Chirk AAA chairman Colin Heyward believes the club’s ‘new legends’ were inspired the words of another legend to win the FAW Trophy on Saturday.
A Chris Bennion goal in extra-time gave Chirk their first FAW Trophy since 1963 – and first in its current guise – against Swansea-based Penlan in the sunshine at Aberystwyth after Matty Thomas’s goal forced another 30 minutes.
Heyward arranged for George Porter, who was part of the 1963 side, to give the current side a pep talk and the Chirk chairman believes it worked a treat.
“I spoke to George Porter, who is a club legend, before we went,” he said.
“He had rung us up to wish us good luck and I asked him to come along and talk to the lads while they were having their lunch.
“He’s one of the last players alive who played 54 years ago and he’s highly regarded by everyone at the club.
“There’s no doubt the lads were inspired by that. You could hear a pin drop as George is so quietly spoken – you could feel the emotion in the room.”
Penlan grabbed a first-half lead as Luke Chappel fired home for the Swansea side and it looked like Kevin Crabb’s men were going to hold on for the win.
But in the 71st minute, Chirk hauled themselves level as Thomas found the net, meaning an extra 30 minutes would be needed to determine a winner – and maybe even penalties – as both clubs looked to lift the trophy.
But the key moment came in the first period of extra time as Bennion struck for Chirk, and the north Wales side held on to claim a famous 2-1 victory.
Heyward had experienced three finals before Saturday and insists this victory topped the lot.
He was also full of praise for everyone at the club – including the impromptu welcoming party as they returned to Chirk.
“This was my fourth final but this was by far the best,” he said. “The people I’m associated with at Chirk AAA are brilliant, from the players to the fans.
“A special mention to our supporters who were our 12th man. They were so well behaved – just outstanding.
“Aberystwyth were excellent hosts – to get to the final itself was an achievement as 150 teams entered this prestigious cup.
“We came through back to Chirk, someone must have rung ahead as there was about 150 people who’d come out of the club and were cheering us in the car park. They gave us a guard of honour.
“I’ve never seen anything like it in 40 years of football.”