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Merthyr Tydfil
Official logo of Merthyr Tydfil Football Club
Full name Merthyr Tydfil Football Club
Nickname(s) The Martyrs
Founded 1945
Ground Penydarren Park, Merthyr Tydfil
(Capacity: 10,000)
Chairman Wales Wyn Holloway
Manager Wales Garry Shephard
League Southern League Premier Division
2008-09 Southern League Premier Division, 7th
Home colours
Away colours

Merthyr Tydfil Football Club is a Welsh football club, nicknamed 'The Martyrs', based at the Penydarren Park ground in Merthyr Tydfil. The team currently play in the Premier Division of the Zamaretto Southern League. The club are currently in administration, starting the 2009/2010 season with a 10-point deduction, and are being managed by the Martyrs to the Cause Supporters Trust until the end of the season after agreement with by Birmingham-based MB Insolvency.

The Martyrs are unrelated to the town's previous football club, Merthyr Town, who played in The Football League during the 1920s, but folded in 1934.

Contents

History

The club was formed in 1945, and joined the Welsh League. In their first season, they finished as runners-up, and joined the Southern League. The club were immensely successful in their first few seasons, winning the championship in 1947-48, 1949-50, 1950-51, 1951-52 and 1953-54. In the 1947-48 championship winning season, Merthyr only dropped one point at home (against Colchester United) and only lost four games all season. However, despite their success, the club failed to be elected to the Football League. The 1950-51 season ended with Merthyr winning the Southern League, the Welsh Cup, the Southern League Cup and the Welsh Challenge Cup.

After bouncing between the various Southern League divisions during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, the club finally won their sixth championship in 1988-89, making them joint Southern League title record-holders together with Southampton. This time, winning the championship meant promotion to the Football Conference, the fifth level of English football. The club finished ninth in their first two seasons, and then fourth. However, they then went into decline, and were relegated back to the Southern League in 1995, and have remained there since. They should have been relegated a season earlier, but were reprieved when Northern Premier League champions Marine failed to meet the stadium criteria for the league.

Being a Welsh club playing in an English League, Merthyr Tydfil were able to play in both the FA Cup, and the Welsh Cup until the Welsh FA stopped the Welsh clubs in the English pyramid from entering.

Penydarren Park, home of Merthyr Tydfil Football Club

The club's best FA Cup performance has been to reach the second round, which they managed in 1946-47 (losing 3-1 to Reading), 1954-55 (losing 7-1 to Bradford City), 1973-74 (losing 3-0 to Hendon), 1979-80 (losing 3-1 in a replay with Chesham United) and 1990-91 (losing 5-1 to Woking). The only time the club managed to defeat a Football League club in the FA Cup was in the first round of the 1946-47 cup, when they beat Bristol Rovers 3-1.

The club were considerably more successful in the Welsh Cup, which they have won on three occasions; 1949 (beating Swansea City 2-0), 1951 (beating Cardiff City 3-2 in a replay) and 1987 (beating Newport County 1-0 in a replay). In addition, the club finished as runners-up in 1947 and 1952.

After winning the final in 1987, the club were allowed to enter the European Cup Winners' Cup. In the first round, they were drawn against the Italian club Atalanta. The club managed a win in the first leg at home, beating the Italians 2-1. However, the return leg was lost 2-0, and the club were out.

Currently, the club's biggest rivals are Gloucester City. The two clubs have played over 120 times in their history, making it the most played Anglo-Welsh derby in football. Their other main rivals are Newport County, who are currently in the league above.

Current squad

No. Position Player
Wales GK Andrew Delve
Wales DF Dale Griffiths
Wales DF Lee Hartshorn
Wales DF Ross Porter
Wales DF Andrew Thomas
Wales DF Jamie Rewbury
Wales DF Matthew Driscoll
England DF Simon Gregory
Wales DF Paul Keddle
Wales MF Ryan Dorrian
No. Position Player
Wales MF Ceri Morgan
England MF Dean Clarke
Wales MF Craig Jones
Wales MF Tareq Khalil
Wales MF Kris Leek (loan from Newport County)
Wales FW Scott Armitage (loan from Newport County)
Wales FW Marcus Griffiths
Wales FW Garry Shephard
England FW Cortez Belle
Wales FW Thomas Harris

Club records

  • Record Attendance: 21,000 vs. Reading, FA Cup second round, 1946
  • Highest league position: 4th in Football Conference, 1991-92
  • Most goals scored in a league season: 187 in the Welsh League, 1945-46
  • Fewest goals conceded in a league season: 32 in the Southern League Western Division, 2002-03

Notable former players and managers

External links

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