching roles, he was with both Arsenal and Chelsea, whilst also helping out with the National side, before teaming up with Mark Hughes at Blackburn Rovers and then both Manchester City and QPR.
BEFORE signing for Wrexham, BOBBY SHINTON had spells with both Walsall and Cambridge United. It was at the Racecourse though that he was to achieve the most success finishing fifth in his first season before powering to the Third Division Championship in his second.
Add to this the succession of giant-killing cup feats, and it isn't hard to understand why he was so popular in North Wales.
His silky skills and spectacular goals soon led to a £300,000 move to Manchester City in 1979, but he never settled there and found himself out on loan to Millwall before a move to Newcastle United.
After failing to reproduce the form that he showed at the Racecourse he re-signed for Millwall, where he was to finish his league career.
WHAT can one say about MICKEY THOMAS' football abilities that hasn't already been said?
He was a tenacious midfield player, full of flair and eagerness, who would always give 100% wherever he played. However, his career was all too often offset by his problems off the field.
Mickey's football career began with Wrexham, having been spotted playing for Conwy, Clwyd and North Wales Schoolboys.
His all action style of play and elusive runs down the flank finally helped Wrexham to promotion to the Second Division for the first time in the club's history in 1978. Prior to that he had played in many of the Red Dragons' cup exploits, both at home and abroad.
This prompted Manchester United to shell out £300,000 to prize him away from the Racecourse. Spells at several other clubs followed, notably Everton, Chelsea and Stoke City before returning to North Wales.
Mickey's second spell with Wrexham proved to be just as fulfilling as his first, as he hit the national headlines with a superbly taken free-kick to pave the way towards knocking the Football League Champions, Arsenal out of the FA Cup in January 1992.
The next season was to be his last, as made only eight league appearances for Wrexham as the side clinched promotion to the Second Division. Mickey will always be remembered at Wrexham for his achievements for the club.
WHEN you chat to ex-Wrexham players from the 1950s, they all speak with awe about one particular man - BILLY TUNICLIFFE.
A cursory glance at the statistics above reveals just why he was held in such high esteem: a record of better than a goal in every three matches is nothing to be sneezed at, and yet that's not half the story.
Tunnicliffe was not a centre forward; he maintained that fine strike rate from the flanks. A wiry left winger, he was the highest scoring wide player in the entire Football League in his first season at The Racecourse, having arrived from Bournemouth.
His style delighted Wrexham supporters, and his powerful shot was legendary. Tales of long distance screamers are recalled whenever Tunnicliffe's name is mentioned, and remember that those were the days when the balls weighed a ton!! The velocity he might have achieved with the modern balls doesn't bear thinking about!
Tunnicliffe's impact was felt after he left as well: his departure for Bradford as the 1952-3 season was drawing to a close was seen by many as a crucial point in the campaign: Wrexham losing momentum at that point as their promotion challenge faltered.
They missed out on the first promotion in their history by a mere three points and, who knows, if this Racecourse legend had played a full season, history might have been achieved!
GRAHAM WHITTLE was another product of Wrexham manager John Neal's successful youth policy, having being spotted playing football in his native Liverpool for Hartshill Boys' Club.
He made his Football League debut in 1971 at Aston Villa, as he was asked deputise for Arfon Griffiths in a memorable 4-3 victory.
Graham went on to play a major role in Wrexham's rise to the Second Division, and starred in the club's many giant-killing encounters of the 1970's.
He became a firm favourite with the Wrexham fans, due to his fierce determination, and big powerful shot which was feared by many a goalkeeper.
Combining with Billy Ashcroft to form a deadly strike partnership during the 1976/77 season he ended the campaign as the club's top scorer with 28 goals.
The following season he formed another lethal partnership, this time with Dixie McNeil as the club galloped to promotion.
Sadly, however, Whittle's career came to an early end due to a persistent knee injury, which forced him to retire before his 28th birthday.
FILMED on April 2nd 1906, it features the Welsh team taking to The Racecourse pitch before a 4-4 draw with Ireland. As the players clamber over the pitchside bar in front of their changing room in The Turf, they are led out by HORACE BLEW, a man who stood out for Wrexham in the time before our acceptance into the Football League.
Blew was a Wrexham man through and through, from his birth in the town, through his role as mayor in the 1920s, to his receiving the freedom of the borough in 1948. Throw in fourteen years playing for the club and another eighteen serving as director, and you have a man who clearly had to be included in the Hall of Fame!
Blew won three Welsh Cup winner's medals, three runners-up medals and four Combination Leagues with Wrexham as a rugged full back, and was also a key player for his country, winning twenty-two Welsh caps.
For such a major figure in pre-Great War football, he surprisingly only played two games in the Football League, one of which was for Manchester United as he helped them to gain promotion to the First Division., after which a special gold medal was presented to him by the club in recognition of his efforts.
Blew's loyalty to his home town meant that he would devote his career to Wrexham, though: a fact that illustrates just how much the game, and indeed the world, have changed since those days!
ALAN FOX’S promise was apparent from an early age, as he made his debut aged just seventeen at Crewe Alexandra.
The difference between the game in those days and the modern player's lot was illustrated when he was dropped off at The Racecourse on the team's return from the night match and left to find his way home to Holywell despite the last train having already gone!
Fox was already a Welsh youth international and went on to win Under-23 caps, before getting to the fringe of the full squad. Indeed, he was named in the preliminary squad for the 1958 World Cup Finals which saw Wales get to the quarter finals.
Fox was a cultured centre half who attracted the interest of Arsenal, but showed commendable loyalty to Wrexham, for whom he stands in eleventh place in the list of all-time appearances.
Another change in the approach adopted to the game since Fox's career, is the fact that he did not miss a game from 1958 to 1963, a stretch of 198 consecutive games. In this time he was a key part of the side which gained promotion in 1962, and also picked up three Welsh Cup winners' medals.
In 1964 Fox moved on to play for Hartlepool, but Wrexham has clearly retained a place in his heart, and he remains a valued friend of the club and the Supporters Association from his home in the North East.
ALF JONES was a redoubtable figure at right back for Wrexham between the wars - a man who was accepted wholeheartedly by The Racecourse faithful despite coming from Chester! Indeed, Jones was variously known as "Our Alf" and "The Pride of Wrexham" as the North Walians took him to their hearts!A TOWERING figure for Wrexham as they established themselves in the old Third Division at the start of the 1970s, EDDIE MAY was an inspirational figure.
Jones' contribution to the club can best be summed up by the sort of longevity that modern managers can only dream of! When his career ended he held the record for the most senior appearances for the club, a figure only surpassed by Arfon Griffiths and Gareth Davies in the intervening sixty-six years.
Indeed, the fourth-placed player in the list, Phil Hardy, stands exactly ninety matches behind him! Also, his 575 appearance were thought to be a record for the Third Division North at the time.
He racked up that number of appearances through a determination to be on the pitch whenever he could. He didn't miss a game from 1925 to 1929, a run of 159 games which is the sixth longest run of consecutive appearances in the club's history.
That was just a preamble though, as he set off on another streak of games between 1930 and 1935, not missing a game for five years: a total of 236 games. This club record was only beaten by Brian Lloyd in the mid-1970s. What would Our Alf have made of squad rotation, I wonder?
He not only accumulated over four hundred appearances for the club between 1968 and 1976, the twelfth highest total in the club's history, but he also chipped in with a remarkable forty-four goals from his position at the back!
May first made his mark at Southend United, where Alvan Williams converted him into a central defender. When Williams was appointed manager at Wrexham he brought Eddie with him, beginning a purple patch in the big man’s career and Wrexham's history.
May was captain of the side which enjoyed its first two runs in the European Cup Winners Cup, and also led the team to the quarter finals of the FA Cup. He had already played a crucial part in Wrexham promotion campaign of 1969-70 and picked up a Welsh Cup winner's medal in 1972. Surprisingly, he was released in 1976 and moved on to Swansea.
His influence on the club was not quite finished, though: May subsequently returned to The Racecourse as manager of Cardiff, and during a brief spell in charge of Newport County he sold Andy Thackeray to Dixie McNeil.
ALLY McGOWAN'S years of service to the club were characterised by a redoubtable commitment to the cause of Wrexham Football Club.
Wrexham certainly profited from the decision of St Johnstone to give 25 players free transfers in 1953! McGowan was working down the mines when he signed for Wrexham, and gave sterling service to the club as a tough-tackling full back, totting up the fifth highest number of appearances in the club's history.
In the process, he earned three Welsh Cup winners medals, was part of the side which got to the last sixteen of the inaugural League Cup, beating First Division Blackburn in the process, and lined up in the legendary FA Cup game against the Busby Babes which attracted Wrexham's record attendance to The Racecourse. He even managed a couple of goals on the rare occasions that he was allowed over the half way line!
After a leg break prematurely ended his career, McGowan continued to give sterling service to the club as a groundsman and coach, handed the tricky job of making the young Joey Jones and Mickey Thomas toe the line!
Readers of Peter Jones and Gareth Davies' excellent histories of Wrexham Football Club can hardly have failed to have noticed an easily-recognisable figure cropping up in team pictures throughout the first half of the Twentieth Century.
In trademark Macintosh and flat cap, TED ROBINSON was always in the background, a stalwart at The Racecourse from the years before Football League status was earned, who worked tirelessly to maintain that position.
Robinson was well thought of as a centre back in thirteen years of service on the pitch for Wrexham, starting in the late Nineteenth Century. Three Welsh Cup winners' medals, and five unsuccessful appearances in the final were augmented by four Combination League titles, but his contribution to the club was only just beginning.
When he finally hung up his boots he continued to devote himself to Wrexham FC, working as secretary and then financial secretary as the club entered the Third Division North, and becoming synonymous with the fortunes of the North Walian side to the extent that it is widely regarded to be in his honour that the club nickname, for so many years, was "The Robins".
FEW clubs can survive without the good fortune of attracting loyal servants like GEORGE SHOWELL, whose years at the club were characterised by his willingness to take on a number of roles with a good-natured professionalism.
Arriving in 1966 as a full back of some repute who had played for Wolves in their 1960 FA Cup final victory, his opportunities to make an impression on the pitch were limited by injury, and he had to retire when a persistent knee injury finally got the better of him. Ironically, that was when Wrexham got the best out of him!
Showell took on the role of assistant to manager Alvan Williams, and when he left at the end of the season Showell became John Neal's right hand man as well as physio. Showell's calming influence was an essential component behind the scenes as Wrexham enjoyed the greatest period in the club's history. Runs to the quarter finals of the European Cup Winners Cup, FA Cup and the League Cup, as well as promotion from the Fourth to the Second Division followed, with Showell continuing his role as lieutenant to Arfon Griffiths.
He was unable to halt the slide back to the Fourth Division under Mel Sutton and Bobby Roberts, although he did have a brief spell in charge of the team, and would have been a popular permanent choice as he turned around a miserable season, registering 2-0 wins over Chester and eventual champions Chesterfield and handing over to Dixie McNeil having set off on a six match run of wins.
Showell was assistant to McNeil, and continued in that capacity under Brian Flynn, but sadly his association with the club was to end in unfortunate circumstances, leaving because he did not meet new requirements for physiotherapists' qualifications.
MEL SUTTON'Stireless effort in midfield made him one of the unsung heroes of Wrexham's golden era, as he put in the miles without seeking the limelight.
A player who was universally appreciated by his team mates, Sutton arrived for £15,000 in 1972, which at the time was a record fee for Wrexham. He arrived in time to provide backbone for a side about to embark on a memorable adventure: Sutton was part of both runs to the last eight of the F.A. Cup, as well as the quarter finals of the League Cup and European Cup Winners Cup.
Indeed, no-one played more games in Europe for Wrexham than Sutton, who has made the tenth highest number of appearances for the club. Throw in a Third Division Championship medal for good measure, and you have a list of honours which few players in Wrexham's history can approach.
Sadly, his spell at The Racecourse was to end in unfortunate circumstances. The departure of Arfon Griffiths led to Sutton taking over as manager in 1981, but financial reality was beginning to catch up with the club, and he was unable to prevent a slide to relegation, although he did steer the side to a memorable FA Cup victory over Brian Clough's Nottingham Forest.
Sutton was dismissed once relegation was assured, ending ten years of loyal service to the club.