WELSH PREMIER FOOTBALL

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The FAW Premier Cup was actually a wooden trophy!

With more than £300,000 in prize money and £100,000 to the winners, the BBC-sponsored competition was the most lucrative in domestic Welsh football. Launched as the Invitation Cup in 1997/8, the 'wooden ball' changed its name to the FAW Premier Cup the following season.

The BBC-sponsored competition traditionally featured the top seven placed clubs from the Welsh Premier, joined by the best placed 'exiled' club from Colwyn Bay, Merthyr Tydfil and Newport County, and the Welsh Cup winners (who were exempt until the last eight). Games were played home and away in mini-leagues until 2004/5, when a new format was introduced on a straight knockout basis.

Only two Welsh Premier clubs ever won the trophy, which was largely dominated by Wrexham.

Barry Town were successful in 1998/9, beating the Red Dragons 2-1 in the final, and The New Saints came out on top in 2006/7, beating Cardiff City in the last four and Newport County in the final.

The Exiles then went one better in 2008, beating Llanelli in the final, the last to be played after the BBC announced it was ending its 11-year sponsorship of the competition.

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29 March 2017

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