THE story of football in Dolgellau began on Christmas Day in 1874.

The North Wales Chronicle reported 'a large number of the younger class kicking football in the Marian Mawr and we noticed some really good kicking and lookers on were numerous.'

Marian Mawr, or Cae Marian as it would become known, has remained at the heart of sport in the town ever since.

The town would become one of the regional football pioneers.

In 1896 the town club certainly existed and known to have played in local medal competitions against Barmouth, Llanrwst and Blaenau Ffestiniog.

In the same year the club were founder members of the Cambrian League but had made the switch to the Cambrian Coast League before World War One.

In 1914 the club beat Bala Press 2-1 to top the table before winning the league following a 7-1 win against Pwllheli at the town's Cattle Show Field.

The club was also known to be in existence in 1919 under the name Dolgellau Comrades.

The Cambrian Coast League would continue to the club's home for the next decade though the club would change its name once again and by 1930 the club was known as Dolgellau Albion.

The club made the switch to the Mid Wales League in 1934 but the following year the club was suspended.

Dolgellau provided the opposition to a pre-season touring Liverpool Football Club in 1946 when a Reds side which included Albert Stubbins and Billy Liddell were said to have graced Cae Marian.

No record exists of the club until a return to the Mid Wales League in 1949 but once again their stay was brief and lasted just one season before folding.

Football disappeared from the town for almost two decades before returning in the form of Dolgellau Athletic Amateur Football Club.

The new club joined the Aberystwyth and District League in 1971 and enjoyed almost immediate success with the league cup lifted in 1973.

The club spent the next decade in the league but with limited success, ending fourth in 1976 and third in 1979.

However in 1981 the club enjoyed its finest hour since its formation by being crowned champions and winning the North Cardiganshire Cup.

The club suffered some indifferent years, including relegation to the second tier of the Aberystwyth League.

However in 1988 the town celebrated the best trophy haul in the club's history with the second division title, league cup and second division trophy being won.

Relegation followed in 1990 but by 1993 the club was back in the first division, ending runners-up to Bow Street.

The club continued to ply its trade in the first division but had to wait until 1989 for its next silverware with the league cup lifted in 1999.

In 2002 the club enjoyed its finest hour with victory over Penparcau seeing them crowned Emrys Morgan Cup champions for the first, and only, time in their history.

In 2009 the club won the Aberystwyth and District League for only the second time in 28 years and celebrated promotion to the Mid Wales League.

However the club found life in the senior league tough and a five year stint came to an end in 2013 with relegation to the second division of the Mid Wales.

Since the club has consolidated and invested in its ground facilities and infrastructure with the aim of returning to the third tier of Welsh football.

A club spokesman said: "Our ambition for the future is to at least maintain the number of current junior and senior teams with hopefully adding a women's and youth team in the future.

"We believe competing at tier three is realistic for our senior team and we hope to achieve that in the next two seasons, if not sooner.

"We are very conscious of our finances and we realise that a wealthier club is a healthier one, especially in terms of being able to develop local football. Therefore we will keep our fundraising efforts going and explore all avenues to help generate funds.

"One project is to erect temporary storage for the junior equipment to be stored near their pitches which would help relieve the workload for our voluntary coaches.

"We have so many people to thank for the success of our club who've all helped the club develop massively over the last 10 years and more. However it is without doubt that the club wouldn't be where it is now if it wasn't for our current club secretary Stephen Parry.

"The club has had a history of very talented players over the years, all from a small town that has a massive passion for sport.

"We're lucky with where we are situated down the Marian Fields next to the cricket and rugby, making the football club a part of unique sporting arena in the heart of Dolgellau."