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Showing posts from August, 2016

So where did we go?

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I’ve just finished reading the excellent book “And the Sun Shines Now” which studies the impact of the Hillsborough disaster and the advent of the FA Premier League on how modern football has developed. The book is worth reading if only for the first and final chapters which describe the author’s survival on the fateful day in 1989 and then the final vindication of the families’ campaign for justice for the 96 innocents who died that sunny afternoon. The Taylor Report was a catalyst for change in the game and the book details the chances spurned along the way. The journey from the late eighties certainly sparked some memories for me. Those days are now in sharp focus with how the current game is set up, many of us of a certain age will sometimes look around us on a Saturday afternoon and wonder if the product has become a little sterile, has the match-day atmosphere improved as the stadium facilities have over the years? It’s easy to become nostalgic for how we first watched football.…

Bob McIlvenny

Sad news has reached us at Dial M For Merthyr. Bobby McIlvenny who was one of the matinee era boys from the early 1950s sadly passed away in Exeter on 15th May aged 89 years.
Bobby was an inside forward who developed in wartime Irish League football. He was born in Belfast on 7th July 1926. He played for Balmoral United and then both Distillery and Glentoran during that era. He then joined Merthyr Town (alongside his brother Paddy) where he again shone helping the Lilywhites to win both Southern League and Welsh Cup culminating in a move to Oldham Athletic in March 1950 for £3,000, later helping them win the Division Three North title in 1952-53 by scoring 8 goals and laying on a lot more for Eric Gemmell. He went onto to play for Bury, Southport and Barrow, taking his tally of Football League appearances beyond the 250-mark and earning a reputation as one of the most skillful players of his era playing in the lower divisions. After leaving senior football he played for Yeovil Town and…

Live and let Dai

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I’ve just heard that the supporters’ bus scheduled for Kings Lynn (or KL as we say in the tea houses of Vaynor) has been cancelled. Apparently we didn’t manage to impress 34 of my fellow Martyristas that 8 hours on a bus was worth it just to see Jon Brown take KL Town United Athletic (or whatever they’re called these days) apart. It’s the first game of the season. Come on. The … First … Game … Of … The … Season and we can’t run a bus. What has become of us? What happened to our away support? We used to run a bus to every game back in the day, so have times changed that much? I’m asking a lot of questions here. I probably need to add some answers. We have to face the fact that the average age of our support is getting older by the season and those of us heading north of forty have other stuff circling our lives; where are our loud, boisterous, frankly annoying adolescents who should be using Merthyr Town trips as a rite of passage? You know the score, trips to dull towns, watching the …