Wrexham AFC will hold a minute’s silence ahead of the Vanarama National League match against Dagenham & Redbridge, to remember former players, staff, family and friends who have sadly passed away in the last 12 months.
We ask all Wrexham AFC supporters, wherever you are following Saturday’s game from, to join us in a moment’s reflection to remember those no longer with us.
In the past 12 months, Wrexham AFC were saddened to hear of the passing of former players Cyril Lawrence, Ray Smith, Ernie Phythian and Steve Ingle, as well as former chairman Pryce Griffiths and director Graham Jones.
We also asked Wrexham supporters to share memories of watching Wrexham with friends and family who are no longer with us. You can read those tributes below.
At the heart of our community, Wrexham Association Football Club represents so much to so many people, of all ages, with a significant footballing and social history, spanning over 157 years.
However, it is those who have followed the Club through many of those years that truly have made it the iconic symbol of all our hopes and dreams.
The Racecourse has become the gathering place of the diverse communities of not just Wrexham town itself, but much of North & Mid Wales, the Marches and beyond, becoming one community, one extended family of shared memories, experiences and ambitions.
As with any family, the passage of time takes its toll, we lose those loved ones who have, and continue, to mean so much to us. Our memories will always ensure their place as a member of the Wrexham AFC family.
A life-long supporter of the team, he was local businessman who ran a wholesale newspaper business across north Wales and initially joined the football club’s Board of Directors in 1977.
He was chairman from 1984 for two years and then returned to the role in 1988 through until the early-2000’s.
This was quite a leap from being a fan on the terraces and physically helping to build the Kop, to running the Racecourse club and spending 25 years as a director, 16 of them as chairman.
During his time as a director, the Racecourse underwent numerous improvements, while the training facility at Colliers Park was also opened, providing the club with three pitches, a gym, changing rooms and office space for the management staff.
On the field, his time at the club saw great success with promotion in 1978, multiple European Cup Winners Cup ties, victory over Arsenal, promotion in 1993, our cup-run in 1997 and Welsh Cup victories. He played a big part in the story of Wrexham AFC.
Matthew was a lifelong Wrexham fan and had great knowledge on all the Wrexham teams past and present. Matt is greatly loved and forever missed.
He was a supporter; that was his life for over 70 years and he attended nearly every home game in that time! A big proud moment of his was watching myself be a mascot at Wembley in 2013 for the first time in our history! He also loved travelling to watch the Reds!
Took me to my first ever game, against York City in 1966, when I was 6 years old - I've been hooked ever since.
RICHARD HUGHES (26/5/1960-21/9/2019)
A true devoted Wrexham fan through and through! He had Wrexham tattoos, memorabilia and followed them home and away since he was young.
His devotion was with him to the day he passed on, 59 and will forever be known as a loyal Wrexham fan.
All his children also follow the club, including the youngest, being only 18 months-old.
“Wrexham till I die” - Gillian
Uncle John used to attend every home match without fail, often with his twin brother Ken.
DEREK EVANS, VALERIE EVANS, DAVID EVANS
Most memorable day was going to Wembley to watch the game, and Wrexham win; a fantastic day for us.
GRAHAM L. HINTON
Stood and watched tens if not 100s of games with Graham on the side of the ground under the Grandstand before I joined the RAF (1977). Watching v Anderlecht and Hajduk Split was awesome, in the former European Cup Winners Cup. He never missed many home games!
A director of the club in the 1990’s and stepped down in 2002, when changes were afoot behind the scenes that saw a number of boardroom departures, which would later push the club into a dark place.
After leaving the Racecourse, Graham directed his efforts to help Cefn Druids and was later appointed as their Club President.
A dedicated, hard-working and wonderful servant for Druids, he will be deeply missed by all that knew him.
“JOHN THE BELL”
Used to ring his bell at home games and abroad watching Wrexham in European games.
My dad, who is no longer here, was a supporter of Wrexham AFC for more than 70 years. Even when he was very ill that didn't stop him supporting his team. He was a wheelchair user and was the first wheelchair user on the new platform which made his day. In his words, Wrexham is the name!
JOHN ‘JAKEY’ JONES
He sadly passed away in May 2020, aged 68. An avid supporter and season ticket holder for many years, he followed Wrexham for over 54 years.
Every home match was on the Kop, followed by the family section of the Mold Road Stand, along with his family and friends. He was everyone’s friend and will be sadly missed.
We spent most Saturdays watching Wrexham together through the good times and bad. He would always be found in The Turf after the game. A larger than life character.
Watching Wrexham against Grimsby at Wembley. We were both season ticket holders in the Hays Travel stand for years and he loved Wrexham.
Travelled to Wembley for the FA Trophy final in 2013. Season ticket holder from young age up to 90 years of age, when he started suffering with his health and was devastated to have to stop coming to the games. Sadly passed away in hospital 5th May 2020. His beloved Wrexham scarf was buried with him.
After suffering with poor health for a number of months and being cared for at the Nightingale House Hospice in Wrexham, Paul left us far too early. A fixture at all our games, along with his lovely wife Bev, as the pair made journeys up and down the UK to watch the team in action.
He travelled around Europe supporting Wales and when he had a free day, also popped up to Scotland to watch Celtic in action.
A massive loss to Bev and his family, Paul is also deeply missed by his many friends at the Racecourse, in the town of Wrexham and throughout football.
Rest in Peace
IEUAN DAVIES AND IONA DAVIES
My father and mother were both life long Wrexham fans and season ticket holders and the smile on there faces when they found out that their good friend Ifor Williams, who they grew up with, was sponsoring the shirt made them proud.
My dad and his late brother (Tim Oliver) used to take me to games nearly ever week as a kid. I will never forget the car journeys home and then rating the players and the game the whole way back.
WILLIAM DEREK MATHEWS
A lifelong supporter and season ticket holder in the Hayes Travel Stand. He was a tireless worker for Nightingale House Hospice and will be missed by all his friends.
Derek had just moved from Acton to Mynydd Isa and spent a lot of time in the Mold area, where he was the tenant owner of the Wylfa Esso Garage in Mold.
A fervent fan all his life and together with his pals, John Roberts and Gwilym Jones, who are also deceased many years ago, went everywhere with the Town.
He was the regular Father Christmas at Nightingale House and a member of the Wrexham Tenovus Choir. He would be so chuffed to know he was being mentioned - RIP Derek.
REV. GWILYM ROBERTS
My father Rev. Gwilym Roberts went home this summer, 93 years.
He brought me to my first football match at the Racecourse in 1964, while also being at Anfield on Saturday, 24 January 1970, to see Ray Smith give Wrexham the lead in an FA Cup tie - we also went to the epic FA Cup Quarter-final in 1974 at Turf Moor against Burnley.
Making the trip to Cardiff for the LDV final & experiencing our first Wrexham trophy win together.
Wrexham’s first trip to Wembley in 2013 for the FA Trophy final v Grimsby.
Dad Trevor Davies first brought me in 1977 to watch Wrexham. We have spent many games together over the years watching our only love in the game. He died November 29th 2020 from COVID. Gone but always loved and remembered.
His and Wrexham’s first time at Wembley in the FA Trophy against Grimsby. He loved Wrexham.
Brought me to me first ever game, the Gareth Owen testimonial vs Manchester United XI in 2000. Although I don’t live locally I’ve been a loyal fan ever since, always going to watch a game when visiting and when old enough travelling to games alone from down South.
Very fond memories of being able to see the big floodlights from his kitchen window as a young boy and walking down to a game with him.
Stoke Away, the moment Carra’s goal went in: a moment I’ll never forget with a special man!
Watching us beat Grimsby at Wembley.
Malcolm loved going to Wrexham games with his grandsons, never missed a game even when undergoing chemotherapy treatment. True fan!
Thomas, Harry, Kerri, Gwilym, Lesley, Jay, Maisie
I’ll never forget my first match in the promotion year of 92/93. I was hooked! Also digging ourself out of snow to get to Wembley was special! RIP dad!
Promotion - On the Kop and pitch together for the 7-1 win v. Rotherham Utd. on 22 Apr 1978.
My dad Dilwyn (Dil) passed away just 2 weeks ago, and his funeral is on Mon 8th Feb. Dil supported Wrexham for over 70 years. A few years ago long-term illness meant he became partially sighted, and sadly stopped coming to games. One year later the DSA introduced Audio Descriptive Commentary, and he started coming to games again joining myself and Dil’s grandson Efan at games. Every match Dil got the VIP treatment from the DSA guys, and our family couldn’t thank them enough for allowing Dil to return to The Racecourse for the live match day experience with his beloved team.
Dil loved being one of the lads, joining in with the banter, jokes and conversation at the games. He will be dearly missed, and our small community in the Mold Road Stand will not be the same without him.
War hero Cyril played for Wrexham in the 1950s, having previously started his career at Blackpool before enlisting in the Royal Navy during World War II. He returned to his career after surviving the war, playing 50 times for Wrexham and scoring nine goals. Just two months short of his 100th Birthday, Cyril died of COVID-19.
Listening to her stories of the old Wrexham teams and players she knew personally and, of course, her stories of her father-in-law William Madeley, who was a director at the club.
Dad brought me to my first Wrexham match on my Birthday in 1978. Fast forward to my birthday in 2013, I took my son to his first Wrexham match, Wembley vs Grimsby.
MARK JOHN BUTLER
Sadly missed and will miss his good humour and match-day conversations. John & Janet
NESTA JEAN LEWIS
Lifelong Wrexham AFC fan who brought the family up supporting the club. Her two children are still season ticket holders. Sadly our mum died in June 2020 .
Love you Mum. John & Janet.
Standing squashed In the old Mold Road Paddock v Liverpool 1978.
Watching many games over the years home and away with one of the Town’s biggest fans, missed every day by all the family.
Meeting the mascot and Gary demanding a selfie, and watching our boys become lifelong Wrexham supporters from the Mold Rd stand. Many happy memories.
Greater Manchester-born Ernie Phythian, a former England Youth international, joined Wrexham in 1962 after starting his career with Bolton Wanderers. The striker went on to score 44 goals in 134 Wrexham appearances before leaving for Hartlepools and then making his way to South Africa, where he made his home. He died in Johannesburg, aged 78, in August.
As a nipper it was the walking up to the Racecourse, hearing the fans, hearing the music, seeing the lights. My Grandad buying my the program and watching the mighty reds in any weather come rain or shine. He made me fall in love with the town!!
Our dad John passed away Christmas Day. We remember sitting in the wooden Mold Road stand and hundreds of matches on the Kop and now the Tech Ewith his grandsons. Mickey's goal against Arsenal on the Kop, Ian Edwards’ goal at Derby. He was so excited about our future of our club.
PHIL “FLINTY” FORMSTONE
Too many good memories to single out one.
Former right-back Steve Ingle was a promotion winner with Wrexham in 1970, having signed for the club in 1967. Ingle previously played for Bradford and Southend United, before going on to make 149 appearances for the Robins – scoring five goals. Like Ernie Phythian, Ingle also moved to South Africa to end his career and then settled there before sadly dying from coronavirus in December 2020.
After moving into the area our first game was the Arsenal match, and after that we knew we'd found our team and used to go home and away together until I left home for University. Originally standing in the paddock and then sitting in the Mold Road, particularly after he was ill. He passed before relegation to the Conference but he'd be so pleased about the prospects for our future.
It was my Dad who took me to my first Wrexham match back in 1973, and I've been a supporter ever since .. thanks Dad .. he sadly passed away on New Year’s Day .. will always remember the best of times with him at Cae Ras .. RIP Dad.
FA Cup 3rd round tie at Stoke City when Mark Carrington scored to put us 1-0 up.
Took me to my first game vs Chelsea around 1981. We were sat in the Mold Road stand next to the away end. We lost 4-0 and I apparently spent the whole second half asking if we could go home!
The former striker was most famous for scoring ‘the goal that silenced The Kop’ when Wrexham took the lead against Liverpool in the FA Cup. The striker’s record of 60 goals in 175 appearances marked him as one of Wrexham’s leading marksmen in the late-60s/early-70s having been similar successful at Southend United. He would go on to play for Peterborough, before returning to North Wales to play for Bangor. Ray passed away earlier this year, aged 77.