A WREXHAM-based football team has paid tribute to one of the 'most prominent' figures in the club's history.

Alan Jones, known as Sammy, died aged 79 on Monday morning (October 23).

During his playing career, Mr Jones was a professional at Wrexham and earned international caps for Wales at U18s level.

But, it was at Gresford that he really made a name for himself as one of the best football managers around.

Prior to joining Athletic, he earned his stripes at Wrexham-based football club Grapes.

Mr Jones brought through a number of young players from the area to develop a formidable team that progressed through the divisions in the Welsh National League.

His time at Gresford Athletic began in 1983 and he went on to spend over 20 years at The Colliers.

His reign oversaw a number of highs and lows, but his honours included two Welsh National League Premier titles, a NEWFA Challenge Cup and other trophies with both the first team and youth team.

Mr Jones also led the club to FAW Trophy and Cymru Alliance League Cup finals.

He is by far the longest-serving manager in the club's history and achieved plenty of success with a team full of local lads.

Paying tribute to a true club stalwart, Gresford Athletic said: "It is with great sadness to have learned the news that legendary former Gresford Athletic Manager Alan (Sammy) Jones passed away peacefully this morning (October 23)."


The club's statement added: "Alan Jones, more commonly known as Sammy, is one of the most prominent figures in the history of Gresford Athletic and his legendary status at the club is still recognised to this day.

"Sammy was a likeable and well-respected figure in the Welsh football community. He had a long career within the domestic game, in which he showed incredible loyalty to Gresford Athletic.

"Sammy resigned from his role as First Team Manager in May 2008, feeling it was the right time for a change, but he remained on the Gresford Athletic Committee and also continued in an advisory role to support incoming manager Sam Ainge and ensure there was a smooth transition into a new era for the club.

"To recognise his prominence in the history of Gresford Athletic, Sammy was made an Honorary Life Member at the club and from the 2022/23 season onwards, the Reserves Top Goal-scorer award at the club's annual End of Season Awards was named after the legendary manager, a fitting tribute for someone who was known for his ability to develop young players and turn them into first team footballers.

"Sammy's influence and impact on Gresford Athletic cannot be understated and he will be sorely missed by all at the club and the wider community within Welsh football."