PICTURE by Wynne Evans
WHEN I got well and truly back into local football in 2017/18, one man in particular caught the eye in the lower leagues of North Wales football.
Having took a season out from the game, Gary Jo Owen returned to the field with a bang for Caergybi during that campaign – hitting 58 goals, beating his previous personal record of 57 and finishing as the Anglesey League’s top scorer ahead of Bryngwran Bulls’ James Ryan (who hit 54 and became his teammate the season after).
That season in particular, the forward showed he had the ability to be in the right place at the right time, proving to be the league’s ultimate poacher and real game changer for Caergybi.
The Megan Cup proved to be the real highlight for the club and the player in 2017/18. A particular highlight for Gary Jo came in the dramatic 5-3 semi-final win over Arriva Bangor. Cybi went in front when Kurt Harris found the back of the net on 20 mins. Just ten minutes later, midfielder and Gary Jo’s brother Liam Patrick Williams doubled their advantage. However, Arriva made things difficult and on 38 mins, pulled one back through top scorer Scott Hughes. On the hour mark, Kevin Jones’ side equalised through defender Chris Dawson to set up an eventful last half an hour.
The scoreline didn’t remain tied for long however. Just two minutes after Dawson’s goal, soon-to-be Man of the Match Gary Jo netted to put Caergybi in front once again. The striker returned to first team action from an injury in style, notching another goal on 77mins to give his side a 4-2 lead. The drama continued though when Kieron Davies pulled yet another goal back for the visitors on 86mins to set up a nervy finale. The game was only well and truly done and dusted on 89mins when Gary Jo completed his hat-trick and reached the 30 goal mark for the season.
That win was a crucial point in Cybi’s season as the club reached the Megan Cup final – which they went onto win and Gary Jo was again pivotal in that showdown with Bryngwran Bulls, who had been chasing the Anglesey League title.
After falling to a 6-4 defeat to Arriva Bangor in the Car Boot Trophy final just days earlier, Dale Moffat’s Cybi side had to be at their very best to bounce back and clinch the cup in this one. And they did, just that – twice coming from behind before Gary Jo netted his personal-record-breaking 58th goal of the season to secure silverware in what was the club’s first season.
That might have been the forward’s most impressive goal-scoring season to date, but time and time again he’s proved what he can do over the years.
Gary Jo first burst onto the scene in 2011/12 with his hometown club and the highly-successful Morawelon side, in which he scored 27 goals. He followed that up with the 57 goals he scored for the club in 2013/14.
Over the years, he has formed a formidable partnership with good friend and fellow prolific forward Asa Thomas (the pair pictured below during Gaerwen days), with the pair playing and scoring alongside one another at several clubs.
Gary Jo’s full goals record is as follows:
2011/12: 27 at Morawelon
2013/14: 57 at Morawelon
2014/15: 16 at Gaerwen
2015/16: 19 at Bodedern Athletic
2017/18: 58 at Caergybi
2018/19: 29 at Caergybi and Holyhead Town
2019/20: 16 at Holyhead Town (expunged as they folded), 3 at Caergybi
TOTAL: 209 goals
I’ve often referred to Gary Jo as ‘Anglesey’s Zlatan’, as he has a lot of talent, can be unpredictable and is one of the biggest characters within the local game. There’s no doubting that his career has not been without controversy, but there’s also no doubting that he’s one of the best finishers on the island and he’s proved that at difference levels too.