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The BIG Interview with Ifor Roberts (Gerallt Owen)

In the past we have had player profiles in the match programme, we have the manager's thoughts every game but today we can hear from a man you don't often hear from but one who has given the club excellent service for 15 years and more. On the long coach journey home from Lex I asked Ifor Roberts, the first team physio, for his recollection of his time with Porthmadog. Ifor joined Porthmadog back in 1986, "I had been approached to join the club some years previously but had declined preferring to stay with Pwllheli, but when Iolo Owen was appointed manager at Porthmadog in August 1986 he asked me to join him, Iolo had been manager at Pwllheli as well so I knew him well." Those early days were difficult with money scarce. "Even the kit was in a bad way, with holes in jerseys and socks, I remember we got Volvo to sponsor a new kit and Iolo Owen was keen to get the players to have pride in their play and getting a new kit was an important part of improving the players pride in playing for the club". Ifor also recalls that only four people were involved with running the club at this time, Robin Griffiths, Bill Pike, Bruce Emmanuel and Robert Jones, "there was a heavy burden on a few shoulders, I remember Robin and Bill lending their cars so that players could get to games, I can remember driving Robin's car to games on numerous occasions, money was fight and Iolo himself would be sub quite often. Ifor believes that an important point was when Will Evans or Willy Beans got involved, Ifor remembers him as a great motivator of players. Another important turning point was when Iwan Jones and Bob Havelock got involved "the pitch improved a lot when Bob started taking care of it, today it's one of the best surfaces in north Wales but it hasn't always been like that. I know it takes a lot of time and effort to keep it in good condition. Iwan Jones was a great one at going out and getting sponsors, he had the gift of the gab if you like to get people to donate things or to sponsor the club".

Ifor was reluctant to be drawn on whom he considered to be the best player to have played for Port in his time; all he would say was that "there have been a lot of good players at Port". While at Pwllheli one player he particularly recalls was Haydn Jones, he was a formidable opponent; he recalls a game at Wrexham when Dixie McNeil was reluctant to play against Haydn Jones fearing that "Haydn might kill him". Ifor was much more accommodating when I asked him who was his favorite player of all time, "Duancan Edwards" he said without a second though, "I have never supported Manchester United but Edwards was awesome, what he might have achieved had he not been killed at Munich is anybody's guess.

Ifor was equally forthright when asked what was his worst moment as a physio. "Med Owen's injury at Aberystwyth is by far the worst I have dealt with. The thing I remember is that a spectator in the crowd had a heart attack at the same time and the ambulance drivers went to attend to him first, both he and Med went to hospital together in the end". My next question was what was the best goal he had seen at Porthmadog, he again answered without a moments thought, "a Colin Saynor free-kick against Gresford, he walked up to the ball with that characteristic walk, hit the ball so hard nothing moved but the net, the poor keeper did not move a muscle."

Ifor has fond memories of the 1989/90 season when Port won the Dally Post Welsh Alliance "undoubtedly that season was the most successful season the club have had in my time, let's hope that we can match that success this season" I'm sure we would all agree with that sentiment.



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