WELSH PREMIER FOOTBALL

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Jimmy Blackie
Jimmy Blackie.

JIMMY Blackie held the record for appearances in the League of Wales for some time, although he has since been overtaken.
He spent the majority of his career with Cwmbran Town, making his debut in the league's inaugural season and going on to make 277 LoW appearances for the club and 378 in all competitions, a club record.
In between, he spent more than a season at Ynys Park with Ton Pentre, adding another 46 league appearances.
A central defender, he skippered the Crows to the inaugural League of Wales title in 1992/3 and in Europe became one of a select band of footballers to play in all four European competitions - the European Cup, UEFA Cup, Cup Winners' Cup and Intertoto Cup.
Blackie was Tony Willcox's first signing at Cwmbran Stadium in 1991 from Barry Town. "I had some great times at Cwmbran because they were a great bunch of lads," he says.
"The highlight of my career was either lifting the LoW title in 1993 or marking Swedish international Henrik Larsson when Cwmbran played against Celtic in the UEFA Cup."
In 1999, Cwmbran met mighty Celtic at Ninian Park but, famously on a £1,000 per man win bonus, were unable to contain their illustrious opponents and lost the home leg 6-0.
Blackie played alongside former Welsh international Mark Aizelwood for the Crows in the late 90s and was also captain of the Welsh international semi-professional side.
But, after two operations on a troublesome knee injury, he decided to hang up his boots in July 2002.
Still Cwmbran manager when Blackie quit, the late Tony Willcox heaped praise on the 'true professional' and said: "Jimmy was probably the best signing I have ever made. His levels of consistency and his attitude were exceptional - and even now he looks as fit as he did 20 years ago.
"His commitment to Cwmbran was impeccable and he was one of the club's most loyal servants."