How a simple presentation day gimmick turned into a book documenting a grassroots football team at the heart of a valley’s community.

During Peter Roberts’ time as a player manager of Maindy Conservatives Football Club, he noted down details of every game the team played.

He would later refer to these notes during the sides end of season presentation dinner.

With four seasons of detailed notes built up, Roberts felt his work deserved more than a giggle. He decided to elaborate upon his four decades worth of Rhondda valleys football experience and wrote a book.

His book titled “Park Life” was published on the 31st of October 2019.

By trade Roberts is a Disability advisor at the University of South Wales, who describes himself as “a fanatical grassroots football fan”. He has combined this passion with his background in history to provide “a snapshot of what happens week in week out in the Rhondda”.

The work was initially formed as a by-product of the match summaries but was published in a book as Roberts “wanted to capture the football at the heart of the community”.

The book is filled with anecdotal stories, similar to the one he gave us, with a smug smile on his face when the author revealed that his side won 5-0 on their tour to Ashby-de-la-Zouch.

The result was a surprise, Roberts claimed, as his side had “lost a few players to the pub” and that “like lots of things from the valleys I didn’t appreciate that we were actually quite good.”

Roberts details more of his favourite moments in the book and speaks of how his side won the South Wales Intermediate Sunday Cup and finished second the following year. He described these achievements as “no mean feat”.

Roberts also gave a special mention to the referees and administrators of the Sunday league who he says are the “unsung heroes”.

Copies of the book are widely available and can be purchased online.

 

Published by mansfieldjoe

Second year sports journalism student at the University of South Wales. Write about Boxing, Rugby and Cricket.

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