Sunday, 25 October 2009


Football, soccerDiana Jones (was Roberts) has been researching her family history and discovered that an ancestor William Roberts, pictured above, was a soccer player of note.

He was born in Rhyl in 1863 and played for Rhyl from 1880 to 1885 including in a Wales v England match in 1883. William was a captain of the Rhyl club and the town’s first international player. He was a butcher by trade and moved eventually to Manchester and played for Manchester Welsh 1885-91.

William was the youngest brother of butcher E.P Roberts who had a High Street shop and a stall in the market that used to be in the square behind the Town Hall. The High Street shop was on the site of the present Cooltrader frozen-foods place near Jobcentre.

To round off a good story, Diana has supplied the above photos of the old shop and that end of High Street as it would have looked in William’s time.

The High Street photo includes Free Trade Hall on your left, and Gwalia Stores at No.37 on your right.

SAT 21st OCT 2017 UPDATE: Here is an alternative view of High Street from Alexandra Bridge (Vale Road Bridge) with Alexandra Hotel on left. This is a card from E.M.B to Miss Roberts of 63 Erddig Road, Wrexham, mainly in French language.

The card is captioned Polkinghorne's Series Rhyl. J.D. (Jay) Polkinghorne was a Publicity Officer for Rhyl Urban District Council.