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AND IT WAS A BLOODY GOOD LAUGH by Chairman Mao from the early 2000s.

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The phone rang at 6. In the morning. The call was coming from Merthyr to get up and get ready. Glamorgan were at Lords and the whole of South Wales seemed on the road. The DMFM crew were set to join them. Around 45 minutes later, the peace of my Cynon Valley haven was shattered by the arrival of our charabanc, whether this mini-bus would reach London seemed doubtful, it seemed to be held together by sellotape. I climbed aboard, all were present, only RTB to be collected at Quakers Yard to make up the nine selected to represent Merthyr Tydfil FC, having the dubious pleasure of delivering us at the home of cricket.
The length of the M4 seemed to be full of all manner of transport transporting Glamorgan supporters eastwards, even the sight of two Gloucestershire coaches sparked weird celebrations as cars, vans, mini-buses and coaches tried to flag them down to share in the vast cider lake that was heading towards London. Wingnut had started his sesh at 6.30 am outside the Norton, he was …

Merthyr in the Orient Express. author unknown

It's 8.30 a.m. The place, as usual, is the Merthyr Law Courts. The DMFM Crew are once more gathering one by one for what will hopefully be another memorable trip. The destination, The English Capital, for our F.A. Cup tie with the mighty O's of Leyton, E10. The Supporters Club buses are filling up nicely and the sight of about four hundred Merthyr fans queuing up is great. Just like the old days, eh?9.00 a.m. arrives and our minibus still hasn't turned up along with a couple of the boys ie Jimmy Kranky and Mr Strong. However, we are joined amazingly by Typey sporting two bruised eyes courtesy of the bouncer at the Pitz. 9.30 a.m. and our minibus finally arrives with Mick, Gwynney, Hulby and, as Shaun Ryder would say, Mad Cyril on board. A quick trip back up to Dowlais to collect Mr Strong and the booze from the Miners and we are away, with a quick stop in Treforest to collect P.J. Woodcraft - Welsh Lovespoon maker.
The journey up is quiet although the traffic in London is …

Issue 58

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Issue 58 will be on the terraces for tomorrow’s visit of Basingstoke Town.

Merthyr Town FC – The first anarchist sports club in Wales - by Chairman Mao

There’s a contradiction in how our club is currently being governed. On the one hand we have Board members calling their own press conference disguised as a so-called Special General Meeting to confirm their mass resignations and on the other we have the club continuing to operate with Christmas parties, charity collections and even a Soup Kitchen showing that despite the lack of formal leadership at Merthyr Town FC we are probably more united and are engaging with the wider football community more than at any time in recent history. Match day at Penydarren Park relies on a regular team of volunteers who ensure that we can continue our love affair with our heroes in black & white. Their contribution to the Martyrs cannot be underestimated with turnstiles manned, programme production & sales, 50/50 tickets sales and of course stray footballs found on the tundra of the Theatre End plateau. This group seem to be working successfully as an independent unit from the Board. The team u…

Values by Wandering

Everyone was relieved when the credits finally rolled at the culmination of last season. Similar to reaching the end of a traumatic biopic, it took a while for everyone who holds the club in esteem to absorb the problems that the Club faced. Had the trigger been pulled to spiral the Club towards the end game button? Well not quite, because our supporters are made of sterner stuff as the debate bubbled and frothed. It seemed in retrospect to re-energize the club’s fan base. Increasingly as last season progressed, we witnessed the teams work ethic under Gavin’s leadership, their commitment and what the ‘values’ that existed at the club mean to everyone. All the supporters spoke of their ‘loyalty’ which confirmed the players integrity during the final 6 traumatic months of last season. It became increasingly difficult for Gavin and Dean to implement their ‘philosophy’ as the players wages were cut, through no fault of the management or team. After being reformed in 2010 and gaining 3 promo…

POLAND by the President

Berliner Pilsner, Snickers, shit train journeys, depressing towns, miserable aggressive coppers with guns, Grizzly bears, snoring, McDonalds and more snickers
The Poland Trip Sunday had finally arrived. All that waiting seemed to take an eternity, especially the last two weeks. Myself and Billy the Fish (BTF) decided to meet up slightly earlier than planned to enjoy a couple of liveners around town prior to meeting the rest of the boys in the Baili Glas, Afershave Hill, CF48. On arrival at 9.30pm we were the first there and "pussies" seemed like the perfect adjective to describe everyone else. Two minutes later and Dai and Mopp steam in looking exited. We are finally joined by the rest of the "Polish train mob" which consisted of Wingy, Rob the bomb (RTB), Hulby and the Brown Baron. The trip had already taken a major setback the previous week as Typey was forced to withdraw with a broken limb. In fact it was that man himself who, as usual, had tirelessly arranged a…

Toys for Grenfell

On Saturday 15th December the Merthyr Town FC supporters’ groups Red Flag Martyrs and MTFC On The Terracesare heading to Harrow Borough for our Southern League fixture but more importantly for our annual Christmas jumper trip.
This year’s event will be slightly different to previous years as we will also be supporting Solidarity Sports and the Non-League 4 Grenfell movement by firstly raising awareness of the awful Grenfell Tower tragedy that affected so many people and has displaced many families including young children. They say travel expands the mind but coupled with football it certainly expands your horizons and during a trip to Blackpool we caught up with our new friends from Whitehawk who are behind the @nonlge4grenfell twitter account which uses football as a vehicle to remind people of the continued plight of the survivors of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

As football supporters of a community-owned club we feel now it’s time to do our bit so as well as raising awareness of this …

Purple Haze - by Wandering

WOW – what a weekend. An invasion of zany Liverpudlians descends on the County Borough. The Purps had landed at Penydarren Park and brought with them their infectious brand of fanatical support. Fair play it was extremely impressive for a Club at Step 5 of non-league football to travel that far, in considerable numbers for a weekend in South Wales. But it was the Supporters Direct Shield that had brought the two clubs together and everyone who failed to attend the game missed a truly unique experience. The Purps fans were noisy and just happy to be here. Anyone who adores eating raw cake mixture (only that which is freshly made by your Mum), will understand what this was like. The atmosphere in the bars and around the ground was festival like and the football was good. It all started on the Friday evening with Liverpool legend Jimmy Case spending the evening in the Red Flag Bar. Then the following morning a handful of intrepid Martyrs fans walked the thirteen miles from Talybont to the g…

Who do you support By Chairman Mao

It seems that the ever curious football fan has returned to following our national team home and away, you know the one I’m on about, he (and it’s always a he) needs to know where you’re from in Wales and of course more importantly who you support?
We’ve covered this issue before in the fanzine. A very long evening in Vienna was endured by about twenty of our fellow Martyrs as our loyalty to our black & white heroes was called into question. You aren’t Cardiff fans? Then you must be Swansea seemed to be the logic of that Austrian adventure. 
We have a giant Wales flag that appears every now and then at Penydarren Park, it’s too big for most grounds in our league so it very rarely leaves the Pearl too. It’s banner headline is a play on the Socialist Workers’ Party slogan but for us it’s “Neither Cardiff Nor Swansea But International Merthyrism” and it tells a tale for all clubs in Wales in that we have our identity and most certainly culture that sadly a lot of football league fan…

Banik on the Streets by Mark Ainsbury

RCS 1, Wales 1, World Cup 1994 Qualifier, 28 April 1993, Bazaly Stadium, Ostrava This is the second report unearthed recently of early ‘90s far-flung voyages with Wales, a match played at a time when Czechoslovakia had just broken up, and today’s Czech Republic and Slovakia were not yet formed. This meant that Wales’ opponents were the snappily-monickered representation of Czechs and Slovaks, against whom we later drew 2-2 in an astonishing return in Cardiff. It also meant that we played not in Prague but got shipped off to a tough city tucked in right by  the Polish border, the heavy-industry heartland of Ostrava, whose fans carried a fearsome reputation, and whose town was said to be a total dump. Perfect. An inaccessible, rough ugly place. I’m bang up for that. As it happens, this one went down in folklore as one of  the iconic trips of the last 30 years. Even at the time it was like being in a different universe. We played in candy stripes, there was widespread trouble at all times…