History of Bargod Rangers
A question often asked on the locality is, “When was Bargod Rangers formed?”. Some say it was when the first ever recorded football match was played at Llysnewydd Meadow in 1880. Others would say that it was when they became one of the original teams set up in 1921 by the Cardiganshire Football League. However Life President Gwynfor Jones was adamant that the club was established in 1897, and that it was originally a Hockey team. He offered no explanation and no proof, but he was remarkably consistent in his belief about the information which had passed down the ages and which he had clung onto.
In 2011 more tangible evidence began to emerge by way of a photograph of a hockey team with the name Bargod Rangers printed on the kit bag at the front, which together with early match reports from the mid 1890’s supported Gwynfor’s assertion. So, we are now sure that Bargod Rangers was formed at the end of the nineteenth century, and then became one of the founder members of the Ceredigion Football league when it was established in 1921. The club has remained uninterrupted as a member of the Ceredigion League since its inception.
Some Key Facts
1880 On the 9th January the first ever football match on record was played by a team from Velindre, away to Newcastle Emlyn. The match report appeared in Tivy Side with the team referred to as Velindre.
1884 to 1900s The village football team played under various names – Bargoed Rovers, Glanbargoed, Drefach, and so on. These reports throw much light on how football was played and the fierce local rivalry which existed especially against Newcastle Emlyn. The goals in those days were sticks, with a tape forming the cross bar.
1895-1899- A Hockey league was formed with the Bargod Rangers supported by Colonel Lewes of Llysnewydd Mansion, a local Gentry and Landowner. Other supports such as Athletics and Cricket were also played. Llysnewydd Mansion had a tennis court, and local; villagers and other prominent people were invited to participate 1900- 1914 The local football team became known as Bargoed Rangers –and match reports up to the beginning of the First World War showed that the club was successful in that period.
1921 Bargoed Rangers became one of four teams to establish the Cardiganshire Football League
1920s and 1930s Little is known about Bargoed Rangers in this period other than some pictures in the Red Lion showing that the club was well supported and regularly won cup competitions during that period. In 1938 Oswald Davies of Berwyn, Drefach was capped for Wales in a game against England at as an Amateur level.
1946 – Following the end of the 2nd World War returning soldiers were again available and in 1946, the first year when the league was re-established, Bargoed Rangers won the League Cup. ‘Dafi John’ Jones, the oldest surviving club member was a prominent member of that team.
1950s and 1960s This era became known as the Golden Era of the club, winning the League Cup, League Championship, and The Bay Cup in 1957, a feat which was repeated in 1962. In the mid sixties the club relocated from Llysnewydd Meadow to the more centrally located Parc Puw.Eric Davies (Vaynor), a colourful, and remarkable local character took over as club secretary, and generated intense loyalty from his players.
1970s A period of change in the club with Michael Davies taking over as club secretary, and taking the lead in raising funds to provide a purpose built changing room at Parc Puw, the Clubs ‘New Home’. These were exciting times with Summer Fayres being organised with celebrities like John Toshack, and Stan Ogden of Coronation Street attending.
1975 – The new changing rooms at Parc Puw were opened with a soccer match played against Britton Ferry.The club was renamed Bargod Not Bargoed, following an article in the Tivyside and the Daily Telegraph in January of that year by Tom Lewis Jones (Bom), a local supporter of the club. In his article he took issue with the Ceredigion Football League and others that the proper name of the club was Bargod Not Bargoed. In his article he points out that the club was named after the River Bargod which forms the boundary between Drefach and Felindre.
1976 – John Davies (Cwrt) the clubs goal keeper signed professional forms for Cardiff City , the only professional player produced by the club, so far.
1977 The playing surface at Parc Puw was redeveloped incorporating an innovative drainage system with the playing surface constructed from sand and peat. Similar schemes were developed at the Baseball Ground, Derby, and Hampden Park, Glasgow. The new [playing surface was opened with res season games against Swansea City, Cardiff City and Wrexham Football Clubs. Towards the end of the decade the first team entered the Mid Wales Football League. Two other teams represented the club in the Cardiganshire and Carmarthenshire.
1979 – On the 21st of April, a youth soccer international between Wales and Ireland was played at Parc Puw which was televised.
1981 – Bargod Rangers played Stourbridge of the Southern League in the 2nd round of the Welsh Cup. Stourbridge won the game comfortably, and were drawn at home to 3rd Division Wrexham in the second round of the cup. A feature appeared by Idwal Robling on BBC’s Sports Wales programme, and can now be seen on YouTube.
1980s In this period the club purchased the old mill at Cilwendeg to create a leisure centre, with Gymnasium, squash and Badminton courts, together with a fully licenced bar and restaurant. Bargod in this period fielded three teams, one in the Central Wales League and one in both Cardiganshire and Carmarthenshire Football leagues. The first team successfully competed in the Central Wales League for two years but the costs associated with travel and the costs of the leisure centre venture, together with on the field issues surrounding the selection of players who were not from the locality created insurmountable problems and challenges. Following these difficulties the club returned to play in the Ceredigion League, but suffered from the legacy of over ambition. It is true to say that for a number of years the club was in the doldrums.
1991 A pre-season match between Bargod Rangers and Hendon Town Football Club took place at Parc Puw on the 11th of August
Following the difficulties in the eighties, the club took a positive view of the future and put to one side past issues. In this period two teams were fielded in the Ceredigion League and there were a number of cup successes. Instrumental in the clubs revival were a number of students who played with the club for a period of 4 years up to 1996. It is worth recording here that the 1996 team which won both the second division championship and the Ceredigion Cup continue to hold reunion matches against Bargod Rangers
This was a period of strengthening with the establishment of Junior Teams at various age groups to compete in the South Ceredigion Junior Soccer League. The senior team continued to consolidate their position in the second division of the Ceredigion Football League
Between 2010 and 2016 the clubs position in Division 1 of the Ceredigion League was well established. In the same period the club has appeared in three Easter Monday Cup Finals, winning the cup in 2014, and it was in this year that the club lost its Treasurer, and club stalwart Glanville John Evans (GOS). It is somewhat ironic that the winning of the cup for the first time in forty years coincided with a tragic loss.