‘Afan Football Club’ Founded.
Now Aberavon Football Club moved to the Central Athletic Ground.
Miss Emily Charlotte Talbot granted exclusive use of the Central Athletic Ground to Aberavon, and the Club was granted a Lease of 39 years at nominal rent. It was, in recognition, called the Talbot Athletic Ground (TAG), as it is today.
World War One (WW1) begun. Upon the outbreak of War the Aberavon committee had resolved that no football should be played during hostilities and hoped. The ground was used as allotments for the War.
Rugby resumed post-war although initially not at the Central Athletic Ground. A new wing emerged, Johnny Ring. He was quickly noted as both a flier and a fine footballer of pace. He bagged 38 tries in season 1919-20.
The mighty forward Jim Jones became captain in 1921-22 and December 3 of that year saw the official opening of the Central Athletic Ground and the new grandstand by backer and patron Sir Sidney Hutchinson Byass and other local dignitaries, including the WRU President Horace Lyne.
Aberavon hosted their first touring side at the Central Athletic Ground, the Waratahs. The New South Wales side were effectively Australia. An Aberavon-Neath team combined to play the game – but the tourists were good winners by 24-5 and the home combination included only six Aberavon players.
Aberavon combined with Neath yet again to play South Africa. Aberavon hosted seven players. The combined team played in white wearing the Maltese cross.
The Central Athletic Ground was officially renamed the Talbot Athletic Ground. Aberavon and Neath combined once again to play New Zealand at the Talbot Athletic Ground, losing 13-3 in front of an estimated 20,000 people.
World War Two (WW2) begun. There were to be no allotments on the Talbot Athletic Ground in this conflict, though. Aberavon’s hallowed turf was used instead as a site for barrage balloons, intended to foil any anticipated Luftwaffe bombers’ raids on the local docks and steelworks as Britain ‘battened down the hatches’ for the duration.
rugby returned and Aberavon began on October 6, 1945 with a ‘home’ win (at the GKB Sports Ground in Margam) against Abertillery by 6-5. Walter Vickery skippered with Secretary George Davies at full back; then on November 10, Maesteg became the first post-war visitors to the Talbot Athletic Ground for a 0-0 draw.