Why do we live this way by Konrad Bartelski

 Have you ever thought about the way we live? The reliance on the ability of a dozen or so semi-professional or maybe that should be semi-amateur players to complete our week’s endeavors with a competent game of football and if we’re lucky three points. It all seems a bit ridiculous

I’ve thought about this for a long time, it’s getting on for 43 years now, and I’ve come to the realization that it’s not absurd for us to believe in a football team to make us happy. Why shouldn’t we? We live in the Valleys, the most hedonistic part of the UK. 

The most ludicrous fans have got to be those from the big cities where there must be more to life than football, haven’t they got more there after all?

They do, we don’tbut we certainly live life to the full. That’s the big difference in how we live our lives.

Belgrade is a great city. There are more than a few Merthyr fans who have been there to watch Wales over the years and every one of them will tell you that it’s a great city to visit. Fantastic bars, great restaurants and a welcome second to none anywhere in Europe.

On an early visit, after a couple of great nights out, I was struggling to face another evening of Serbian hospitality and I got to talking to a local about Belgrade and the obvious hedonistic night-life available to all visitors to the city.

The answer mirrored our fair town’s outlook on life. Short life spans, not much money and a bad reputation. In essence, life is too short so the nights are long and every day is there to be lived which let’s be absolutely honest here seems to match everyday life in the Valleys.

So, does that explain the mentality of a Merthyr fan? Especially on an away trip. A pleasure-seeker intent on absorbing every minute of that journey into England. Alcohol, buffoonery, songs, pugnaciousness, sociability, colour and just a basic Valleys attitude on show for all to see.

Life can be short, who knows what’s around the corner for us all? If a Keyon Reffell winner in the last minute makes you feel happier for the next seven days then so be it. If singing “Tommy Hillman baby” for ninety minutes helps you forget your troubles then happy days.

The community around Merthyr Town FC is wonderful. To walk through our town centre and not meet a fellow Martyr would be unusual. We share our worries, ask for advice and enjoy the camaraderie of the terraces.

We also express our in-built Valley’s hedonistic lifestyle through the way we follow this club through thick, thin and even more thin.

Now we really need to twin this town with Belgrade. 

Konrad Bartelski



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