1899 Club | The James Howells Interview

We asked the December 1899 Club Fans draw winner James Howells for his story supporting Blyth Spartans.

Where were you born?

Near Shrewsbury, Shropshire

When did you first show an interest in Blyth Spartans?

When we moved up from Buckinghamshire in 1997.

Why did you choose the Spartans to support?

Two reasons . Impossibility to get Newcastle Utd tickets and I had an earlier taste of non-league football when I supported Andover in the Southern League.

What is your earliest memory of the Spartans?

 Seeing them struggle in the Northern Premier League with only a few hundred attending matches.

Which part of the ground did you use and who accompanied you?

 Sat in the main stand with young sons ( now left home )

At that time, who was your favourite player?

Willie Moat, Glen Robson.

What are your memories from the FA Cup runs?

Stephen Turnbull’s free kick at Hartlepool, Robbie Dale and Blyth bossing Birmingham City until half time, Andrew Wright nearly equalising against Blackburn. Blyth beating my boyhood team Shrewsbury Town – the only time i have hoped the Town would lose.

When did you move to Warminster  and how were you able to support the Spartans from afar?

 In October 2022 for family reasons. I listen to Radio Blyth commentaries and read the website and the Non League paper.

Favourite all time players?

Robbie Dale (of course), Graham Fenton, Adie Webster, Callum Roberts, Sean Reid.

Favourite manager and why?

 Tom Wade. When John Charlton left and half the players refused to play he raised a team to go to Drolysden  midweek in 2002 to fulfil the fixture. Without him Spartans may no longer be here.

Why are you still a member of the 1899 club?

“Once a Spartan always a Spartan”

Any friends who still attend Blyth games you want to give a shout out to? 

Alan Fitzgerald whom my wife and I sat behind for 20 years in the stand and Mike Fair who was a workmate.

When will you get to see the Spartans again?

Tomorrow my wife and I are off to Gloucester. Although the nearest league match it is still 2 hours drive or train north of Warminster !

What are your hopes for this season?

Mid Table – no end of season stress. 

Posted by BSAFC Admin