(H) Yellow & black striped shirts, black shorts, yellow socks
(A) Maroon & Sky Blue Shirts with Sky Blue Shorts and Maroon & Sky Blue Socks
The histories of Aberdare Town and Aberaman Athletic have been intertwined for over 90 years.
In the early years Aberdare were the most successful, dominating the then Glamorgan Leagues and in the new domestic format, winning the Welsh League in its inaugural season of 1905 and had further successes in 1909, 1912 and 1921. Aberdare were also finalists in the Welsh Cup on three occasions during the same period.
Aberaman also reached a Welsh Cup final in 1903 and won three South Wales & Monmouthshire Cup finals before the outbreak of the First World War.
In 1920 Aberdare Athletic came into existence and the fledgling club entered both the Southern and Welsh Leagues, finishing runners-up and champions respectively. It is interesting to note that the local Welsh League derby with Aberaman in that season attracted a crowd of 8,000.
In the summer of 1921 Aberdare Athletic were elected to the Football League. With a population of 75,000 and a ground capacity of 23,000 at the Ynys Stadium allied with a strong 'marketing campaign', they topped the poll for election to the Third Division.
The club spent the years in the Third Division South, with a best finishing position of 8th and a highest home gate of 16,000 for the FA Cup tie against the then mighty Preston North End in 1923.
However, the decline of the South Wales coal industry brought severe unemployment to the area with the result that it became increasingly difficult to sustain Third Division South football and in 1927 Aberdare Athletic lost their place in the Football League to Torquay United.
Aberaman Athletic continued to hold their own in the Welsh League and, as an acknowledgement of the brand of football they exhibited, they were invited to become members of the Football League Western Division during the Second. World War.
The club produced two stars of that era in Welsh football. Bryn Jones, who was sold to Wolves and then moved to Arsenal for a British record fee of £14,000 in 1938 while from the neighbouring village of Abercwmboi came Alf Sherwood. At his peak Sherwood was regarded as the finest left back in Britain and represented Cardiff and Wales with great distinction.
In the late 1940s Aberdare and Aberaman again merged for a short while before the Aberaman Athletic name was restored. Highlights of that period included being runners-up to Barry Town in the Welsh League, reaching the final of the FAW Trophy, and winning the Welsh League in 2009 under the sponsorship of ENTO.
In 2012 the club took the name Aberdare Town. However, the past few years have not been kind to the club has they have suffered two relegations in recent seasons.
HOW ABERDARE ATHLETIC JOINED THE FOOTBALL LEAGUE
One hundred years ago this summer Aberdare Athletic were elected into the Football League. The article below explains how this remarkable event happened.
With an extremely successful season on the field now over attention now turned in earnest to the appeal for election to the Football League. W. M. Llewellyn and his Board certainly had every reason for optimism. As well as success on the pitch, off the field, despite several stoppages in the coal industry, gates receipts had amounted to around £15,000 whilst £12,000 had been spent on the ground with the result that the Club now possessed one of the finest grandstands in Wales. In addition during the close season the Board had committed a further £8,000 towards improving the quality of the playing surface and increasing the capacity of the ground to 40,000.
Such initiatives were certainly worthy of a prospective Football League club. Despite Abertillery, Barry, Bridgend, Pontypridd and even Aberaman applying to join the Football League, the Board quietly went about their task of canvassing support. A professionally produced brochure outlining the merits of the club and the surrounding district was sent to all the First and Second Division clubs as Aberdare sought to claim one of the two vacant spots in the Third Division South which had been created by the transfer of clubs into the newly formed Third Division North.
With their preparations complete and backed up with the solid support of Cardiff City and the good wishes of the other Welsh Football League clubs, Llewellyn and director Tyssul Davies travelled to London for the Annual Meeting of the Football League which was to be held on Monday 30th May.
When the votes were counted the result was probably even beyond the wildest dreams of the Aberdare delegation as the Darians topped the poll with 38 votes, eight ahead of the next placed club Charlton Athletic. The news was quickly conveyed back to the thousands of supporters anxiously waiting for news back in Aberdare by a telegram sent to the representative of the South Wales Daily News in Aberdare by W. M. Llewellyn which read:
"Kingsway, London. Aberdare Third Division, top of poll. Charlton second. Llewellyn."
The following day Llewellyn and his fellow Director returned from the capital reaching Aberdare by the 5.10 TVR train. When the train steamed into Aberdare station to the accompaniment of fog signals an immense crowd was present on the platform to greet them. The Aberdare Silver Band and a charabanc awaited them and they were taken to Victoria Square where thousands of other supporters had gathered. After depositing the delegation outside Compton House several impromptu speeches were delivered.
Speaking first, in a brief address, which was vociferously cheered at intervals, Mr. W. M. Llewellyn told those present:
"The number of votes recorded in favour of Aberdare was 38 against a possible 45. they had realised their ambition not because of the efforts of one individual, but through the harmonious cooperation of all, the directors, the officials and the supporters of the club. He deeply felt the warmth of the welcome, and hoped that the same spirited enthusiasm would continue and that the 'old' support would be extended to the club in the future. Their aim should not be to remain in the Third Division but to make for a still higher place."
After calling for three cheers for Mr. Llewellyn, Director Illtyd Williams appealed for:
"... the continued support of the public and trusted that the Club would climb up in due course to the First Division."
After fellow Director Tyssul Davies and Lot Jones had also addressed the gathering, the party departed for Trecynon where they transferred to Llewellyn's car. On their arrival at Cwmdare, Llewellyn's home village, they were greeted with a mass of flags, banners and garlands. When the car reached Gobaith Chapel a procession was formed. The car's chauffeur was replaced by fifty or so miners who took it in turns to pull the car with ropes, while school children who had formed a guard of honour followed the car along with members of the Ex-Schoolboys Football League.
Thus headed by the Llwydcoed Silver Band, the party, whose ranks had been swollen by the inhabitants of the village and other well-wishers, made their way to Llewellyn's home Bwllfa House where an improvised platform had been erected. On his arrival Mr. Llewellyn was presented with a walking stick from the inhabitants of his home village before more speeches and a rendition of the national anthem brought the proceedings to a close.
In just over a year the Club had risen from nowhere to take its place among the select gathering of clubs which made up the Football League.
THE ABOVE ARTICLE IS TAKEN FROM ABERDARE ATHLETIC 1920-28 BY PHIL SWEET