A letter from The Editor of the Merthyr Express from the mid 1990s
This was a genuine letter we recieved from the then editor of the Merthyr Express in the mid 90s. Rival Merthyr fanzine "Don't Call Me Butt" took a pot shot at the editor in one of their issues and Gordon Caldecott thought he'd redress the wrong doing in our pages. Here is his response.
To the fine fellows at Dial 'M' For Merthyr.
Can I use your esteemed and much loved organ to penetrate the inner working of the fanzine mind as my own member could be perceived as too blunt a tool for such a task. As a virgin in the ways of the witty reposte I hope to comment on an article in that smaller tool of comedy discourse Don't Call Me Butt.
Some would feel that being the Butt of ridicule could be seen to be a form of backhanded (or should that be rear-door) respect, while others may judge that simply acknowledging the existence of a not-so brown-nosed tribute simply gives it credence. But I - an investigative journalist who develops the whiff of a story into o pile of prose - feel that such a well I composed (and many would say cruelly accurate) analysis of the sports editor's art should at least be recognised for what it is.
So what is it? The first question has to be is it funny? Well quite frankly no. At school the infants - with a much more limited vocabulary than the well-educated publishing arm of Merthyr's massive fan base - came up with some much more vitriolic nicknames than Baldecott. Try BaIdyC'*K, Candyballs or Mickey Quinn. I would also like to add that the wits at DCMB - a tool that donates profits to MTFC and therefore can't be all bad - obviously don't know me as, rather than being bald, I possess a fine head of hair which David Ginola - or circa 1987 Ceri Williams - could be rightly proud of. Still coming up with something more original that the switching of the letter C for one very nearby may be tasking above anyone who is less than sharpest tool in the box.
As for thick skin, well that is right, but so is any description that uses the words fat, unsightly, and less than confident with cash. Still... they did get one thing right, although in the tradition of a well sub-edited story they did contradict themselves. I was roundly criticised for announcing the sponsorship deal with Peters. The club, and quite a few fans that appear to feel that all news must be good news, didn't wont this excellent event revealed. But ironically I wasn't the first to broadcast the information. That was via the excellent - and semi-official website - Martyrs Online, which pipped me to the post.
But as DCMB pointed out, I wouldn't know a good story if it jumped up and smacked me across the arse - and there is plenty of room. Well what about Gary Wager's travel antics, Keith Walker signing, the Nike shirt deal, Money vs Caparros , Gibbo and the Gullet bullet, Addo vs JR etc. Mind you I did get some wrong - Christian Roberts didn't come to Merthyr and neither did Paul Evans. But two things they didn't understand. I actually support Merthyr and feel it is only right to point out any potential pitfalls such as Mr Caparros or poor performances. I have also carried appeals for support from every owner from John Reddy to the present regime and enter every season with the confidence that this year will be the one. But like many that have watched the team over the six years I have covered the Penydarren Park antics the overwhelming emotion you feel is disappointment.
I would also like to point out that as much as I would like to go to Penydarren Park to see every match - because "no other mug would go out on o Saturday afternoon or Tuesday night in freezing cold weather to cover the local sporting scene;' DCMB - I have a responsibility to more than 300 football, rugby, hockey, bowls, swimming, netball, snooker, darts, junior football, mini rugby, athletics, and cricket teams, so I can't. Still keep up the good work, and let's hope for sportswriters and fans alike that Merthyr can get some success. Because if it is depressing to read about Merthyr's decline week in week out, imagine how depressing it is to write it.