Bangor 1876 v Menai Bridge Tigers - is this the most local derby in British football?

Last update on. From the section Welsh
Bangor1876 at Treborth fighting the Menai Bridge Tigers

Two north-west Welsh football teams claim to be the most local in Britain.

Rival teams Bangor 1876 & Menai Bridge Tigers have been restructured and switched to Welsh football.

They are only 40 yards from each other, which is less than the 0.17 mile distance between Dundee United and Dundee United, current record holders.

Jonathan Ervine, Bangor 1876 board member, stated that he believes the situation is unique in Britain.

Bangor 1876 was formed in 2019 by breakaway Bangor City fans. The clubs, like the county of Gwynedd on the mainland and the island off Anglesey, were also divided by the Menai Strait.

The ground regulations have forced the Tigers to move across the bridge to their Maes-y-Coed residence in Anglesey and to settle next to the Bangor phoenix club on the grounds of Bangor University’s Treborth sporting facility.

Two cup games were held, both won by Bangor. However, the inaugural North Wales Coast West Premier Division season ended in disgrace due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Aerial view of the two grounds at Bangor

This Wednesday night's match at Treborth marked the first league meeting between these new rivals in Welsh football's fourth-tier.

Ervine, who was born and raised in Dundee, is now a member of the Bangor club's board. He believes that this fixture is the closest British league football derby.

Ervine stated that "Derby games" are an important part of any level of football.

"I know that both teams' fans were looking forward to the game.

"I lived in Newport-on-Tay, which is on the opposite side of the river from Dundee. I could see Dens Park and Tannadice from my parents' home.

"I have been to the games in Dundee but it is not the same as being a Bangor 1876 fan.

Supporters can make football a different experience. Local clubs should be involved in the community and give back to the community, just like we are.

The Dundee derby is a fixture of Dundee's history, but Bangor 1876 (and Menai Bridge Tigers) are more recent.

The Menai Bridge club has a long history. In 1910, the term Tigers was used for the club. Bangor 1876 was born from frustrations of Bangor City's management.

Dundee United's Tannadice Park is in the background.

Ervine stated, "We are a new club and were founded for the 2019-20 season."

"Our first match was in January 2020 in a local cup competition. We also played earlier in the year in a Welsh Cup game, which we also won.

"I believe it's fair that we have the larger fan base. We are a fan-owned club. We try to give back through youth and women's clubs and community projects.

"We haven't had an afternoon where we both played simultaneously, so we haven’t interrupted each others' games yet."

The derby ended with Bangor 1876 defeating their nearest neighbours 3-1. They remain unbeaten with games in play on top two North Wales Coast West Premier Division teams as they attempt to be promoted to the third-tier Ardal Leagues at season's end.