IT’S a double celebration for two Welsh Premier League legends today as the much-loved and well-respected pair mark their birthdays.
Both Marc Lloyd-Williams and Lee Idzi are very familiar faces to anybody who follows Wales’ top-flight (now known as the JD Cymru Premier). The former is the division’s record goalscorer and the latter is a top class goalkeeper who is still playing in the top-flight to this day.
Attacker Lloyd-Williams, aka ‘Jiws’ is widely-regarded as the best player to have ever played in Wales’ top-flight. The former Porthmadog, Bangor City, Aberystwyth Town, The New Saints, Rhyl FC, Newtown AFC and Airbus UK Broughton star turns 48 years old today.
The now Sgorio presenter (on the right below) scored 319 goals in just 468 appearances, making him the most prolific goalscorer in JD Cymru Premier history and, to many, the greatest player overall too.
Jiws started out at Porthmadog, but his most prolific spell as a forward came when playing for Bangor City between 1994 and 2002, in which he scored an incredible 120 goals in 162 appearances in all competitions (68 goals in 55 matches in the league). He formed a prolific strike partnership with Frank Mottram and this saw him become a fans favourite at Farrar Road and one of the deadliest forwards around.
It was there he would also set the record for the most goals scored in a Welsh top-flight season, scooping the Golden Boot after netting 47 goals in just 34 appearances for Bangor come the end of the 2001/02 season – a record which is an unlikely to be beaten any time soon. In 2004/05, it was Jiws’ turn to reclaim the Golden Boot, scoring 34 times in 27 matches as Total Network Solutions (Now known as The New Saints) claimed the League of Wales title for a second time in their history.
A truly incredible finisher and a top-class footballer, the forward also turned out for the likes of Stockport County, Halifax Town, York City and even had a brief spell with Norwegian side Huagesund during a free–scoring career which earned him a reputation as one of North Wales’ greatest ever footballers.
Goalkeeper Idzi turns 33 years old today.
Having played for Swansea city and Merthyr as a youngster, he first turned out in Wales’ top-flight for Haverfordwest County in 2007/08 and whilst with the Bluebirds, he was named the Welsh Premier League’s Young Player of the Season for 2008/09 and also voted into the team of the season by the league’s managers.
Idzi (above) was then briefly at Neath, before enjoying a successful spell at Bangor City, where he became something of a fans favourite for his performances between the sticks. In 2014-15, he moved to long-term club Carmarthen Town where he once again managed to cement down a place in the first team and claim the number one jersey as his own.
With just shy of 400 JD Cymru Premier appearances to his name, there’s no doubting that he will go down in the history books as one of the best goalkeepers to have graced the league when we take a look back in years to come.
Not to mention – he also SCORED in a 2-1 win over Aberystwyth Town on New Year’s Day in 2018!
Having remained with Carmarthen Town following their relegation, Idzi, who is also a personal trainer, just recently returned to the top-flight by signing for Barry Town United during the January transfer window. He’ll add plenty of experience and a very safe pair of hands to Gavin Chesterfield’s side.
AFE would like to wish them both a very happy birthday!