Maes Glas Sports Centre, Bangor City. A venue that turned boys into men. Where young fresh-faced, bright-eyed (mainly English) students were torn to pieces by local bruisers in the Bangor 5 a-side league. Galatasary’s Aslantepe Arena stadium hasn’t got anything on Maes Glas.
If the league had a tag line, it would be - ’av that yer student twat. Welcome to Wales.
Think of the 5 a-side montage at the start of Trainspotting. Players turning up with blood splattered shinnies, remnants of last night’s Orange Reef still on the corners of their mouths.
Les Davies, of course, fell firmly into the local bruiser category. But he had something special, even back in 2005/05.
How his manager ever allowed him to play in this way-below-amateur 5 a-side league, I’ll never know. After going up through the National ranks for Wales (U18s, U21s), he found himself as one of Bangor City’s key players. He was on Championship Manager for fuck's sake. And that means something.
He was cut from a different mould. He ran around like his foot was glued to the ball, jinxing well for someone who was carrying around his fair share of Welsh Ale.
Here he was at Maes Glas, week in week out, turning up and playing with his old school mates, taking the piss and running rings around students. His team consisted of him and four Frank Begbies, basically.
He was cut from a different mould. He ran around like his foot was glued to the ball, jinxing well for someone who was carrying around his fair share of Welsh Ale. His team mates acting like blockers, he walked every game. Half paced, cocky – like a young, welsh Cantona / Beardsley cross-breed with some Le Tissier added in for good measure.
Throughout any given game he’d have four people chopping at his knees. Heck, chopping at his waist, trying to take him down. Les just swatted them away like Hummer hitting a push bike.
In short, he was class - not quite as good as Messi, but better than anyone to have ever played football in Bangor, and that includes perma-tanned International playboy Clayton Blackmore who had a short stint as Bangor City's player manager.
For that, and for having to reside in Bangor for more than three years like us Uni students, he deserves praise…on a global level.
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