Sunday 13th August 2017 was a momentous day for supporters of Barry Town United. The seven-time JD Welsh Premier champions hosted Neville Powell's Aberystwyth Town in their first appearance in the top flight of Welsh domestic football since their relegation at the conclusion of the 2003-04 campaign.

The very fact that 'the Town' are even in existence, let alone competing once more in the Welsh Premier, owes much to the efforts of manager Gavin Chesterfield, his wife Hannah, and many of the club's supporters and faithful servants including club secretary David Cole.
The atmosphere at Jenner Park on that opening Sunday of the new season, which, incidentally, saw an excellent crowd of just over 900 present to watch Barry's return, was in marked contrast to a May evening back in 2013 when supporters expecting to watch the Town take on Ton Pentre in a Welsh League Division One fixture were stunned to discover that the (thankfully now former) owner of the club had suddenly and recklessly removed them from the Welsh League. This was the final straw in what was one of the most disastrous periods of ownership in Barry's history and, given some of those more dubious characters who have been involved in the running of the club in the past, that is saying something.

I have to put my hands up and admit that thanks to the former owner and the damage which he inflicted upon the club, and the damage he caused to the morale among the supporters, I had a feeling of deep dissatisfaction and apathy towards my home town football club and for several seasons did not go to Jenner Park and cheer Gavin Chesterfield and his boys on, something I'm not proud to admit but with that particular individual at the helm I had very little appetite for returning.

However, since the departure of the owner, and the transformation of 'the Town' into a club run for and by the supporters, my enthusiasm, first developed during the days of Gary Lloyd, Andrew York etc..., has returned and the performances shown so far by the likes for ex-Merthyr forward Kayne McLaggan has convinced me that the future for Barry Town United is now in safer hands than it has been for many a year.

William Callaghan


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