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Showing posts from 2017

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 café, 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…

Déjà Vu By Wandering

We’ve been in this dark place many times before, but this is the first time that it has been with a fan elected Board! 
Are we experiencing a ‘Ground Hog Day’ existence once again? This isn’t what a supporter run club should aspire to. However, there are reassuring indications that it appears the current financial situation is manageable if handled carefully with no further debt being incurred.
Perhaps we all need a First Class honours degree in ‘Hindsight’ to fully comprehend why we face this predicament once again. It is a credit to the Board for holding their hands up, admitting their mistake and taking positive action to deal with the situation. 
The business case for the immediate future,identifying operational costs, with targets and objectives clearly specified, must be published soon (1st September was promised!) in the new emerging Business Plan. This will allow the owners to monitor carefully whether the Board are moving in the right direction to safeguard the future heritage o…

Resignation Letter by Wolvesy

It’s strange how it happens. One day you find yourself sweating over injury news about Ryan Prosser or scouring the fixture list for the prime games and then you discover that you just don’t care anymore. 
I don’t care about the Martyrs anymore, it’s quite liberating to write those words. After 43 years of following the ups and downs of the team I seem to have hit a wall of apathy and to be honest dismay with the club at the top of Park Terrace. I’ve struggled health wise for a while now and watching Saturday’s heroes was once an oasis from the stresses and strains of modern life but after a while I realised that the governance of Merthyr Town FC and the lack of accountability at the top of the club was adding to my frustrations. The same people who propped up the previous regime now seem to be back in the board room, how do they do that? I wish I had that level of confidence to just walk out the door, take on the new club’s philosophy and then return as if nothing had happened. As Gro…

SAY IT AIN'T SO, JIMMY? by Chairman Mao from the early 2000s

It's been the match that has stood out for all Martyrs fans since the season started, another opportunity to educate our neighbours from Gwent in the social etiquette of non-league football. Our chance to provide their supporters with the fundamental requirements for football at our level; hospitality in our clubhouse, four sides to a ground with no segregation (and no crowd trouble). What we couldn't rely on was what would happen on the lush green lawn that is Penydarren Park. It had been a tidy Christmas but to be honest it was all going to be little more than a warm-up for the main event; Merthyr Tydfil -vrs- Newport County.

I'm glad they've adopted their old name, it just seems more honest and gives a historical edge to matches. Against my better judgement I felt quietly confident about the encounter, the Martyrs record against the Gwenties isn't very good but recent performances if not results had been encouraging with the lads attempting to play a passing gam…

Are we approaching crunch time? by Wandering

Financially 2015/16 was an extremely challenging year for the Trust. A period when the ground was being redeveloped and there were no permanent bar facilities on site, but once again the Club punched above their playing weight as it lifted the Southern League Cup for the first time in sixty years. Even a safe mid-table finish failed to persuade Steve Jenkins to stay with the Martyrs and the Board reacted quickly to appoint Gavin Williams as manager in the summer months.

Broadly, I think you could say that last year’s accounts were strong in some places and weak in others – an overall loss was posted for the second time in three years as a result of the investment in the infrastructure, but this was fortunately absorbed by the existing surplus profit in the Reserves that were carried forward. This possibly reinforced the cautious approach of maintaining a consistent, sustainable strategy which provided the foundation for last seasons play-off challenge in only our second season back at …

Molesey (Away) FA Trophy - January 1991 by Dai Cunny

A decent Martyrs team (actually the team was crap, as always). For three intrepid explorers, who travelled up over ye old Severn Bridge to that sad and rather smelly country, the day was more memorable for an event which took place in the toilets at half time (ooooooo) than the game itself.
It was myself, Bungle & Will who lumbered down to the law courts during the depths of the harsh Glamorganshire winter, to experience the delights of a Trevor Meyrick away trip to London. These were the days when you were actively encouraged to carry alcohol on away trips. The more the better. In fact it was common place for fans to be turned away from one of Trevor's busses for not carrying the required quota of eighteen cans of elephant beer and a kilo of whizz. This almost caused the first mishap of the day as Will, upon inspection, only had seventeen cans in his possession. Things were looking ropey for a few moments until the great man produced a two litre bottle of the demon voddy whic…