Blue Connections

3 05 2012

Last Saturday I was in the middle of Preston’s club shop looking for a new fridge magnet. Just after my fruitful search was ended by the sight a lovely fridge magnet I casually looked at one the flat-screen televisions suspended from the ceiling. There was a match on.

I suddenly remembered that it was metaphorical “judgement day” in the Championship. In the excitement of seeing a piece of Grayson Perry embroidery in the Harris museum I’d forgotten that the main reason I had decided to arrive into Preston at ten to twelve; I intended to catch some “judgement day” action. I cursed myself for wasting an hour and a half walking around Preston town centre.

When I refocused my attention on the television I noticed that Southampton were winning and immediately felt a warm glow. I knew that Southampton’s victory would mean that Nigel Adkins, Bangor City’s erstwhile goalkeeping player manager (how many of those have you seen, erstwhile on not?), had managed to get Southampton into the premier league. Whenever I hear that someone with connections to Bangor City has a small appearance in the football limelight I always have a warm glow. Whether that’s Owain Tudor Jones winning Welsh caps, or Jamie Reed, Dele Adebola or Gary Roberts scoring for their clubs or even an ex- striker appearing in the First Round proper of the F.A. Cup.

I’m not the only one that feels like this as Mike Smith shows on his lovely website; The Citizen’s Choice; have a look at “Tales of a short-sighted goalkeeper” for example.  After I read Mike’s site I saw something that planted a question in my mind, now I’d like you to consider the same question;

Two managers, Nigel Adkins and Neville Powell,  have made Bangor City Welsh champions, what do they have in common?”

Let the question sink in; give it a few more seconds contemplation.

I know what you’re thinking; you think you’ve seen a problem with the question. You’re thinking that it’s a pointless question because you think you’ve seen the answer contained within the question. I can read you like a book can’t I? Of course you would be quite accurate if you were to say that both men managed Bangor City to Welsh titles. Unfortunately for you that’s not the answer written on my card.

Just for your records you’d be correct if you had said any of the following answers;

  • They’re both men.
  • They’re both managers.
  • They’re both managing clubs that finished second in their respective leagues.  
  • They’ve both played for Bangor City.
  • They’ve both played for Bangor City in Europe.

Unfortunately for you, if you had said one of those answers you still would not have provided the answer that’s on my card.

Now for the answer, without any more useless ado. The answer on my card is…….. Both men were members of  Tranmere’s first team squad in the early to mid-1980s. Look at the photo below for proof. (Nev is at the end of the centre row (seated) and Nigel is in the middle of the back row)

Incidentally Nev and Nigel are not the only two players with a connection between Bangor City and Tranmere in that photo. The player in the far right corner is Mark Palios. Before he was an ex-chief executive of the FA he captained Bangor City against Atletico Madrid.

These three men aren’t the only connections between the two clubs; Ray Stubbs has played for both clubs , as has current Bangor City defending legend Michael Johnston. And now for yet more incidental, yet very interesting, information!!! – Johnno played in the same Wales u19 squads as Wayne Hennesey, Joe Ledley & Lewin Nyatanga when he was at Tranmere.

I always find footballing connections fascinating.

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