It is with sadness that we acknowledge the passing of Tony Seymour last week, following a short illness. Tony was described as ‘one of Abertillery’s legendary sportsmen’ by club treasurer Roger Fisher and had deep-rooted ties to the football club. As a player, he was acknowledged as ‘a gifted left-side player, with a wand of a left foot’, who was also versatile enough to play in the centre midfield position.Tony’s passion and involvement for football in the town was never in doubt, playing for Cwmtillery Excelsiors in the 1970s, as well as forming part of the resurrected Abertillery Town in 1982. Tony played for the reformed club up until 1988, when he retired.He returned to manage Abertillery Town in 1998 and upon the merging of the clubs at the turn of the millennium into Tillery FC, Seymour took the reins of the Second Team. Tony guided them to glory during the 2000/01 season as they came runners up in Gwent County Division 1 and lifted the Gwent County Amateur Cup in a very successful season.Tony’s last involvement with the club came in 2004, as he took over the managerial duties of the First Team alongside Colin Preece.Away from football, Tony Seymour was a powerhouse in front of the cricket stumps, as the sporting all-rounder enjoyed his time as captain of Abertillery Town Cricket Club for a record amount of seasons and was a formidable fast bowler. Tony’s son Mark continues his father’s legacy today as the cricket team’s current captain. Tributes and messages of condolence have flooded in to the cricket club from other cricket team’s and those fortunate enough to have shared the cricket pitch with him, alongside members of the community who knew Tony away from his sporting interests.We would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Tony Seymour, as well as giving our thanks that we were able to share and revel in his brilliance on and off the pitch.
Saturday, August 4th will see the historic Woodland Field in Cwmtillery undergo a name change, in a heartfelt and emotional show of respect to two club legends who passed away last September.
The Woodland Field itself will be rechristened as the Keith Williams Field in memory of the longtime stalwart and club secretary who passed unexpectedly 10 months ago, just days after the club and community was rocked by the sudden death of Christopher Barnett. ‘Barney’ will also be immortalised as the pavilion on site will now bear a plaque proclaiming it as the Christopher Barnett Pavilion.
There will also be a memorial game played on the pitch, marking it’s first official use under the new moniker and will comprise of a selection of both men’s friends and family, before the celebration of both Barney and Keith’s lives continues at the New Bridgend Inn. A very special presentation to the Williams and Barnett families will also take place that afternoon.
Councillor Garth Collier told a meeting of the Blaenau Gwent Council executive of intentions to rename the pitch and pavilion, and of plans to hold a memorial day on August 4th to celebrate the lives of Keith and Barney and their enduring legacies.
In a letter penned to the Council to seek approval for the changes, current Club Secretary Matthew Thomas said ‘We feel this will be a fitting tribute to a true gentleman whose service to football in our area has been colossal’, in reference to Keith’s 40 plus years being involved with football in Abertillery.
Media Manager Mark Abraham echoed sentiments made last year in the aftermath of both men’s passing, saying ‘I think that the club has done a wonderful thing here. It’s a huge show of respect for both of these men. Last year I stated they would both leave a lasting legacy for generations in Abertillery and as of August 4th, that era will begin.’
‘These two titans of local football, successful in their own right and with impressive CVs to boot, will now be immortalised in the area they loved and for the game they lived and breathed. I think it’s a massive honour and is something that anyone who was privileged to have known them in any capacity can certainly appreciate and respect.’
He continued that ‘I’d encourage anyone who can come to come up and mark this special moment in time with us. We really want to make this a landmark memory for everyone and show people that this really is just the beginning of their legacy. They’ll forever be excelling’.
The club would like to thank Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council for their support in these changes and for their help to push things through ahead of the new season. We would, as always, like to thank the members of the club, fans and local community, along with multiple sports clubs in the surrounding area, for their ongoing support and tireless show of love for these two extraordinary men.
We’d like to thank Flame Protect UK for their sponsorship and support this season.
They provide 1st class service for all commercial and domestic needs, specialising in all things fireproofing. The family-run business is based in Abertillery and have run since 2013 in all aspects of disaster recovery, restoration and manufacturing.
Some of their client list boasts names like G4S, Calvin Klein, Virgin Atlantic Airways, The Celtic Manor Resort and Harrod’s. Their work takes them all over: whether it’s helping out the BBC in Manchester when they needed a TV set sorted with Flame retarding or helping out Marriott Hotels up in Newcastle, providing the client with an efficient job and showcasing they were ‘amazingly knowledgeable and helpful’.
For more information on Flame Protect UK, visit them online at www.flameprotectuk.com
They’ll also feature on our brand new Alphard kit that was unveiled yesterday as part of our ongoing partnership with Macron: Ebbw Vale and primary sponsor – Trade Centre Wales
Well, The Sun: Dream Team is over for another season. We’d like to first thank you all for playing over the year.
Conor Howells took top spot and £200 with Conka FC scoring 2434 points, followed by second place Dillin Blackmore’s Dillin’s Babes with 2367 points. Dillin wins himself £100.
Kez’s Kings came in the third and final spot to win a cash prize with 2280 points and in a great show of generosity, Barrie Nash donated his £40 winnings to Barney’s Fund.
With the Dream Team done and dusted for this year, it’ll only be a matter of time before you’re all clamouring to earn the most points for your respective elite XI! No doubt – a Dream Team will be set up soon enough so keep your eyes peeled!
The pre-season calendar for the 1st Team is complete.
We kick things off in a few weeks time when we host Blaenavon Blues, before travelling the following weekend to Fairfield United.
Recently promoted Albion Rovers will be our newly sired Welsh League opponents for our last July fixture at home, before we again hit the road to face Newport Civil Service midweek.
Just one week before our first 2018/19 league fixture, we will welcome Abercarn United for our final test ahead of the new season.
All games are scheduled for a 2pm kickoff, with the exception of Newport Civil Service – which is set for 6:45pm.
We’ll see you on the road and all the results and goings-on will be happening through our YouTube and other social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter, which will be highlighted by The Marketing Heaven, our new media sponsor.
Pre-season training starts back this Tuesday night at the Woodland field! 7pm start and everyone, new and old, is welcome!
A trophy-filled presentation night at West Mon Golf Club capped off a season of exciting highs and lows for the club on Friday. As we reflected upon undoubtedly one of the most emotionally charged and difficult seasons the club has endured in its history, we also celebrated the successes on the pitch of all four senior teams, as well as recognised the achievements and contributions of those behind the scenes and those whose journey is only just beginning.
The 1st Team saw their awards all fall at the feet of defender Tyla Preece, who had a fantastic few months in an Excelsiors strip. Manager Stephen ‘Butch’ Morgan spoke highly of the stocky stalwart of the squad and the consensus was of a job well done by Preece, who had the distinction of winning every award he was eligible to win on the evening.
The Reserves, just hours after successfully defeating Park Fields AFC for the Bob Annett Cup in a convincing 6-0 victory, also celebrated their own team’s successes, with the silverware proudly on display throughout the evening and manager Gareth Winmill speaking from the heart as to exactly what the cup and the season meant to him. Indeed, the occasion was marked as the team were clapped into the building arriving with the trophy straight from Aberbargoed Buds’ ground to the Highest Tee in Britain.
Of course, no awards evening would be complete without the Development and Veterans getting their recognition too, as the merging of young and old came together in mutual partnership to commemorate their season, with head-turner Kian Watkins having a stormer of a night as well, in an evening that could position him very well for future seasons.
Abertillery Excelsiors Presentation Night Winners:
Top Goalscorer, Player of the Year and Player’s Player: Tyla Preece
Top Goalscorer: Gregg Meredith
Player of the Year: Ioan Fisher
Player’s Player: Matthew ‘Bonnie’ Lewis
Top Goalscorer and Player’s Player: Kian Watkins
Player of the Year: Mason Wiltshire
Top Goalscorer and Player of the Year: Mark Bridgeman
Player’s Player: Barry Edmonds
Young Player of the Year: Callum Williams
Most Improved Player: Kian Watkins
Clubman of the Year: Matthew Thomas
Keith Williams ‘Ham & Egger’ Award: Nathaniel Nelson
After weeks of anticipation, the 1st Annual Christopher Barnett Golf Memorial Tournament was held in the sun and splendour of West Monmouthshire Golf Club, with the event a rousing success.
Testament to the hard work of Brett Williams and others, this celebration of one of the Excelsiors most beloved and charismatic personalities was a surefire hit and will be certain to be one of the highlights of the calendar in coming years.
Featuring a Texas Scramble approach, the event was won by Anthony Gallows’ team, with second place going to the team of Simon Whitcombe, Andrew Adams, Steve Davies and Doug Harvey.
Coming in third: the team of Leigh Bull, Brett Williams, Ben Arnold and David Sheen.
The weather was on-point for the tournament, which took place on a course that can claim to be Great Britain’s Highest Tee-Off spot, and it really did make for a great Bank Holiday tradition. Aside from the team honours, two other prizes were up for grabs as Daniel Haile claimed Longest Drive and a Susan Hellyar took Nearest to the Pin.
Brett Williams would also like to extend his appreciation to everyone who donated prizes for the event, with special mention to Craig Jones, Richard Powell, Dan Nicholls, Curtis Pitt and Carl Dix for their contributions. Prizes ranged from rugby and football tops to bottles of wine, to a Callaway golfing bag and signed sporting memorabilia: a treasure trove of prizes for anyone with a raffle ticket!
West Mon Golf Club were very gracious in allowing all the players all day access to the course for the event and Janet Williams was integral in helping out in the clubhouse, making sure it all went smoothly.
On behalf of Abertillery Excelsiors, we would like to congratulate Brett on a job well done and look forward to being a part of future tournaments to continue the enduring legacy that Barney would most certainly be proud of.
It has come to the attention of the club that there is some disappointment regarding the starting prize pot of £500 in the club lottery, due to be drawn this Saturday.
The starting point for the lottery has always been £500 and the £1,000 starting point was done only when the draw pot climbed into the thousands as a good gesture by the club – a thank you to the all the players, whether or not they contribute each and every week, and an opportunity for those players to potentially win a bigger prize straight off the bat.
As with any organisation, we need to follow a sustainable model financially and to run constantly at £1,000 starting point would result in us running at a loss and would prove difficult to maintain. Ultimately this would only serve to undo and destabilise the hard work, effort and commitment of those involved with the week-to-week running of the lottery.
We would also like to make those concerned aware that this is a standard model that we follow and that other football clubs are in much the same situation, so this is by no means a show of ‘greed’ by the club. We want to allay any fears and hopefully put those who are disgruntled at ease.
However, we do listen to our fans, customers and those associated with the club and by unanimous decision this evening have decided to reinstate the prize pot of £1,000 this weekend in light of the complaints that surround reverting to the original starting point.
It is important that we are completely transparent in matters such as this and we take any allegation of greed very seriously.
We are a progressive club that only aims to excel to the highest possible levels and are appreciative of the support we have had and continue to have from the local community. The club’s portion of the lottery money is reinvested back into supporting all of our football teams and making football available and affordable for all in the community, something recognised in our recent win at the Anuerin Leisure Trust Awards, where we picked up Sports Club of the Year, with other winners also attributing their time at the club as a platform to help them develop in the sports and community world.
We would once again like to thank the players who contribute every week and try their luck for those all-important four numbers and remind you that this is an open draw for any and all players, connected with the club or not.
On the first birthday since Chris Barnett’s passing last September, the club once again remembers one of our most beloved, charismatic characters.
Friends and family have paid tribute to Barney with messages and comments on our social media platforms throughout the day, with many more simply sharing and reposting the club’s official birthday statements in his memory.
As always, our thoughts today go out to Lesley and Aaron, as we continue to offer our love and support to our extended football family.
Barney’s legacy will once again be immortalised in a few weeks, when the 1st Annual Christopher Barnett Memorial Golf Tournament takes place at West Mon Golf Club on Bank Holiday Sunday, May 6th.
Event organiser Brett Williams has decided to host what will certainly be a memorable, fun and emotional day as a way of securing the legacy of not only Barney but his own father, longtime club secretary and stalwart Keith Williams, who died merely days after his friend in one of the most challenging periods in not only the club but football community’s history.
The full details for the tournament are available here.
One thing we are sure of, is that Barney is no doubt playing all sorts of hell with the man upstairs and he’s celebrating with the very best of company.