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The Welsh Football Academy: T.E.Thomas and Chirk AAA

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 Chirk is a village between Wrexham and Oswestry close to the England Wales border. In 1891 the population was 2,272.
 Between 1884 and 1907 the village club, Chirk Amateur Athletic Association Football Club, provided 20 Welsh internationals , whilst another 4 natives of Chirk were capped whilst playing for other clubs. 
The club also won the Welsh Cup 5 times between 1887 and 1894. 
The success of the small mining community as a breeding ground for top class footballers is largely due to the efforts of one man, T.E. Thomas.

T.E. Thomas

Thomas was born in Ystalafera, South Wales in 1853. He was a schoolmaster at Chirk National School. 
In 1876 when the locals decided to form a club, Thomas was appointed secretary (he also played for the club, alongside employees of the local coal mines).
Thomas indoctrinated his pupils in the importance of accurate passing, ball control and keeping the ball on the ground. These were very progressive ideas at the time. 
In 1890 Thomas became became president of the Football Association of Wales.

Chirk AAA's Cup Winning teams: 

1886-87

1887-88

1889-90

1891-92

1893-94

E Povey
J Morgan
T Wynne
E Roberts
G O Postle
E Powell
'Di' Jones
J Mates
H Owen
J Jones
J Rogers
W P Jones
J Williams
J Owen
Wise
J Davies
R C Jones
G Williams
J Jones
E Morris
H Morgan
Billy Owen
P Griffiths
E James
T Williams
J Butler
W H Meredith
G Owen
H Morris
G Owen
H Roberts
G Griffiths
W Egan
A Lockley


Chirk AAA players in the Welsh International XI:

17.03.84

Wales 0 England 4 (Racecourse, Wrexham)

Charles Conde (1)

Peter Griffiths (2)

Billy Owen (3)


29.03.84

Scotland 4 Wales 1 (Cathkin Park, Glasgow)

Charles Conde




11.03.85

Ireland 2 Wales 8  (Ballynafeigh, Belfast)

Billy Owen




26.02.87

England 4 Wales 0 (The Oval)

Billy Owen




12.03.87

Ireland 4 Wales 1 (Oldpark Avenue, Belfast) 

George Griffiths (4)




04.02.88

England 5 Wales 1 (Nantwich Road, Crewe)

Peter Griffiths

Billy Owen


03.03.88

Wales 11 Ireland 0 (Racecourse, Wrexham)

Di Jones (5)




10.03.88

Scotland 5 Wales 1 (Easter Road, Edinburgh)

Di Jones

George Owen (6)


23.02.89

England 4 Wales 1 (Victoria Ground, Stoke)

Billy Owen




15.04.89

Wales 0 Scotland 0 (Racecourse, Wrexham)

Billy Owen




27. 04.89

Ireland 1 Wales 3  ( Ballynafeigh, Belfast)

Billy Owen




08.02.90

Wales 5 Ireland 2 (Old Racecourse, Shrewsbury)

Peter Griffiths

Billy Owen


22.03.90

Scotland 5 Wales 0 (Underwood Park, Paisley)

Peter Griffiths

Billy Owen


07.02.91

Ireland 7 Wales 2  (Ulsterville, Belfast)

Peter Griffiths

Jack Mates (7)

Joe Davies (8)

Billy Owen


07.03.91

England 4 Wales 1 (Newcastle Road, Sunderland)

Billy Owen




21.03.91

Wales 3 Scotland 4 (Racecourse, Wrexham)

Billy Owen




05.03.92

Wales 0 England 2 (Racecourse, Wrexham)

Billy Owen




26.03.92

Scotland 6 Wales 1 (Tynecastle, Edinburgh)

Billy Owen

William Egan (9)


13.03.93

England 6 Wales 0 (Victoria Ground, Stoke)

Edward Morris (10)

Edwin James (11)

Jack Butler (12)


18.03.93

Wales 0 Scotland 8 (Racecourse, Wrexham)

George Williams (13)

Edward Morris

Billy Owen

Jack Butler


08.04.93

Ireland 4 Wales 3  (Cliftonville Ground, Belfast)

Edward Morris

Billy Owen

Jack Butler

George Owen

Edwin James


24.02.94

Wales 4 Ireland 1 (St Helen’s Swansea)

Edwin James




12.03.94

Wales 1 England 5 (Racecourse, Wrexham)

Edwin James




24.03.94

Scotland 5 Wales 2 (Rugby Park, Kilmarnock)

George Williams

Edwin James



16.03.95

Ireland 2 Wales 2 (Solitude, Belfast)

George Williams




18.03.95

England 1 Wales 1 (Queen’s Club, London)

George Williams




23. 03.95

Wales 2 Scotland 2 (Racecourse, Wrexham)

George Williams




20.03.97

Wales 2 Scotland 2 (Racecourse, Wrexham)

Jack Mates




29.03.97

England 4 Wales 0 (Bramall Lane, Sheffield)

Jack Mates




19.02.98

Wales 0 Ireland 1 (The Oval, Llandudno)

John Morris (14)

George Williams

Albert Lockley (15)


19.03.98

Scotland 5 Wales 2 (Fir Park, Motherwell)

Edwin James


28.03.98

Wales 0 England 3 (Racecourse, Wrexham)

Edwin James




04. 03.99

Ireland 1 Wales 0 (Grosvenor Park, Belfast)

Edwin James




03.02.1900

Scotland 5 Wales 2 (Pittodrie, Aberdeen)

Charlie Morris  (16)

Sam Meredith (17)


24.02.1900

Wales 2 Ireland 0 (The Oval, Llandudno)

Charlie Morris

Robert Morris (18)




02.03.01

Wales 1 Scotland 1 (Racecourse, Wrexham)

Sam Meredith




18.03.01

England 6 Wales 0 (St James's Park, Newcastle)

Sam Meredith




23.03.01

Ireland 0 Wales 1 (Solitude, Belfast)

Sam Meredith

Robert Morris


15.03.02

Scotland 5 Wales 1 (Cappielow Park, Greenock)

Robert Morris




28. 03.03

Ireland 2 Wales 0 (Solitude, Belfast)

William Wynn (19)




23.02.07

Ireland 2 Wales 3 (Solitude, Belfast)

Arthur H Hughes (20)





The rise of professionalism in the 1880's saw an increased movement of players away from the villages of North East Wales into the North West of England and the Midlands. Examples among the players listed are Joe Davies, who moved on to Everton, and Di Jones, later of Bolton Wanderers and Manchester City. 
In addition to the 20 players above, the following Chirk players gained international honours whilst playing for other clubs: 

Jack Owen (Newton Heath) brother of Billy Owen, 1 cap (1892).

Hugh Morris (Chirk, Ardwick, Sheff Utd, Manchester City, Grimsby Town) 3 appearances for Wales (1894–97).

Billy  Meredith (Chirk, Northwich Victoria, Manchester City, Manchester United) 48 Wales caps (1895–1920).

Lot Jones (Chirk, Druids, Manchester City) 20 Wales caps  (1905–20).





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