NEWPORT was buzzing with excitement yesterday as Manchester United came to the city to play Newport County AFC in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

But who remembers when the team visited Gwent back in 1994 to play Cwmbran Town?

The charity match was played in memory of Cwmbran linesman Frank Martin, who died suddenly in 1993.

A record 8,200 fans packed into Cwmbran Stadium on August 16, 1994, to witness the likes of Denis Irwin, Roy Keane, Dion Dublin and, of course, Ryan Giggs in action.

Back in 2015 Graham Neale, 31, of System Street Films in Cardiff, was in the process of putting together a short documentary on the match, which was set to be released at the end of 2015 or early 2016.

We reported on the documentary when Mr Neale was four months into the filming process for the 20-minute film, which looked at the game itself and the effect it had on Cwmbran as a whole.

Mr Neale’s inspiration for the film came from an old friend, goalkeeper Craig Gordon, who played for Cwmbran Town and lamented how the game was not more widely known.

Mr Neale, who is originally from Kirkcaldy in Scotland, said: “Craig felt the game had gone down in legend – rather than being truly remembered outside of Cwmbran.

"As soon as you mention it to people in Cwmbran, they spring up and tell you their story. The whole town must have stopped that day.

“Coming from Fife, where Raith Rovers memorably played Bayern Munich in 1995, everyone knows about Rovers’ story and it’s been told several times.

South Wales Argus: Ryan Giggs at Cwmbran Stadium.Ryan Giggs at Cwmbran Stadium.

“We need to keep reminding people about this one for Cwmbran. This is a film that will celebrate the club's legacy and Cwmbran as a whole.

“It is something that needs to be put on record.”

At the time, Cwmbran Town were a semi-professional outfit who had just won the League of Wales title under their legendary manager, Tony Wilcox.

Reflecting the difference in preparations that night, Cwmbran’s striker, Sean Wharton, then 24, had to drop his son off to a cubs trip in Usk before kick-off. The Manchester United players, meanwhile, basked in the relative luxury of the Commodore Hotel.

Mr Wharton said: “I had been scrambling around for my shin pads before the match, whereas they had their nice hotel.

South Wales Argus: Micky Copeman battles with Dion Dublin during the game.Micky Copeman battles with Dion Dublin during the game.

“But, they gave us such respect in bringing those players down. It was an experience I’ll never forget and they were a friendly, courteous bunch after the match.”

Pre-match, the players had been told to express themselves by Tony Wilcox and they followed those instructions: central midfielder Kevin Payne, then 25, even nutmegged Denis Irwin after coming on as a substitute in the second-half.

Mr Payne said: “I was not the most skilful guy, but I’ll never forget that moment. All the boys were laughing.

“It was a really special day and the whole of Cwmbran were talking about it.”

Despite the difference in preparations, and facing an array of seasoned international footballers, Cwmbran Town did their fans proud and only lost the game 3-1.

South Wales Argus: Ryan Giggs in action. Picture: Mark WilliamsRyan Giggs in action. Picture: Mark Williams

The moment of the match was to fall to winger Jason Price, then 17, whose sumptuous finish cut United’s lead to 2-1 on the hour mark.

He said: “I couldn’t even remember the result. It was just the euphoria of playing against some of the best footballers ever.

“It was the best goal I ever scored and it’s really surreal looking back. I remember going past Denis Irwin and I flicked it over the far post past Paul Gibson in goal.

“I ran off celebrating like I won the World Cup.”

Cwmbran legend Mickey Copeman, then 23, played in defence that night and with John Charles, one of Wales' greatest ever footballers, in attendance, he said it was an occasion he will never forget.

South Wales Argus: 20th anniversary of Cwmbran Town v Manchester United. Pictured are Kevin Payne, Sean Wharton and Micky Copeman looking through some cuttings from the game at Cwmbran Stadium.20th anniversary of Cwmbran Town v Manchester United. Pictured are Kevin Payne, Sean Wharton and Micky Copeman looking through some cuttings from the game at Cwmbran Stadium.

He said: “It was the best night in our football lives. The sun was out and it was like a dream.

"It was a little bit strange marking Giggs at the corner. I usually stood on toes but I couldn’t pull his shirt. He was a god at the time and I was too nice to him."

If you want to watch the game Cwmbran Town have shared a video of it on YouTube which can be seen