WELSH PREMIER FOOTBALL

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Clayton Blackmore
Clayton Blackmore in action for Bangor City against Rhyl [Keith Williams/Sportpixs].

AFTER a distinguished career with Manchester United, Clayton Blackmore joined his former team-mate and Bangor City manager Peter Davenport in 2000/1 and went on to make 172 full appearances for the Farrar Road outfit and a further 16 for Porthmadog.
Blackmore, who turned 43 in September 2007, made 249 appearances at Old Trafford scoring 26 goals. A native of Neath in south Glamorgan, he also was capped 39 times by Wales.
Also a Welsh international at schoolboy, youth and Under-21 levels, Clayton had trials with his hometown rugby club before deciding to concentrate on soccer.
He joined United as an associate schoolboy at 14 years of age and was an FA Youth Cup finalist in 1982, when United lost to Watford over two legs and extra time, 7-6 on aggregate.
He made his Football League debut, at full-back, in the final match of season 1983-4 but did not become a serious contender for a first-team place until 1985-6. He had, in fact, played only twice for United when he won the first of his Welsh caps, making a substitute appearance against Norway in Bergen on 5th June 1985.
Capable of a sound performance in any midfield or defensive role, he was possibly too versatile for his own good - able to fill most positions without managing to claim one on a long term basis.
He was awarded an FA Cup-winners' medal for his substitute appearance in the 1990 final against Crystal Palace, although he did not appear in the replay which United won 1-0.
He was a Football League Cup finalist in April 1991, but the disappointment of losing to Sheffield Wednesday was eased in the following month when he picked up a European Cup-Winners' Cup medal for his appearance against Barcelona at Rotterdam.
However, his outings during United's two successful Premiership campaigns were limited and following a free transfer in May 1994 he linked up with Bryan Robson as the new manager's first signing at Middlesbrough.
In February 1999 he joined First Division Barnsley on a free transfer after finding himself no longer a part of Robson's plans.
From there he moved to Notts County in July 1999 and was released by the Club in May 2000 and by the beginning of the 2000/01 season, was playing for Rushden & Diamonds.
He was an integral part of Mark Hughes's Welsh coaching set-up and continued his Welsh Premier career with the Citizens as player/manager until stepping down in November 2006 and moving to Porthmadog as a player.
In June 2007 he succeeded Osian Roberts as manager at The Traeth, but was sacked four months later after a disastrous start to the campaign.
However, with his appetite for the game undiminished, he signed for his hometown club Neath and continued to play until the end of season 2008/9.

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26 March 2017

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