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Ray Mielczarek: The Footballer with a Heart of Gold Born in Caernarfon

Ambitious, tenacious, and talented, Ray Mielczarek remains an unforgettable figure in Welsh football. This article pays tribute to the Welsh footballer, tracing his journey from his humble beginnings born in Caernarfon to his remarkable career, and his life after football.

A Wales international, the centre-back made 29 Town appearances after joining from Wrexham for £20,000 in September 1967 and moving to Rotherham for £10,000 in January 1971.  Mielczarek, born in Caernarvon, was with Town during the 1969-70 Second Division title winning season but the form of Roy Ellam and Trevor Cherry limited him to just two appearances, both in the cups.  He made his Town debut in a 2-1 home win over Blackburn, when ex-Leeds Road favourite John Coddington, the man he was signed to replace by manager Tom Johnston, scored an own goal.
Ray Mielczarek - Born in Caernarfon

Early Life

Born on February 10, 1946, in the town of Caernarfon, Wales, Raymond "Ray" Mielczarek from Polish and Luxembourgian decent. He held a deep-seated passion for football from a young age and was determined to make his mark in the sport, showing he destined to be remebered.

Stepping into the Football World

Ray Mielczarek embarked on his football journey with Wrexham, a professional football club based in Wales. His exceptional talent did not go unnoticed, and he was soon appointed as the captain of the Wales youth team. During his tenure at Wrexham, he played an impressive 76 league games, establishing himself as a force to be reckoned with.

Transition to Huddersfield Town

As Mielczarek's star continued to rise, he caught the attention of Huddersfield Town in September 1967. The English football club was more than willing to pay a substantial fee of around £20,000 to bring Mielczarek onto their team. His move to Huddersfield Town marked a significant milestone in his career.

The Struggles and Triumphs at Huddersfield Town

However, life at Huddersfield was not without its challenges. Mielczarek's career took a downward turn when he suffered a severe cruciate ligament injury after playing just 25 games for the club. This injury proved to be a major setback, hampering his performance and leading to a gradual decline in his career at Huddersfield Town. Despite these challenges, Mielczarek remained undeterred and was determined to make a strong comeback.

As a youngster, Mielczarek was persuaded to become an apprentice at Wrexham by club coach Ken Roberts and later captained Wales at youth level whilst playing in the team's reserve side. He made his professional league debut in 1964 against Aldershot before establishing himself in the first team. In September 1967, he left to join Huddersfield Town for a fee of around £20,000 but a snapped cruciate ligament injury sustained after playing just 25 games for the club eventually lead to him leaving to sign for Rotherham United in January 1971. After making over 100 appearances for Rotherham, he was forced to retire when he suffered a recurrence of his cruciate ligament injury.  International career
Ray Mielczarek - Rotherham United

The Rotherham United Chapter

In January 1971, Mielczarek took a leap of faith and signed for Rotherham United. His tenure at Rotherham United proved fruitful as he made over 100 appearances for the club. His football journey, however, came to an abrupt end when he suffered a recurrence of his cruciate ligament injury, forcing him to retire from the sport he loved.

Mielczarek won his only cap for Wales in a 1–0 win over Finland on 26 May 1971. He also later took part in a one-month tour of Asia and Oceania as part of a Wales XI
Ray Mielczarek - Making His Nation Proud

Making His Mark Internationally

Despite the ups and downs of his club career, Mielczarek never lost sight of his ambition to play for his country. He won his only cap for Wales in a 1–0 win over Finland on May 26, 1971. Furthermore, he participated in a one-month tour of Asia and Oceania as part of a Wales XI, further solidifying his place in the books of Welsh football history.

Life Beyond the Football Field

After bidding adieu to his football career, Mielczarek ventured into a variety of professions. From working as an ambulance driver and a driving instructor to serving as a security officer and a cake salesman, he managed to create a fulfilling life for himself beyond the football field.

The Personal Side of Ray Mielczarek

Mielczarek was more than just a footballer. He was a devoted family man and a proud grandfather. He passed away on October 30, 2013, at the age of 67, leaving behind a legacy that continues to inspire aspiring footballers.

Mielczarek won his only cap for Wales in a 1–0 win over Finland on 26 May 1971. He also later took part in a one-month tour of Asia and Oceania as part of a Wales XI
Ray Mielczarek - Fulfilled his dream on the pitch.


Ray Mielczarek's life story is a testament to his resilience, determination, and unwavering love for football. His journey, marked by triumphs and tribulations, serves as a source of inspiration for aspiring footballers. Despite his trials and tribulations, he never lost sight of his passion for the sport, making him a figure of football that should not be forgotten in Welsh history.

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