NEWTOWN Football Club is the oldest club in Wales.

The mantle had long been claimed by National League side Wrexham but new research has revealed the Racecourse Ground club was founded in 1884 and not the same club which formed in 1864 then folded after being expelled by the Football Association in 1883.

It means the history of Welsh football will now be revised with Newtown as the oldest club still in existence having been formed in 1875.

The only other claimant, Cefn Druids can trace their ancestry to 1872 but the modern day club was formed as recently as 1992 which means Newtown can now lay claim to being the oldest club in Wales.

The news comes a week before the Welsh Government (WG) were due to begin talks on the future site of a football museum in the region with both Wrexham and Newtown tendering bids.

Newtown bid leader Ken Davies insisted the new discovery changed the history of Welsh football and hoped the WG would recognise the role of Newtown Football Club as the oldest club in the country.

“I am a Wrexham fan of over 50 years and helped date the club’s existence to 1864 but the current club was formed in 1884, making Newtown an older club and the oldest club in Wales.

“It certainly opens the door to support Newtown Football Club’s claim to hold the museum.

“I hope other Mid Wales clubs support Newtown’s bid and hopefully strengthen the cause to bring the museum to the oldest football club in Wales.”

Newtown Football Club spokesman Barry Gardner welcomed the discovery.

The club has long been famous with ex-Wales internationals and former Robins George Latham, Harry Beadles, Dickie Morris and Charlie Parry, while Mark Williams began his career before going on to represent Northern Ireland in the modern era.

Gardner said: “Having our local club in existence for 143 years with many famous victories, players both local and further of field representing the town in both local and national leagues, as well as European adventures has put Newtown on a worldwide map of football.

“Wales has a long and established football heritage but for our club to be now officially be seen as Wales’ oldest football club is a testament to all the volunteers who have helped over many years to make the club what it is today and something as a town we should be extremely proud of.

“The club has been lucky enough to be graced with many great players who have repented both the town and their country.

“The club owes it to the whole of Wales to reach the 150 year anniversary in only seven years time and provide a celebration of Welsh football and make sure Mid Wales football is part of the heart of Welsh football.”