Colwyn Bay were one of the teams that Boro’ had to get past on our way to a 1996-7 FA Trophy semi-final showdown against Woking; the Seagulls drawn against us at Broadhall Way in the quarter final. Any hopes harboured by the North Welsh side of an upset were dashed as we progressed through, however. And the nature of our respective fortunes since means that a reunion is a long way off at best; the Seagulls having swapped the English league for the Cymru Premier in 2019.
Colwyn Bay are a club that date back as far as 1881; playing its first game in January of that year. For the Seagulls, the first ‘proper’ competition you’ll find them down as taking part in was the North Wales Coast League (1898). But that only lasted a couple of years before the lack of a home ground saw them thrown out. Mind you, they did return a year later. So, a bit of fuss about nothing perhaps? Who knows. What we do know is that the United suffix was added to their name in 1908.
In 1921, the Seagulls joined the Welsh National League; coming second in 1928 and clinching the League Cup. Not for the first time, however, their league folded and left the club scratching around for a new one to take part in. That turned out to be the North Wales Football Combination in 1930, before a maiden title success in their first division saw them move on again to the Birmingham & District League. It feels like a strange choice to us; Colwyn Bay being neither in Birmingham, the surrounding district, or same country.
After struggles in the B&D League, the Seagulls returned to the Welsh National League (North); enjoying some success over the following years. In 1984, however, they decided to return to the English structure with a place in the North West Counties League. Within a decade, they moved into the Northern Premier League. A sixth-placed finish in the league’s top division in 1993-4 was as good as it got on that front – albeit against the mad backdrop of off-field shenanigans.
Basically, the Football Association of Wales told them in 1992 to join the League of Wales… or get out of Wales. The Seagulls took the latter option and ended up playing in Northwich and Ellesmere Port. It took the intervention of a court injunction to allow them home; something that was confirmed when the High Court of Justice told the FAW to stop being silly in April 1995. We’d like to have seen the governing body pull that stunt against Wrexham, Swansea City or Cardiff City.
Why do we know the Seagulls?
League form wasn’t amazing during the mid-1990s. Maybe it was understandable given the issues with their home ground. But there are some cup highlights to report. The 1995-6 season saw them reach the second round of the FA Cup. One year later, it was their best-ever FA Trophy campaign; getting through to the quarter finals. Their reward? A trip to Broadhall Way. Any ambition of joining us in the Conference, however, were never realised.
In the 2010s, the Seagulls hit arguably their highest rung on the English ladder with four straight seasons in Conference North. Relegated in 2015 and then again in 2016, however, the club soon found itself back down in Northern Premier League Division One North. The need to travel around northern England was a growing strain on them though. So, in March 2019, it was confirmed that Colwyn Bay would be returning to the Welsh league pyramid after all.
How to get to Colwyn Bay – Travel Information – Distance: 218 miles
BoroGuide is usually more inclined to take a scenic route if possible. Here, it’d involve a cross-country route in North Wales via the A5 and A470. But this takes some explaining and, no doubt, an extra hour at least. So, we’ll keep it simple and take the fast route.
M1 and M6; you get the gist for this first bit. It’s once you’re on the northbound M6 after the Toll that you need to pay attention just a little bit more. Keep an eye out for Junction 20 and the M56 towards the north of Wales.
Take the M56 for its entire 21-mile length and continue onto the A494 for another seven miles or so. You’ll soon come to an interchange that has a straight on or fork left option. Head straight on and this’ll be the A55 towards Conwy.
After nearly 30 miles, it’s time to come off the A55; marked down as Junction 22 for the A547 or Old Colwyn. Turn left onto the Promenade and continue down for nearly a mile where the ground is.
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