GAME 69: Coed Duon (Blackwood), South Wales


2/2/22 Newbridge Road Industrial Estate

Coed Duon (Blackwood) is a former coal mining town on the Sirhowy River in the South Wales Valleys and the birthplace of the lads from the The Manic Street Preachers . I was down there this week delivering training for a company specialising in the manufacture of medical equipment and accessories. As you can imagine, they have been snowed under since the pandemic struck and everyone has been run off their feet.

I met some brilliant people at the site.; salt of the earth folk who exuded hard work, fairness, warmth, dignity and respect. Anthony epitomised this - a lovely chap who despite a serious knee injury, refused to give up the game he loved. Together with his work-mates Doug, Mark, Jason and Holly, we headed down to a patch of grass within the industrial estate for a kick-about at lunch-time.

The pitch was lumpy porridge but we still managed a cracking game on it. Me, Doug and Anthony (who proudly wore his Wales shirt especially for the occasion) took on the others. Holly was an all action player for them. She plays in the second highest league of women's football in Wales. Mark's daughter Kylie plays for Cardiff City Ladies and has represented Wales at international level. Jason and Mark were working hard but we quickly raced into a four goal lead. The man mountain that is Doug was surprisingly skilful and agile for such a big chap. He and Anthony were combining brilliantly. Anthony criss-crossed the field like a deliriously happy teenage whippet. His appetite for the game was infectious. Despite a hat-trick for the hardworking Holly, we ended the game 8-3 winners. Our last goal was poetry in motion...beautiful cross from Anthony on the run for big Doug to nod it home at the back jumper. Superb.

Brilliant folk who took time out of their incredibly busy working day to play. Diolch pawb !