Merthyr on the Orient Express

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 horrific. The time is passed with Hulby and Mad Cyril shouting obscenities at everyone we pass. The highlight comes passing the BBC studios where about two hundred screaming teenage girls have gathered to catch a glimpse of Boyzone (I think). Hulby, the cool cucumber and general all-round sex god that he is sticks his head out of the window and shouts "They're all gay" to great cheers all round.
We eventually cruise into Raf the Taff's street at about 2.30 p.m. to find Raf has left for the pub. Ten minutes later we find him when he's been joined by the rest of the Orient boys as well as Keechy, fresh from a night out in Cardiff for the Holland game. Two quick bottles (or ten pints if you drink with Tim the Turtle) later and we make our way to Brisbane Road. On arrival the players have just entered the pitch and the Merthyr fans are making all the noise. I must admit to being very surprised at the size of the away support (about 850) which is bigger than our average home gate. The seats are packed and the terrace at the front is fairly full. The stewards refuse to let me put my flag on the fence claiming it would obstruct the view. The fact that there were no fans at that part of the terrace seemed to escape the Cockney twat. It was only for another club official to say it was okay that stopped a potentially nasty incident. With the game underway the Martyrs hordes seemed strangely subdued excepting for us lot. Creating an atmosphere at the Orient games is apparently not allowed as the same friendly steward told us to stop standing up to sing. Ten renditions of "You're not singing any more, Bobby Moore" and they just gave up and left us to it. The Orient fans on the other hand seemed quite happy to just sit there.
The game is going well with Merthyr having their fair share of play, without really creating good chances. Orient were, to be honest, pathetic. Their fans have every right to feel angry, as some of their players showed a total lack of commitment. Barry Hearn seems to be talking a good job of getting the O's up the league, but that's Orient for you. Big on rhetoric, small on the incidental details, such as winning football matches, however today was to prove the exception. I needn't bore you with the details of the game as most people were either there or read about it in the local press, but when one Paul Evans deservedly put us one up I went suitabit beserk. I really thought we would have gone on to win, but unfortunetly it was not to be. When that dirty Jack bastard scored the winner, I along with the rest of the Merthyr fans was, in the words of a famous actress, gutted. I just wanted to be alone. Still, before the game I would have settled for a 2-1 defeat with us scoring first. Not disgraced, the boys left the field to a standing ovation, which brought us onto the main event of the day, a night out in London.
Mad Cyril did his best to upset every member of the populus of the London Borough of Leyton on the way back to the Northcote, where many beers were to be supped, before moving onto the Birbeck. Here I ended up deep in conversation with two girls from Ireland about High Street bank charges. I tried to impress them with my Charbonniers Gold Club discotheque card, but it was all to no avail and I came to the conclusion that they must have been a pair of lesbians! Meanwhile back at the ranch Cyril is trying to get us all shot by a rather large West ham fan. As the beer is flowing, the singing begins with all the regular songs given an airing and some good quality anti-Cardiff/West ham material proving popular.
The evening then started to deteriorate with most of us getting split up trying to find some sort of nightclub. Most of the boys ended up in some Irish place but with a closing time of 12 o'clock and a £6.00 entrance fee, myself and Typey decided to head for a hard-core banging techno club in Ilford called Secrets. Sounds tacky, lets give it a go.
The club is crap. Certainly an a par with Spats in Tredegar and marginally worse than the old Hamiltons VIP club in Merthyr. Crap music, crap drink and all very expensive. However, it is full of super-model women who unfortunetly didn't want to know two pissed up Merthyr boys in Allbright stained beany hats. Stuff this, back outside after about an hour and an extremely long taxi ride back to Raz's house in the plush boulevards of Wood-something-Green. The taxi drops us off but the street is a mile long and we don't know which one old Razzi lives in. We stagger amongst the Porches and Range Rovers, until we take pot luck and knock any door. Bingo! Raz answers!
Early Sunday. Leyton Orienter -v- DMFM. No changing rooms, no showers, pissing down with rain and Orient only have six players, so straight to the King's Head for more drink, jellied eels and prawns, safe in the knowledge that the Orient boys bottled it. The final few hours of an enjoyable trip were spent singing and admiring the beautiful barmaid Mitch. 3 o'clock arrive's and we're back on the bus for a five hour journey home. Still the final moment is spent sleeping on the stairs of the Miners Hall, well and truly BLOTTY!!


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