Ground: The Stadium
Capacity: 5000 (seated 800)
Pitch size: 118 x 75 yards
Admission: £6 adults, £3 student/OAP, £1 children
Bangor, in north Wales, is one of the smallest cities in the United Kingdom. It is a university city which had a population of 13,725 at the 2001 census, about 8,000 of whom were students at the University of Wales, Bangor.
The origins of the city date back to the founding of Bangor Cathedral by the Celtic saint Deiniol in the early 6th century AD. The name ‘Bangor’ itself comes from a Welsh word for a type of fenced-in enclosure, such as was originally on the site of the cathedral. The present cathedral is a somewhat more recent building and has been extensively modified throughout the centuries. While the building itself is not the oldest, and certainly not the biggest, the bishopric of Bangor is one of the oldest in the UK. Another claim to fame is that Bangor allegedly has the longest High Street in Wales.
Bangor is largely contained to the south by Bangor Mountain although the large housing estate of Maesgeirchen, originally built as council housing, is to the east of the toe of the mountain near to Port Penrhyn. The presence of Bangor Mountain casts a shadow across the High Street, Glan Adda and Hirael areas such that from November through to March some parts of the High Street in particular receive no direct sunlight as they lie in the shadow of the mountain. Bangor has two rivers within its boundaries. The River Adda is a largely culverted watercourse which only appears above ground at its western extremities near to the Faenol estate, whilst the River Cegin enters Port Penrhyn at the eastern edge of the city. Port Penrhyn was an important port in the nineteenth century, exporting the slates produced at the Penrhyn Quarry.
Bangor railway station, which serves the city, is located on the North Wales Coast Line from Crewe to Holyhead.
Radio stations Champion FM broadcasts to the city in English and Welsh and Storm FM broadcasts from the University. The BBC’s Light Entertainment Department moved to Bangor during World War II and many classic programmes (like ITMA – It’s That Man Again, a 1940’s BBC Radio comedy programme) came from Bangor. In 1967, the Beatles came to Bangor (staying at Neuadd Reichel) for their first encounter with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, during which visit they learned of the death of their manager Brian Epstein.
Bangor hosted the National Eisteddfod in 1890, 1902, 1915, 1931, 1940 (through the medium of radio), 1943, 1971 and 2005, as well as an unofficial National Eisteddfod event in 1874. Nightclubs in Bangor include Time, Academi (the Student Union bar), The Octagon and Bliss. Bangor is twinned with Soest, Germany.
Bangor has a pier, which is the second longest in Wales and also the 9th longest in the British Isles, being 1,500 feet (or 472 metres). Its name is the Garth Pier, and was almost demolished in 1974 due to the poor condition it was in at the time. However local support for the pier ensured that it survived and gained a Grade 2 listed status, as it was considered one of the three finest surviving piers at the time. Restoration work began in 1982 and did not finish until 1988.
How to Get There
Farrar Road is close to the centre of Bangor but there is no parking at the ground. From Conway, proceed towards the railway station, cross a small roundabout and turn left into Farrar Road. with the ground on your left. From Caernarfon, turn right at the lights by the station and immediately right again into Farrar Road.
map to Farrar Road
Parking: On-street or in local car parks only
Nearest railway station: Bangor (0.2 miles)
Disabled supporters’ information
Disabled toilets: none
At the ground on matchdays, and online through www.bangorcityfc.com
It is likely that Bangor City FC will be moving from Farrar Road to a new ground at Nantporth off Holyhead Road. An outline planning application has already been approved by Gwynedd Council to site a stadium at this site, and in October 2004 a detailed application for an enhanced facility was submitted. The Club supports both these applications.
Rivals: Caernarfon, Rhyl, Connah’s Quay
1. The Farrar Road Stadium from the air (Sept 2003). Picture: Huw Pritchard
2. The Farrar Road Stadium: September 2003. Picture: sportpixs.co.uk
The Early Years
Formed on 18 December 1876 as Bangor FC, the club were involved in both soccer and rugby union, although the oval ball code was dropped in the early years. At the same time, they moved to a city centre site at Maes y Dref. Success came quickly as they won the Welsh Cup in 1888-89 beating Northwich 2-1 at Wrexham. They had to wait a while for their second success, in 1895-96, when they beat Wrexham 3-1 at Llandudno.
Welsh Cup Final winners 1895/96
Having become founder members of the North Wales Coast Football League in 1893, Bangor won the title three years later. The club joined the Combination League in 1898 and enjoyed the company of clubs such as Chester, Wrexham, Crewe and Tranmere as well as the reserve sides of the area’s bigger clubs.
This league folded in 1910 and Bangor, for a time as Bangor Comrades, joined the North Wales Alliance, but this league was not restarted after the First World War. The Maes-y-Dref ground was allocated for housing and the football club amalgamated with the cricket club to form Bangor Athletic.
The name was changed in 1923 to Bangor City when they journeyed around the Welsh National League (North), the North Wales Combination, Birmingham & District League and the Lancashire Combination, the latter two in the English system. The Cheshire Combination, later to become the Cheshire League, was their home from 1950 to 1968 becoming League runners-up in 1953-54 and 1958-59.
In 1962-63 they became only the second Welsh club to play in Europe when, following their 1961-62 Welsh Cup win over Wrexham by 3-1 at Rhyl, they took on the mighty Italian side AC Napoli.
In a tie now firmly embedded in the annals of Welsh football history the amazing home leg 2-0 win was cancelled out by a 1-3 defeat in Naples. Unfortunately, the away goals rule had not yet been introduced and City lost 1-2 in a play-off at Arsenal’s Highbury Stadium.
Bangor v Napoli programme
Bangor became founder members of the Northern Premier League and 11 years later were again founder members of what is now the GM Vauxhall Conference.
Wembley Final & Europe
In 1983-84, they reached the FA Trophy Final at Wembley where they drew with Northwich Victoria before losing the replay 1-2 at Stoke. The highlight of this period came in 1985-86 when they again represented Wales in the European Cup Winners Cup, beating Frederikstad of Norway on away goals to set up a Second Round pairing with Atletico Madrid. There followed a creditable 3-0 aggregate defeat.
The Bangor City side that met Athletic Madrid in 1985/6 included future Welsh Premier managers Viv Williams and Nev Powell.
League of Wales
Founder members of the LoW in 1992 City initially struggled but under the shrewd management of Nigel Adkins won the championship in 1994 and 1995, encountering Icelanders IA Akranes and Polish giants Widzew Lodz in European competition, but without success.
More European Football
The later 90s were disappointing for Bangor although a Welsh Cup success in 1998 under Graeme Sharp saw more European competition in the shape of FC Haka Valkeakoski of Finland, and again in 2000 under Meirion Appleton against the formidable Swedish champions Halmstads BK. In 2002 under Peter Davenport, City qualified for Europe once more as both Welsh Cup finalists and third placed LoW side.
Third place in the 2002/3 Welsh Premier saw Bangor drawn against Transylvanian side Gloria Bistrita in the Intertoto Cup, but they were well beaten in both legs.
The Citizens finished in sixth place in 2003/4, but were again among the leading contenders the following season, producing a strong winning sequence to finish and third place and quality again for the InterToto Cup.
The club was also emboiled in a planning battle with the local authority over a move from Farrar Road to a new stadium at Nantporth overlooking the Menai Straits, a move which has now been agreed – but with a reducing seating capacity which will not meet Uefa criteria for staging European ties.
Welsh Cup winners: 1888-89, 1895-96, 1961-62, 1997-98, 1999-2000
League of Wales Champions: 1993-94, 1994-95
League of Wales Cup runners-up: 1993-94, 1996-97, 1997-98, 1999-00, 2002-03
North Wales Coast League champions: 1895-96, 1899-1900, 1903-04, 1904-05, 1905-06, 1907-08, 1918-19
N.Wales Coast Challenge Cup winners: 1926-27, 1935-36, 1936-37, 1937-38, 1946-47, 1951-52, 1957-58, 1964-65, 1967-68, 1992-93, 1998-99, 2004-05
European Cup Winners’ Cup entrants: 1962-63
UEFA Cup entrants: 1994-95, 1995-96, 1998-99, 2000-01, 2002-03
Intertoto Cup entrants: 2003, 2005
Bangor City FC Supporters’ Association Online
Bangor City Historical website. In-depth history of the Club, with archive photos.
Citizens Choice. Comprehensive fans’ site, containing news, views, match reports and a popular guestbook visited by supporters from all over the globe.
City Blues. Guestbook, posters and excellent gallery of action shots, fund-raising events and City personalities.
The Stadium, Farrar Road, Bangor, LL57 4DH
tel: 01248 355852