Park View Martyrs – a philosophy by Chairman Mao
The Park View Martyrs, aka PVM, is a group of like-minded Merthyr Town FC supporters who use the Park View public house on Brecon Road in Merthyr Tydfil as a base. The pub was used by Merthyr Town supporters generally whilst the Candac Bar at the ground was being transformed into Webley’s Bar. The welcome from the landlord Mansel in those exiled days was so good though that many fans decided to continue to use the pub on match-days especially as the new sports bar at Penydarren Park did not live up to everyone’s expectations.
So why stay at the Park View? The probable answer is the atmosphere. It’s a small pub so on a match-day it’s usually packed with Merthyr Town fans, enjoying the cheap beer and of course listening to some great tunes on the famous jukebox. In short it’s everything that Webley’s was supposed to be and isn’t. There is a sense of ownership now by a lot of loyal Martyrs fans and a definite feeling of pride for the work being undertaken from this modest establishment.
One of the major challenges that Merthyr Town FC, indeed our borough as a whole, has to face is how we are perceived by the outside world. The perception of visiting PenydarrenPark has, unfairly, mirrored how our town is represented in the media. The PVM have actively tried to challenge this. We want away fans to enjoy themselves when they visit Merthyr Tydfil. One of the first initiatives was to reissue an updated version of the “Away Fans Guide to Merthyr Town FC” which contains info not only on Penydarren Park but on the wider attractions of visiting out historic town. This continues to be distributed via Twitter prior to every home match.
The PVM now markets the Park View as a safe environment for away fans to visit. We’ve welcomed groups (including Club Directors) from the majority of visiting teams and have worked to ensure that they are welcomed. They of course have to select some songs on the jukebox and apart from Frome Town who chose the Wurzels we’ve had some great pre-match tunes. We’ve been accused of turning people away from Webley’s Bar and in some quarters of operating a boycott. Sorry but no. We include Webley’s in the guide and we just say that we’re in this pub so come and join us for a good time. There is no boycott as everyone still gets that sneaky half-time pint from Steve Rees & Co and post-match the club is also often used especially for mid-week matches.
Our politics is left-wing and as such we’ve formed links with similar clubs like Dulwich Hamlet (a few of whom were at Chesham yesterday), Whitehawk, Altona 96 (who will visit in Hamburg in April) and Wrexham. Those links have borne fruit with messages of support and funds during the current issues.
Numerous projects have echoed our beliefs from supporting Stonewall’s “Rainbow Laces” campaign to raising funds for many charities including Llamau and Huntington’s Disease. Our current focus is on Mental Health initiatives as many of us have issues and the recent tragic death of fellow fan David Twiggy Jones brought home to us all that we need to support each other within the Merthyr Town FC family. We’ve called it a Fans Union.
Merthyr Town has always had good away support but of late we have struggled to get a bus to every ground in the league so the PVM now hold “event” days to encourage fans to come along and enjoy a unique event so if it’s a Beach Party, Full Kit Wanker Day, Vintage Day, Prosser Beard Day or of course the great Christmas jumper trip please book with Richard Bennett to get on the Bennettorial Army Bus.
The PVM has tried to log as many of our successes as possible via the Dial M For Merthyr blogsite, here’s a few of them;
• 500 Fixture cards for 2016/17 season
• Beach party at Hayes & Yeading
• Roof the Theatre End badges
• Christmas jumper day at Cambridge City
• Open the Steps campaign
• Hope Not Hate Day at Penydarren Park
• Enthusiastic Amateur badges
• All Together Merthyr FC link
• Football match with Syrian Association
• Sponsored walk for British Heart Foundation from ICI to Treharris
• Supported Stonewall Cymru with Rainbow Laces project
• Dial M TV vodcast - 4 episodes
• Issue 51 of the fanzine
• Hosted World Kerbsy Championships
• Players v Fans quiz night
• Memorabilia in the Park View
• 10,000 Introduction to Merthyr Town FC leaflets delivered
• Ryan Prosser Beard Day (incorporating Adopt a Zebra event)
• Go Zebras badges
• Orgreave Justice Campaign
• Issue 52 of the fanzine
• Commenced archive for the new Merthyr Town FC digital museum
• Raised £156.11 for the Mia Chambers Journey appeal
• Full Kit Wanker day at Kings Langley
• Park View Martyrs flags
• Magic roundabouts project
• Issue 53 of the fanzine
• Issue 54 of the fanzine
• Vintage day at Redditch United
• Sponsored walk fundraiser for Anxiety UK
• #ManYourLocal mental health event with Campaign Against Living Miserably
• Raised funds for Hereford United Supporters’ Trust chosen charities
We understand that we aren’t everyone’s cup of tea and to be honest the PVM is excited that young fans like the Merthyr Massive ultras group are coming forward with new ideas, flags and a new attitude to ensure that following Merthyr Town is never dull. These lads are the future of Merthyr Town FC and should be encouraged to make their mark on our clubs’ long history. To them belongs the future.
The current cashflow crisis at Merthyr Town brings a great opportunity for a new era at Penydarren Park with hopefully more PVM events being held at the ground.
See you all soon.