THE Powys footballing community has been left shocked and saddened by the sudden death of Hay St Marys Football Club icon Filip Wisniewski.

Fil, who was known affectionately by many as ‘Fil Wiz’, died on Sunday morning, December 17, following a heart attack, aged 66.

Originally from the north of England, he had been a huge part of Hay St Marys for the last 25 years, having managed, coached and served as the club’s chairman.

Fil was revered at Forest Road and further afield in Powys, including Builth Wells where he taught for several years at Builth High School. He also worked for the NHS and Powys County Council before retiring about a year ago.

He will be remembered by most for his wit, compassion, kindness, and for his passion for both Hay and his beloved Manchester Unted.

“Fil was an amazing man,” said former Hay chairman Martin Tong.

“If you came to Hay as an opposition manager you wouldn’t be buying a drink. Most teams left with a case of lager or two for the journey home, all paid for by him. Every player who played for him loved him.

“I had to tell him off on times during Hay games when he would have a sneaky earpiece in listening to his beloved Manchester United.

“Fil was from up north but made Hay is home and was of our pillar of community.

“He leaves behind his wife Stephanie, son Josh and daughter Kate, plus three grandchildren. He was so proud of his family.”


Current Saints chairman Steve Jenkins said: “Fil was a great character and a great friend to many supporters, players and committee members.

“Fil’s contribution to Hay St Mary’s, we as a club will never forget. He will be greatly missed by all. Our thoughts and prayers are with Steph and family at this very sad time.”

The club will pay its respects to Fil at the next Ardal South East League home game against Goytre on Friday, December 29, with a minute’s silence before the game.

Fil started off at Hay with the under 11’s after son Josh started playing. He coached right through all age groups at Hay juniors up to under 18 level and also started coaching the ladies’ team, who are now a well-established side playing in Hereford.

In 2007 he took over as first team manager from Derek Keeble, finishing runners-up in the old Mid Wales League South to Dylan McPhee’s Rhayader Town, who were promoted to the Spar Mid Wales League, in his first season.

He led the team to several local cup wins that season, but the following 2008-09 campaign was one of the most successful in Forest Road history. Hay won the Mid Wales League South, earning promotion. He also led them to a famous 2-1 triumph over Llanidloes Town in the Emrys Morgan Cup final, a first for the Saints.

Fil stepped down the following season but after the Saints struggled in Spar 1 he took on the job once more and their form picked right up.

He later took on the role of chairman from Tong for a few years.