Alternative Cult Heroes

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Alternative Cult Heroes

Post  Wandering on Sun Jul 29, 2012 2:56 pm

During the close-season period the days just seem to take an eternity to meander closer to the start of the league campaign. Sometimes the warm summer nights can also turn into a futile attempt at getting some sleep. I thought things would get easier as you got older, surely as a "grown-up" I would have more important things to worry about.......

Apparently it seems not to be the case!

The games still only serve as a distraction from what I really should be doing as opposed to worrying about what will happen between August and May…....

During this period of relative inertia and the run-in to the first league game on 18th August, biopic’s of a few of the individuals who have played for the Martyrs over the years have been created as a prelude to the Club’s new ‘Hall of Fame’ initiative.


Last edited by Wandering on Mon Jun 30, 2014 6:38 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Alternative Cult Heroes

Post  Wandering on Sun Jul 29, 2012 3:07 pm

Wayne Jones

An extremely eccentric character that crossed the Rhymney/Merthyr Valley divide. It is often the man himself that divides opinion; a goalkeeper who could produce the sublime one moment only to succumb to the ridiculous a few minutes later!

He hailed from a northern outpost of the Rhymney Valley and like many young lads, he always wanted to ply his trade as a footballer and was finally given an opportunity in 1983 by one of the biggest non-league sides in South Wales, the Martyrs. You can take the boy out of the Rhymney Valley but you can’t take……and all that jazz. Wayne served his apprenticeship with Jubilee Thistle and Pontlottyn Blast, years before the League of Wales was even a twinkle in the eye of Alun Evans.

Despite his initial spectacular displays Wayne was quick to catch the eye of the Penydarren Park faithful not just based on his performances. It is unlikely that the famous old ground had ever witnessed quite an excitable or flamboyant goalkeeper at any stage across its long and varied history. Wayne was certainly one of a kind, with his wild, dyed blonde punk hairstyle and trademark tattoo on his neck! The colourful character from the next valley was quick to endear himself to a group of young, fanatical and impressionable fans that followed the club at home and away.

Wayne was the kind of goalkeeper that seemed to thrive on the ridiculous with a "why save this with my hands when I can stop it with my legs" kind of attitude that must have infuriated the older and wiser fans who stood on the terraces at the time. However, most of the Under-18’s in the crowd loved the bloke and his attempts at making the unorthodox save when a routine stop would have been preferable.

There is no doubting that Wayne was a superb shot-stopper but it was his decision making (he didn’t have the biggest IQ) that would prove to be his downfall time and time again and would prevent him from establishing himself as a really top goalkeeper. Wayne struggled to decide what crosses to come for, often wandering into no-mans land, no place for any player especially the last line of a sometimes vulnerable Martyrs defence.

He won a Non-League International cap against England at Telford in February 1985, although an injury caused on the stroke of half time in a clash with Stewart Mell of Burton Albion forced him to hobble off after only 51 minutes in a game that Wales eventually lost 1-0.

It appeared unlikely that Martyrs fans were to see much more of the spectacular goalkeeping style due to the impressive form of Gary Wager, a Lyn Jones recruit in August 1986. But Wayne was to stay and play an important ‘under-study’ role during our European adventure and eventual rise towards the Conference before leaving the club.

After Wager tragically broke his leg in the FA Cup First Round game against Bristol Rovers at Twerton Park in November 1987, Wayne became first choice goalkeeper for the rest of that season. Wayne also kept a clean sheet in the Welsh Cup game against Swansea City the following year in a 2-0 win, that was the first of what seemed like an annual encounter between the league team and their non-league neighbours over the next seven years.

When Wayne realized that his first team opportunities at Penydarren Park would be restricted due to the sheer brilliance of Gary Wager he walked through the gates for the last time at the end of the 1988/89 season to join the short-lived Allan Mullins revolution at Brecon.

Away from his semi-professional football career Wayne was a bricklayer with Rhymney Valley Council until a back injury (the curse of all goalkeepers!) resulted in his early retirement through ill-health. However, as one door closed another opened and this allowed him to pursue a new career as a semi-professional entertainer of another sort – a musician who tries to sing a bit like Rod Stewart.

Sure enough Wayne was too often wildly unpredictable but it cannot be argued that he was anything other than entertaining or nerve-wreaking and for that, Wayne, we salute you.


Last edited by Wandering on Sun Jul 29, 2012 3:22 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Alternative Cult Heroes

Post  Wandering on Sun Jul 29, 2012 3:14 pm






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Re: Alternative Cult Heroes

Post  Old Sod on Sun Jul 29, 2012 4:02 pm

I can't remember Mark Lawrenson playing for us but the player in the front row on the left is the image of him. Some great cheesy moustaches on show!

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Re: Alternative Cult Heroes

Post  Wandering on Sun Jul 29, 2012 4:13 pm

That's Phil Fisher.

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Re: Alternative Cult Heroes

Post  Solihull Martyr on Sun Jul 29, 2012 9:03 pm

This must have been the mob who were playing around the time I started watching the Martyrs (81 ish). Don't remember anyone other than the keeper though; nor the TSB shirts..?

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Re: Alternative Cult Heroes

Post  Wandering on Sun Jul 29, 2012 9:58 pm

Back Row: Frank Hagerty, Chris (Esky) Williams, John Allchurch, Keith Pontin, Wayne Jones, Barry Vassallo, Chris Holvey, Mickey Carter.
Front Row: Phil Fisher, John Williams, Peter Jones, Kyle Holmes, Brian Davies.

That was Chris Williams first spell with the club, John Allchurch was the grandson of Ivor Allchurch, Keith Pontin came to us from Cardiff City, Barry Vassallo ex-Arsenal, Chris Holvey was and still is a Martyrs legend, Mickey Carter was from Nelson and married ex-club chairman Mansel Williams daughter.
Phil Fisher played for Ammanford, Barry and I think was on Swansea's books, John Williams was a pacy wideman, Peter Jones was from Bargoed and went to Newport County before returning to play in the Welsh Cup Final and in the Conference, Kyle Holmes was from Abergavenny and Brian Davies I'll need to check where he came from.

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Re: Alternative Cult Heroes

Post  scamp on Sun Jul 29, 2012 10:34 pm

Wayne is a great fella and everything wandering has said about him is spot on.I met him recently in asda and there was a big hello and then he told me how he is continually following our progress. I remember when he made his debut for us against ton pentre coming into the ground with his boots in a tesco bag .A great character

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Re: Alternative Cult Heroes

Post  Tim Drummond on Sun Jul 29, 2012 11:12 pm

That's not Brian Davies (after his time). It's Phil McNeil who joined Merthyr from Barry Town.
Davies, from the Rhondda, was ex-Portsmouth and Southampton.

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Re: Alternative Cult Heroes

Post  Tim Drummond on Sun Jul 29, 2012 11:15 pm

Wayne is often around town and loves to stop and chat with Martyrs fans. He also turned up at the players' reunion last season. He is still SAILING along with his Rod Stewart tributes.

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Re: Alternative Cult Heroes

Post  Wandering on Mon Jul 30, 2012 4:58 pm

Tim Drummond wrote:That's not Brian Davies (after his time). It's Phil McNeil who joined Merthyr from Barry Town.
Davies, from the Rhondda, was ex-Portsmouth and Southampton.
It's a different Brian Davies (Common Name!).
The Brian Davies that you are referring to played in the late 60's/early 70's and now works for his sons Turf Accountants business.
It's not Phil McNeil either.
This particular Brian Davies was a 24 year old striker when he signed from Ammanford and made his debut in the 2-0 win against Milton Keynes in March 1984.

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Re: Alternative Cult Heroes

Post  Wandering on Mon Jul 30, 2012 6:27 pm

Nick Deacy

During the Summer of 1973, player-manager John Charles signed a potentially dynamic strike-force consisting of Derek Bryant from Minehead and 20-year old Welsh Amateur international Nick Deacy from Welsh League club Cardiff Corries. The pair became a formidable, if short lived, partnership for the Martyrs.

Although a recent graduate from Cardiff Parks soccer, Deacy already possessed considerable physical strength and presence which complimented Bryant’s stealth and predatory instincts.

During the first half of the 1973/74 season Nick played a major role in an exciting run in the FA Cup. Wins in the Qualifying Rounds against Barry Town (3-0), Glastonbury (3-1), Mangotsfield United (2-0) and Macclesfield (2-1), set up a 1st Round Proper game against Weymouth. This was to take place during ‘the winter of discontent’ against a background of 3-day working weeks, petrol rationing, and reduced electricity consumption as Ted Heath’s Conservative Government of the day faced high rates of inflation and industrial action by the miners.

Former Arsenal winger Allan Skirton became a virtual passenger for Weymouth after an early heavy challenge from uncompromising left back John Wakeham and a 1-0 win in Dorset set up a home game against Hendon in the 2nd Round. However, John Charles hopes of being the first manager to guide the Martyrs through to the 3rd Round came to an abrupt end at Penydarren Park as the visitors strolled to an emphatic 3-0 win in a game that was an anti-climax for the home supporters. It was the young Nick Deacy that had the Martyrs only worthwhile effort during the 90-minutes. Hendon’s reward was a 3rd Round trip to St James Park, Newcastle.

After the disappointing end to the thrilling FA Cup run the Martyrs only managed to finish in mid-table as Stourbridge won the Southern League Division 1 North title.

The startling progress made by the young Deacy caught the eye of scouts from Football League Clubs and within a month of the start of the 74/75 season, a transfer fee of £1,500 was paid by Hereford United who had been elected to the Football League a few years earlier after their own FC Cup giant-killing. His fledgling career failed to take off as expected and Deacy was sent out on loan to Workington.

After making only 17 appearances and scoring 2 goals during his brief stay at Edgar Street, his transfer in 1975 to Dutch side PSV Eindhoven, who at the time were coached by Kees Rijvers, came as a major shock.

Deacy joined Dutch internationals Willy and Rene Van De Kerkhof at Eindhoven as they finished runners-up in the Dutch league during 1976/77 to qualify for the UEFA Cup the following season.

During this period Deacy made his Welsh Senior International debut in a 3-0 win against Czechoslovakia at Wrexham, creating a further major landmark in his career as he scored one of the Welsh goals. He also played in the only Welsh side to beat England at Wembley in 1977 when they won 1-0 with Leighton James scoring the decisive goal. Deacy eventually made a total of 12 international appearances for his country.

Only four short years after joining the Martyrs and experiencing their thrilling FA Cup run, Deacy found himself on the score-sheet against opponents Glenavon in the First Round of the UEFA Cup, a tie that PSV won 11-2 on aggregate. In the Second Round Polish side Widzew Lodz were dispatched 6-3 on aggregate and in the Quarter Finals against Magdeburg a 1-0 defeat in East Germany was followed by a thrilling 4-2 victory in Eindhoven to set up a semi-final against Barcelona.

After completing an easy 3-0 win at home, Eindhoven travelled to the Nou Camp full of confidence after winning the Dutch League title just four days earlier. After just 15 minutes in the return leg the Catalan side had opened a two goal lead. It was the former-Martyr and young Welshman Nick Deacy who was acknowledged as the second half hero for PSV as he scored the crucial away goal. The Spanish giants added a third but PSV made it to the final 4-3 on aggregate.

The Dutch champions were far too strong for Bastia winning the two-legged final 3-0 on aggregate. Just four seasons after swapping Penydarren Park to play at the Nou Camp, Nick Deacy had become a full Welsh International and a UEFA Cup winner! Only a few months later the Van Der Kerkhof brothers would play in the World Cup Final in Argentina.

Nick left PSV in 1978 after making 52 appearances and scoring 8 times. Remaining in Holland he spent a season at both KBFC Beringen and Vitesse Arnhiem, eventually making 103 appearances in the Dutch League and scoring 18 goals.

In 1980 he returned to Britain signing for his former Wales team manager Mike Smith at Hull City, where he played 87 games scoring 7 goals, before leaving in 1982 to spend a year with Happy Valley of Hong Kong. His travels overseas ended in 1983 when he played 31 times for Bury before starting the 84/85 season back at Penydarren Park, making a further 22 appearances for the Martyrs scoring 7 goals. He made his farewell appearance and scored his final goal for Merthyr in the 2-2 draw against Redditch United on 18th December 1984. A pelvic injury kept him out of action for the rest of that season.

He had further brief spells at Swansea City, Double Flower, Ebbw Vale and Barry Town.

Nick retired from football in 1988 and now works as a computer analyst in the design department at British Aerospace in Fulton, Bristol.

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Re: Alternative Cult Heroes

Post  Wandering on Mon Jul 30, 2012 6:28 pm




Nick Deacy is front row first player on the right.


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Re: Alternative Cult Heroes

Post  Solihull Martyr on Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:20 pm

Wandering wrote:Frank Hagerty
You're kidding!
Wandering wrote:Chris Holvey
Yip, now you've said
Wandering wrote:Peter Jones.
Actually, he hasn't/hadn't change much. I'd just have put him at a later period.

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Re: Alternative Cult Heroes

Post  scamp on Mon Jul 30, 2012 10:34 pm

And all credit to the manager maldwyn davies who spent 72k on building strikers in the 70s and also brought john charles to the club

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