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Bowen… What's the score? From the late 90s. Author Unknown

It was the game that just couldn't arrive quickly enough. The return to the Green Green Grass of Penydarren park, for one Sam Bowen, probably the most controversial player to don a Martyrs top and recently sold to Worcester City for £5,000. This game was always going to be a tough one but the return of Bowen and mark Kelly and the fact that the Martyrs had suffered a 3-0 reverse the previous day at Bath, certainly spiced up this top of the table clash.
The club house was full, prior to the match, with a good turn out by the tractor numpties from over the border. All the talk in the clubhouse was of course about Bowen - would he get sent off, would he score a hatrick, would he react to the abuse? The Worcester boys seem to have taken to Sam a little better than us but then again we thought he was a God after his 5 goal debut. Only time will tell on that one! The smart money was on David Barnhouse to kick Sam into next week but there was even money on Dean Clarke and Graeth Abraham …

Chairman Mao featured on Bandy and Shinty

GONE FOR A BURTON by Wandering from Issue 32

I've lost count of the number of times that I've actually travelled to Eton Park and couldn't find the ground. So this season armed with the directions from THE MARTYR we set off in confident mood. Even a detour to collect a poor impoverished University student at the British Rail terminal at the NEC en route didn't deter our confidence that this would be the year……..that we finally cracked the formula and found the ground without stopping to ask directions on the one-way grand prix circuit around the outskirts of the town.
And guess what? Yes, once again the 'corner shop' routine worked a treat! We passed the Derby Turn pub without a glitch but when we were faced with a set of traffic lights at a junction with roads leading everywhere the consensus of opinion became the wrong outcome.
But fortunately we had only turned in the wrong direction and we were soon back on track. Phew. The next mistake was entering the ground to partake of the hospitality in the soci…

LIFE IN THE SOUTHERN LEAGUE SECOND DIVISION DURING SEASON 1911-1912

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The season 1911-12 was certainly a successful one for Merthyr Town as they finished champions of the Southern League Second Division. This was no mean feat as, over the course of the season, they had to contest local derbies with Cardiff City, Pontypridd, Ton Pentre, Treharris, Aberdare, Mardy and Cwm Albion. The biggest ‘name’ in the division was, current Premiership side, Portsmouth, who had been relegated from the Southern League First Division at the end of the previous campaign. Not surprisingly, the south coast club were hardly enthusiastic about the number of visits which they would have to make to the South Wales Valleys.
   In an attempt to avoid travelling to the Valleys in the winter months, new Pompey Manager, Bob Brown, shrewdly arranged the bulk of his Club’s away fixtures for the first half of the season. Even so, the facilities and pitches at many of the South Wales grounds could, at best, be described as basic. What follows is the views, comments and experiences of …

The Samuel Wightman tragedy by Chairman Mao

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Samuel Wightman (1887-1912)
The pen-pics for the fledgling Merthyr Town team before the 1909/10 season. The team includes Sam Wightman who is described as a left-back. Sam was born near Whitehaven in Cumbria at the end of 1887. Little is known of Sam’s early career and within twelve months he was at Luton Town playing in derby matches against Watford over Christmas 1910. Sam seems to have settled in Bedfordshire as he is still at Luton the following season. Tragedy strikes though in April 1912 at Brighton & Hove Albion as a late challenge by Fred Goodwin for the home side catches Sam Wightman in the stomach. Sam died from peritonitis and shock following a rupture to his small intestine. At the inquest Goodwin was exonerated from all blame as the Coroner stated “that the kick was done purely accidentally”.

Sex and The Town from around 2012 - by Konrad Bartelski

The terraces remain empty. Look around you, the barren wastes of Penydarren Park lie before you. Where has everyone gone? Is the new Cyfarthfa Retail Park that exciting? We’ve tried everything; free tickets, happy hours, even winning a few games and getting a promotion or two but to no avail.
It’s time for action!
The Dial M For Merthyr Central Committee has discussed the matter at length, mainly over an illegal steamed pie in a down-town cafĂ©, and we’ve come to the conclusion that the answer lies with SEX!
Quite simply, if we want more fans then we’re going to have to make them.
Volunteers are required to step forward and take the challenge of shagging for the Martyrs, when the final game is played at Penydarren Park and our crowds are too small to support a team in the Hellenic League what will you tell the grand-kids when they say “what did you do Grand-dad to save the Martyrs?”
We urge all supporters, men and women, to lie back and think of Merthyr. Now is not the time for false inhib…

BLIND FAITH by Jimmy Flack from Issue 31

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Blind Faith or just pessimistic about the Pre-Season? Don't be so silly! Everyone views the start of a new season in entirely different ways. Mutterings at Carmarthen of 'We're rubbish' after just twenty minutes by individual's who should know better, give way to serious pessimism about our chances of staying up. Well are we about to struggle against relegation or will you be dismissed as a deluding lunatic for thinking aloud "this could be our year". Why not?
That well known social commentator Mr Anthony Hughes, wrote in the final programme of last season "should we avoid relegation, as I'm sure we will, then the beauty of it is we will all start on a level playing field once more come August. Finishing 2nd this time around or even 18th, will mean nothing and it's up to us to take advantage of that."
So, it's prediction time again, and lets make sure that we prove Mr Hughes right. Top ten or another fight against relegation? FA Cup g…

SHEEP FARMING IN THE FALKLANDS by Dai Pest from 2000

The new wrongly named Millennium was barely upon us and already games were being played throughout the British lsles. For the Mighty Martyrs it was a short trip across the border to Clevedon, for the fans it was a chance to show Welsh dominance over the English. This for me was a game that Jimmy Mullen's boys needed to win to boost morale after being on the wrong end of a seven goal thriller, seven days earlier, against those plastic Welsh bastards Newport County.

For myself and the rest of the DMFM entourage it was our last piss-up of the Christmas festivities. The rendezvous point was to be the Park View for a quick beverage before departure. The Ginger Giant was the first on the scene, although I don't know why because the old man can't drink much these days. He was accompanied by his boy who in two years time will be able to drink more than his old man. By the time Wingnut and l arrived, Wolvsey and Nathan had been joined by Typey, who may I add was a little worse for …

Bath = 3 points by Chairman Mao from issue 30

It's my favourite trip of the season, the one you look for when the fixtures start in August. And that's the best way to describe going to Bath usually, a good trip. For the Dial M for Merthyr boys, Bath means the train taking the strain.

So the omens weren't good this season when the numbers going began to drop almost as quickly as the Martyrs down the table. It was Wingnut's birthday but the thought of Twerpton Park wasn't exactly adding to the party spirit. Let's be honest Bath has never been a great hunting ground for the Martyrs, I can only recall winning once there in the last decade or so (perhaps 1'm wrong but it feels like that). Although the 0-6 defeat there against Bristol Rovers in the FA Cup must go down as the most enjoyable hammering ever. Peter Jones whacking their goalscorer up the arse as their player was wheeling away to celebrate is surely the best way to get sent off in the history of football. Chris Williams's penalty save sparked …

On Flanders Fields by Chairman Mao

Time can be many things. We’re told that it can heal almost anything but mostly a broken heart. It can also humble you with comparisons and shadows of the past. Recently I was privileged to visit Flanders as part of the Welsh Government’s commemoration of the century of the start of the Third Battle of Ypres, more commonly known as the Battle of Passchendaele, during the First World War. The Welsh memorial at Langemarkon the outskirts of Ypres is magnificent and a worthy memorial for every Welsh soldierwho served on the Western Front during one of the most brutal battles in history. The memorial was unveiled in 2014. The cromlech area has now been completed and supplemented with further stones from Pontypridd to represent the Welsh Regiments who fought across the trenches during the long months of the battle. The conditions for the battle were horrendous with the unusual summer combined with the massive artillery fire ensuring that the battlefields were a swamp as the local canals and r…