Neil Warnock’s Surprise Visit To Welsh League Taffs Well

Neil Warnock shocked Taffs Well FC officials when he strolled into their clubhouse on a Sunday afternoon in April.

The Bluebirds manager has a friend who lives close to the Wellmen’s Rhiw Ddar ground and popped in for a chat.

“There was a knock at the door one afternoon and it was the Cardiff City manager,” says Taffs Well secretary Norma Samuel.

“He came in for a chat and before Neil left we had agreed to play a pre-season match for charity and he even set a date. Neil told us he has always organised matches against a local club wherever he has been in management.

“Everybody at Taffs Well has nothing but great things to say about Neil and the club. Cardiff City have been absolutely fantastic in the way they have treated us.

“They have worked on our pitch, are providing live commentary from the game and have committed to doing everything possible to make the evening a major success.

“All the proceeds will be donated to Velindre and Cancer Research Wales.”

Warnock has pledged to send a strong team to Taffs Well for the match on Friday, July 14 (7pm), while the home team’s squad includes former Cardiff City player Leon Jeanne.

Tom Burridge, who came through the Bluebirds’ youth academy, and teenager Tiago Micallef, the son of ex-City winger Tarki, also play for the Wellmen.

Grangetown-born Tarki, a former Wales under-21 international who was also selected for the senior squad when Mike England was manager, had two spells playing for Cardiff, making more than 120 League appearances and playing a key role in the 1982-83 promotion season.

Taffs Well have signed striker Sam Johnson from fellow Welsh League club Ely Rangers and he looks certain to face the Bluebirds.

Johnson’s family have roots at Taffs Well FC. His father played for the Wellmen, while his grandfather who was an Amateur League manager for the club.

“I really enjoyed my two seasons at Ely Rangers,” said Johnson, who fired 57 goals in two Welsh League Division Two seasons. “Julian (Jenkins) and all the lads were quality, but I felt it was the ideal time to move on and see what I can do in Division One.”

Lee Bridgeman, a former Cardiff Corries and Maesteg Park manager, is in charge of the Taffs Well team, working alongside assistants Adrian Needs and Adie Harris.

Tickets for the Taffs Well v Cardiff City match on Friday, July 14 are available via the Bluebirds’ official website, from the stadium offices or at the Rhiw Ddar clubhouse (8pm-10pm).

The capacity is around 3,000 and tickets are selling fast.

Price: Seating (Extremely Limited Availability) Adults £15.

Terrace: Adults £10; Seniors (60-plus) £5; Juniors (u-16) £5.

Cardiff City first team and u-23 pre-season schedule:


Friday 14: v Taffs Well (away, Rhiw Ddar, 7pm)

Monday 17: v AFC Tavistock (7pm, Langsford Park)

Wednesday 19: v Bodmin Town (7pm, Priory Park)

Thursday 20: Cardiff City u-23 v AFC St. Austell (7pm, Poltair Park)

Friday 21: v Plymouth Argyle (7pm, Home Park)

Saturday 22: Cardiff City u-23 v Bideford (2pm, The Sports Ground)

Tuesday 25: v Shrewsbury Town (7pm, Greenhous Meadow)

Wednesday 26: Cardiff City u-23 v Hereford (7.45pm, Edgar Street)

Friday 28/Saturday 29: To be arranged (home, Cardiff City Stadium)

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