WELSH League Division Two outfit Newport City has folded just weeks after the club re-branded itself from Llanwern AFC, writes Terry Daley.

The shock news follows the recent departure because of family commitments of manager Ben Hartrey and the club informed both the league and the Football Association of Wales of its decision on Thursday.

A letter sent to the league and signed by chairman Dave Jones, a former Newport County forward, and secretary Alan Watkins, read: "It is with great regret we have to inform you we are folding as a football club with immediate effect and withdrawing from the League.

"When our manager walked out on us only a few weeks before the start of last season, leaving us with few players and no assistant manager or physio, we came close to resigning.

"But we found another manager (Hartrey) who, at short notice, managed to find enough players to make up a squad and, by his efforts, we managed to finish the season out of the relegation places.

"We lost money last year for the third year running but we felt with a good close season to recruit new players, a name change and a big fundraising effort, we could do well this season.

"Unfortunately, this has not come to pass. Our manager, in a repeat of what happened last season, quit last week to leave us with a squad of just seven players – the best half of the team having left us.

"We had a friendly match recently for which we put out 11 players only, with no recognised goalkeeper. We have a coach, but no manager or physio and the squad we have is not strong enough.

"Though we have brought in some good sponsorship, we still face a long haul to reach financial stability.

"We (Jones and Watkins) have put a hell of a lot into this club over many years and it hurts us to have to do this, but we feel at our time of life, we can't start all over again and it's really time to call it a day."

The recent name change was not a first for the club, which was founded as Spencer Works in 1963 and later became known as Llanwern AFC, the area of the city where previous main sponsor Corus was based, in 1988.

As Spencer Works, the team joined the Newport & Newport League and five seasons later lifted Premier B championship title.

After the opening of a clubhouse and playing fields in 1969-1970 in the shadows of the near-by steelworks, it won the Gwent Premier League title in 1970-1971 and again the following campaign before being elected to the Welsh League for 1972-1973. It remained in the league ever since - winning the Welsh League Cup in 2002.