Welsh Celt

Welcome To The Amber Army

Leopard - Moholoholo, South Africa

Hello and welcome to The Amber Army blog, which was established at the end of December 2011 primarily as a tool for sharing some interesting statistics and facts about the six Welsh clubs that ply their trade in the English football pyramid.  My interest in these six clubs stems from my own personal journey, as I will share below, and is a way of keeping myself and my 5 year old daughter Kaitlyn attuned with current events in English football whilst living in White River, South Africa, some 9000km away from home.

Rock Dassie, Moholoholo, South Africa

My real name is Stephen Prosser, though you will find me listed as WelshCelt or WelshCelt2011 on the majority of forums where I post, or where my work is published.  This is a name I have deliberately chosen to reflect something of the history of my family and who I consider myself to be now. 

Thank you for visiting this blog.  I really appreciate the time you have taken to look at my posts and I trust that you will enjoy your visit here and find something of interest to you - whether you are a Swansea City, Cardiff City, Wrexham, Newport County, Colwyn Bay, Merthyr Town fan, or whether you are a supporter of another club that is playing one of these teams, or whether you are just browsing.  If you like the content of the blog, do feel free to leave a comment and let me know.

My Journey
Although I am a supporter of the 'Welsh 6', I was raised in Sheffield and have followed my local club Sheffield United for over 30 years.  My first ever match, an 8th birthday present from my parents, was the worst day in the club's history.  The game took place at Bramall Lane in May 1981 and was against Walsall in the old Division 3. It was the last day of the season and both clubs were staring relegation in the face.  The Blades needed a draw to avoid relegation to Division 4 for the first time in their history, whilst Walsall needed to win.  With 5 minutes to go the score was still 0-0 and then the Blades conceded a penalty which Walsall duly converted.  Relegation seemed certain until 2 minutes from time, when United got a penalty.  As a 38 year old, I can still remember that penalty vividly.  Don Given stepped up to take the penalty and hit what may still be the poorest penalty I have ever seen straight at the goalkeeper. United were relegated and my affiliation with the club began.

I have been a season ticket holder at Sheffield United and witnessed them under Dave Bassett as they 'hoofed' their way to an all Sheffield FA Cup semi final in 1993 and 9th in the 1st Division (or top flight as it was then).  With such history behind me, as any football fan will appreciate, I still look for United's scores and still get to Bramall Lane from time to time when I am back in England.

Kaitlyn at Bramall Lane in September 2010 for Scunthorpe United visit

So with such enthusiasm for Sheffield United, why the focus on Welsh football?  The answer to that lies with the fact that our name, Prosser, is extremely rare in England.  Indeed, it is uncommon pretty much anywhere apart from South East Wales where it originated from.  Whilst my mother is completely English, my dad have always had a soft spot for Wales, having studied at Aberystwyth University and having learnt to read Welsh there. 

With the interest I have in history and anthropology, I have come to understand that inheritance and descent in western culture is patrilineal (i.e. through the father).  Consequently, somewhere in my family's history, one of my Welsh ancestors decided he was English.  Yet as soon as I hear the Welsh national anthem Mae Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau, I realise that for me it is true.  Wales is the land of my fathers.  I have therefore reversed the decision of that ancestor and reclaimed my Welshness.  For some that decision may seem strange, for others it will be fully understandable.  However, the amount of Welsh dragons that can be found in our little corner of South Africa leaves nobody here in any doubt.

The Creation of the Blog
One of the biggest challenges with living in a remote area of South Africa, which I do because of my work - I am a missionary and theological lecturer at a college - is poor internet access and expensive television subscription rates.  My daughter and I spent much of last season following text updates on the internet which would frequently stall as the internet went down.  As a result, I found it very difficult to follow games and it was extremely frustrating.

As I could not watch the games, I decided to start writing down the results of clubs and the league tables when I could get online.  By doing this in a systematic format over the course of this season, I have discovered that I am now accruing a range of interesting facts about the six Welsh clubs, facts which I myself have established from my own work.  As I started using Twitter to communicate with people, I decided to start throwing out a couple of random facts and from there it was just a small step to develop a blog which incorporates some of these statistics into an overview of the clubs.

The big challenge I have compared to most other fans is that I can only get to the occasional games when I am back in Britain.  I therefore have to make serious efforts to properly research information on players and the game.  Obviously, I use this research to create something that is entirely my own and therefore, even though there may be match reports on the six clubs, they do not resemble the kind of match reports you get in the press.

Hopefully you will like the style and approach I have taken and will forgive any mistakes in detail.  I try very hard to ensure that my information is completely accurate but the distance will sometimes make this a challenge.  If you are a supporter of one of the six, maybe we'll get to meet when I am next at your club.  My next visit to the UK is at the end of March.

Once again, thank you for visiting the blog and for taking the time to read this somewhat lengthy profile about who I am.  Have an awesome day.

Welsh Celt and Kaitlyn at Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit for Ivory Coast v North Korea, World Cup 2010

Welsh Celt