The Pontmorlais Set by Chairman Mao
My first experience of a pre-match pint was in the Lord Nelson. The pub was closed shortly after me and my mates started drinking there, I suppose if you’re serving 14 year-old skinheads from Trefechan every Saturday morning your business is not exactly running to plan. A few pints of Allbright and off we went up the Pontmorlais Steps to watch our heroes.
Pontmorlais has changed a lot since those days. The gradual economic decline of the area has isolated the football club, as the number of pubs has reduced so did the reasons for people to visit Penydarren Park for a beer en route to town. You either went to the football club for a function or not at all.
The news that two of our local boozers are back could be seen as a threat to the football club, especially on a match day, but to be honest the increased choice of pubs will surely enhance the supporters’ match-day experience of Merthyr Town FC.
The Tiger Bar, our first ever clubhouse back in 1909, isn’t exactly reopening but with the departure of the previous landlords who banned football fans for fun it does seem like a new pub to us.
The Morlais Castle used to be the home of the South Wales FSA way back in the late eighties, we used to have Q&A meetings in the back room with players like Terry Boyle, and to hear it may reopen is quite exciting and another good option for a decent post-match pint on the way to town.
As mentioned earlier the close proximity of these pubs plus recent additions such as Portugalles will hopefully help to reconnect the Football Club to the flourishing night-time economy in our town. No longer should a visit to Romans or Webleys curtail an evening out but should be a great option to either start or even better end the festivities, who remembers those crazy evenings in Strikers?