And number 1 is Tommy Hutch….

Whilst spending 10 minutes at my work desk trawling through the usual bilge on twitter, hidden amongst the 144 characters from Welsh Independents, Anti Brexit and NFL posts, the picture below popped up. Rob Haggert (one of Twitters funniest local posters - @FaggotsnPeas ) had responded to a post from a Manchester United blogger. Tommy Hutchison is a Merthyr terrace legend. He played for the club in the Conference from 1991 – 1994, playing at PP until he was 46. His 73 appearances for the Martyrs somehow only netted 2 goals, neither of which I can remember, but it was his ability to setup chances and bamboozle full backs that gave his such cult status on The Wank Bank. That’s right Tommy was 46 and was probably the best player at the club. On his day (like an appearance versus Colchester United in the FA Trophy) he was imperious and majestic, but when you look at Tommy’s illustrious career, nowhere do you see the seventeen times Scottish international ever played for The Red Devils. So…

To Buda/Pest By the Re-tired Sec

Well after a long final season it was off on the trail of international glory with our country.I missed Croatia as I was in Benidorm on the Merthyr Cafu’s stag.The less said about my drinking in Benidorm the better, I think I spent more asleep than I was awake, and it was another of those “how did I come home in one-piece trips.” I arrived in Budapest 24 hours before the rest of the Merthyr party. I was given strict instructions by our diplomatic ambassador “aka Minty” to do some early reconnaissance to find cheap bars before the invaders arrived.However I decided if I wanted to see the sights in Budapest I needed to do it before that lot showed up as the only thing I’d see from that moment on is the bottom of a glass.So Monday morning I had a wander around the beautiful city of Budapest.Now it had been described to me as the Amsterdam of the East, with plenty of cheap bars and one or two sex shops, but not so much drugs.I stayed out of them of course as I’m sure would expect from a ma…

No more heroes by Chairman Mao

We had a General Election on 12th December in the UK and I’m sure we all sat up late into the night for the exciting conclusion to the vote in the Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney constituency; could the Labour Party defy the odds and make it 119 years in a row?
The central issue for the election was of course Brexit and a possible solution to the continued paralysis of government in London. There are too many consequences of leaving the EU to list here but this is a football fanzine so how could it affect us? We’re not sure that anyone really understands the current “Good Deal” offered by Johnson as an alternative to the catastrophic “No Deal” solution that was also threatened by the ERG fundamentalists and their mates in Brexit Party Ltd. but there will be consequences for professional sport and everyone will be affected in the short term as the numerous trade deals are negotiated over the next couple of years. Merthyr Town FC has of course benefitted directly from EU funding for the up…

MERTHYR SHE WROTE by Chairman Mao from around 2003

So I'm standing outside the Main Gates at Worcester City when Miss Marple gets out of a taxi, she's short of the fare, well it's ridiculously expensive in England, she obviously doesn't know the taxi chat ("Working late drive?" or Busy in town tonight?") so I step over and hand out some arian and pretty soon she's through customs and into the crime scene. Worcester have stolen a point and I want it recorded for the record. Worcester is not really a favourite destination for the Dial M For Merthys entourage, we were and still are innocent ! For me, it's an awkward trip - it's neither here nor there, it's a half day off work and a mad rush to Merthyr for the fast car over the border. Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to your pilot; The Brown Baron. Now, Mr. Brown loves a burger, and especially a burger from Dowlais Top so almost sixty minutes after leaving the Baili Glas we've travelled less than two miles, but soon it's the…

Bright and Breezy by Chairman Mao

The Dial M group assembled at Anthea's cafe at Bro Dawel with the news of the Newport deals fresh from the press. Shepherd in exchange for our old friend Clarkey, it seems good business to me.
Gary Shep has never really caught the imagination of the Martyrs fans, we've been used to players like Paul Caviel and more recently Phil Green who always gave everything for the black & white shirt no matter what the occasion. It was never a matter of confidence for these players but more of pride in the Merthyr shirt.
Gary Shep is capable of getting goals, his goal at Ninian Park in the FAW Premier Cup being one of the best of this season, an exquisite header showing that he can finish. Maybe a change of scenery will suit him, let's hope he doesn't finally get going at Spytty Park on April 24th, irony? Don't get me started. I only hope that by the time that this issue appears that Darren Ryan has returned from his loan deal at the Gwenties a favourite of this publicatio…

Do you remember the first time - by Chairman Mao

So do you remember the first time? Was it how you imagined? I remember all my friends in school talking about it. A few of them boasting that they’d already undertaken this rite of passage but were they lying? I was twelve years old when I finally did it and travelled to an away game solo.
It was always going to be Barry Town. Our closest rivals and of course our derby match.
Jenner Park was a hostile place back in those days. It was the era of youth tribes of course so you had to belong to one of them. The Trefechan lads had already adopted the skinhead look as the two-tone movement spearheaded by The Specials swept across the country. Tuesday night at the youth club, if it wasn’t closed because of fighting, was spent around the single turntable record player trying to get your vinyl played. Did you get the older lads’ approval or was your choice of music laughed out of the hall?
Being a member of one youth group attracted the attention of other groups of course, by the age of twelve I…

A Martyr in LA by Jammy

What? Wales playing in LA?A part of me thought “oh no”.I had already committed to going to China and thought that would be my only big trip of 2018 but I’ve never been to America.A few of the boys did their usual “Yes I’m all over that” but when it came down to it I expected the inevitable fact that I’d be going on me todd.The boys love to tease though, more than those girls behind the bay windows in Hamburg.

The first thing to sort out after flight and hotel was the ESTA visa.Now this was a fairly straight forward and cheap process compared to the rigmarole of a Chinese visa, and probably something we are all likely to have to get used to post-Brexit. I say likely because who knows what’s going to happen with that but that’s as political as I’ll get here.
So my journey to Gatwick began. First by train then a night in a Travelodge before my 6am flight.I flew with Norwegian Air and got a cheap flight.Norwegian are an airline I’d recommend but they seem to have adopted the Ryanair model o…

A proper derby match by Chairman Mao

The recent postponement of the Copa Libertadores Cup Final between Boca Juniors and River Plate sparked a frenzied social media debate as to the most passionate derby match in world football.
Whereas the varied suggestions from Glasgow, Rome, Sao Paulo, Newcastle and even Wrexham all have their claims to the title of the best derby match there is only one true derby match that sets the benchmark for a traditional local football match played regularly between neighbours …..
The Trefechan Derby The Trefechan estate nestles quietly in the foothills of the Brecon Beacons, it is after all in Breconshire and not Merthyr Tydfil, and apart from a fantastic chip shop it’s a pretty quiet place these days but it wasn’t always like this.
They say there are two sides to every story and here on this small housing estate that’s very true as you will always be classed by your side of the Vaynor Road that bisects the village.
Top Side and Bottom Side – taxi drivers know these terms.
I grew up in Trefechan.…

No More Detours anymore - by Chairman Mao

Football has changed. There’s no doubt about that and there’s plenty of obvious examples of that. From the demise of the Football Pinks on Saturday to the absence of toilet rolls thrown from goal line terraces. Things has changed so much that many traditions seem to have faded away with little or no fanfare.

Sometimes though you can be reading a fanzine or chatting over a beer and something will spark a memory of a bygone age buried deep down within the football psyche.
I’ve just read the current When Saturday Comes magazine (there’s an article on Merthyr Town’s football league period in there) and I came across a double page on Watford which took me down a rabbit-hole of nostalgia as I remembered 1979 and Chesham United. These days a Saturday morning is often begun with a text or tweet advising that there’s been a pitch inspection hundreds of miles away in the flat barren wastelands of England and the game has been called off. Some local ref has turned up and ruined your day. Fair eno…