Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Former star Delaney to enter Welsh Premier League Hall of Fame

Former Wales, Aston Villa and Cardiff City right back Mark Delaney is to become the 20th inductee in to the Welsh Premier League Hall of Fame.

It coincides with the 20th anniversary of the league, and comes as a result of the player’s rise from the ranks of Carmarthen Town to a Premier League and international regular and FA Cup finalist.

The Pembrokeshire boy caught the eye playing for Carmarthen Town, for whom he played more than 50 games after making his debut in 1995, and also captained at the age of just 20.

Cardiff City came in for him in 1998 and he proved an integral part of the team who gained promotion by finishing third in Division Four behind champions Brentford and Cambridge United under the stewardship of Frank Burrows. His sole goal for the club came in a 6-0 FA Cup victory over Chester City where he ran almost the entire length of the pitch.

He only stayed at Ninian Park for one season, moving on to Aston Villa for £250,000 in 1999 in a move that turned many supporters against the club’s board.

He made nearly 200 appearances for the Villa Park outfit, scoring twice, but his time in the Premier League was hampered by knee injuries, which ultimately ended his career in 2007. He now works as a youth coach at the club.

He played in the 2000 FA Cup Final loss to Chelsea, the last ever final at the old Wembley Stadium, where a Roberto Di Matteo second half strike won it for the London club.

He claimed 36 full international caps for Wales, and was an integral part of the team that famously beat Italy 2-1 at the Millennium Stadium in 2002.

A WPL statement said: “Delaney without doubt raised the profile of the WPL and showed that our national league does produce some great talent.”

The WPL Hall of Fame: Marc Lloyd Williams, Mark Delaney, Lee Trundle, Nigel Adkins, Tomi Morgan, Steve Evans, Rhys Griffiths, Ken McKenna, Tony Willcox, Chris Summers, Colin Reynolds, Andrew Thomas, Gary Lloyd, Timmy Edwards, Neville Powell, Gary Barnett, Andy Mulliner, Dave Taylor, Eifion Williams and Mark Ovendale.


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