Showing posts from 2020

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 wi

If we forget who will remember us .... by Chairman Mao

The idea for the Rees Williams Project came from a communication from the Everton former players’ group who are looking to renovate the last resting place of former Wales international player Charlie Parry. Immediately we looked  within our own football club to see if we could give the same attention to our former international players. We only have two players in our history that played for Merthyr and Wales and our research soon found that the first of that duo Moses Russell is buried near Chepstow (any info on this grave site would be greatly appreciated) so we turned to a more local hero in Rees Williams. We’ve covered the career of Rees Williams in this fanzine in previous issues but it’s worth remembering a remarkable player who played for two of the great Football League clubs in Sheffield Wednesday and Manchester United but of course he started on that  journey from our own town. Rees was born in Abercanaid during 1900 and his first club is probably  Pentrebach  but in April 19

Mothballs not footballs By Chairman Mao

There is never a dull moment when  you’re  a fan of Merthyr Town FC. No sooner are you responding to the club’s social media messages and buying tickets for Salisbury away then  you’re  trying to work out how you fill the void of no football at  Penydarren  Park in your life.  The Board’s decision to seek a suspension of football activity may be well intentioned and from yesterday’s fan meetings at the ground it has plenty of sympathy within our support however  once again the delivery of the message has destroyed any hope of the fans embracing the requirement for a season of football abstinence.  The lack of consultation with fans on such a major decision has once again annoyed the fanbase. The foundation of our club is that we are fan-owned and that all major decisions should be based on a referendum of those owners.  The matter is compounded by the fact that the Board seemed incapable of providing any representative to be on site at  the ground yesterday to meet fans who were lookin

Not a normal Sunday By Clever Trevor

Its  just another regular Sunday in the Valleys . A bit of Jonny Owen & Friends on  TalkSPORT  to start the day and then a wander down to the Club to try to balance a mountain of  a  Sunday dinner on a china plate.  Then a  quick catch up with the lads to find out if  you’ve  made a dick of yourself the night before. The realisation that  another  Monday is looming  casts a long shadow over  your  day but this is no ordinary Sabbath day and tomorrow promises much more than  just another daily grind to fund  the  weekend. Tomorrow is  of course  a unique day in the calendar of every  Merthyrite . Tomorrow someone in that there London will include Merthyr Town FC in the oldest national Cup competition in the world.  Its  time for our annual, probably all too brief, flirtation with the magic of the FA Cup. There is a certain amount of gallows humour around the Merthyr support when it comes to our expectations for a Cup run every season. We   haven’t  exactly  set the competition aligh


Reasons why Merthyr Town FC  should commence their pre-seaso n  preparations:- •  Southern League and The FA have confirmed a start date, although this is earlier than the majority of competitions in Wales this decision was outside of the club’s control and if the start date had been 2021 then the club would have had to abide by that conclusion too.  Merthyr Town FC is in the same position as  many Welsh sports clubs that play across the border. The start date has been confirmed so we need to be ready to represent our town. •  The club has a general policy of not placing its players under contract and in the current climate of uncertainty this should be classed as a decent contingency plan to ensure its future viability if another general lockdown is imposed across Wales.  The self-imposed status of Merthyr Town as an amateur club is a strategy in risk-mitigation and should  not  be taken as a reflection of a lack of resources.  •  Whereas the club has no contract players it does curre

Village People v. Banksy

The YMCA is apparently up for sale again for office space, it would indeed be a unique al fresco environment but after seeing the crazy pitch from Merthyr Village Ltd during the Holloway era we should never be surprised by the gullibility of people in this town. The “lone gunmen” currently running our council have recently raised the interesting issue of graffiti on our derelict neighbour and their definition of acceptable street art versus a political scrawl – we were fascinated to discover that an aligned group of independents supports the protection of the red flag tag that welcomes fans to the bottom of the Pontmorlais Steps. We’re buying lots of lottery tickets at the moment and Hulby & Lloyd Fear are going on Pointless as we look to raise money to buy the YMCA building. Why? Well thanks for asking, we’re looking back into our local history to resurrect a sport that once attracted thousands to big challenge matches around the Valleys. The YMCA façade to remain in plac

Here’s a baton, who wants it? By Konrad Bartelski

Time waits for no man and of course time flies but aeroplanes crash. Nothing out of the ordinary there of course as it’s only death & me not winning the 50/50 draw that’s certain in life. The Dial M for Merthyr crew have been aggressively (not to everyone’s taste on most occasions) promoting this club since 1989. Over the years we’ve set up various non-sensical ideas to try to make watching the mighty Martyrs more of an occasion; from beach parties to full kit wanker days; from Ryan Prosser beard day to Inflatables at Dorchester day; from away day bike rides to a boat ride up the Thames – we’ve done it all including of course this long-running fanzine. Recently we’ve slowed down as the obvious effects of age and apathy have taken their toll. As we’ve mentioned elsewhere in this issue, next season will be one of celebration with plenty of landmark dates to target therefore we’ll try to repeat as many of our previous ideas over the course of the campaign. The emergence of the M

Forgotten songs #2

“Do you know where hell is? Hell is Westgate Street, Heaven is up in Merthyr where they play the ball to feet”

A vision of the future

Word has reached us that our Board has been meeting with the FAW regarding the possibility of Merthyr Town FC joining the Welsh pyramid system in the near future. There can be no issue with that, we need to understand the financial benefits to us giving up 111 years of history to make a leap of faith into the Cymru Leagues. Many of us remain unconvinced and the odds of the owners voting to abandon our current membership with a 75% majority, as per our constitution, must be pretty high.  If the FAW are looking for a repeat of Colwyn Bay’s damascene change of direction at Penydarren Park then they will need to convince us that they respect us and what we will need to leave behind in order to leave our spiritual home in the Southern League once and for all. It would seem that there is a steady stream on social media of Welsh football fans who think we are insane to continue our lonely furrow within the non-league scene in England. That is understandable. For every Merthyr Town fan the

Virus Update

“Penydarren Park is now a cashless stadium which just means we’re skint”

Forgotten legends by Mao.

1.       Greg Downs 2.       Phil Evans 3.       Alan Mullins 4.       Ian Love 5.       Nigel French 6.       Alan Sullivan 7.       Billy Walker 8.       Doug Rosser 9.       Cohen Griffith 10.   Paul Sanderson

Naughty away trips that we miss

1.       Barry Town 2.       Bromsgrove Rovers 3.       Dudley Town 4.       Cheltenham Town 5.       Kidderminster Harriers 6.       Wealdstone 7.       Bath City 8.       Yeovil Town 9.       Worcester City 10.   Tamworth 11.   Atherstone United 12.   Bridgnorth Town 13.   Willenhall


W 1947 roku w październiku klub pilkarski Merthyr Tydfil znalazł wolną sobotę. Ze względu na pierwszeństwo angielskich pucharów hrabstwa, zwyczaj nakazywał w tamtych czasach, aby rozegrać mecz towarzyski. Celem było zaspokojenie głodu rewalizacji w powojennym mieście i dostarczeniu ludziom rozrywki. Dlatego w południe 11 października Merthyr Tydfil przyjęła wyzwanie i zagrała z Karpatami mecz towarzyski. Wydaje się, że sam mecz został zapomniany przez historię. Szkoda, bo tło zespołu gości było hołdem dla nowej Wielkiej Brytanii wychodzącej z globalnego konfliktu. Wydaje się, że publiczność Merthyr również zlekceważyła drużynę odwiedzającą Penydarren Park, jako że program meczowy na nastęny tydzień rozgrywek FA Cup przeciwko Athletic Lovellsa ubolewał: „Ci kibice, którzy zostali oszukani przez nieodpowiedzialne plotki dotyczące składu polskiej jedenastki przegapili piłkarską ucztę, a „klasa” naszych gości zadała kłam „konikom”, którzy rozpowszechniali pogłoskę, że zespół powstał z po

How good are we now?

A few home games ago I was wandering across the Theatre End en route to the magnificent Holvey’s Tea Bar to make my life worthwhile by buying a cob & chips with curry sauce. As usual at Penydarren Park there were the usual chats, nods and banter on the way but what united most of the talk was the health of the club and to be honest the negative outlook of a few of my fellow Martyrs. Now it’s no secret that we’ve faced a few challenges over the years with a couple of proper financial wobbles even as recent as a year or so ago. Our reputation as a fan-owned club has taken a bit of a battering as the source of our financial woes were our own decisions. There aren’t enough pages in this fanzine to list all of the crazy avenues that we’ve driven our club down over the past ten years. Lessons have had to be learned of course. We’re no different to hundreds of semi-professional clubs all over this island in that we’re operating in a very challenging entertainment market with new cust