CPD Porthmadog FC
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Martyn Jones a Welsh born ‘Essex boy’ talks about Colchester, Liverpool and Port... read on; 17/09/2016

In my online Bio, I tend to describe myself as a Welsh-born ‘Essex boy’ now living in North-West England but - in order to assert my Welsh credentials – I was born in Ebbw Vale and brought up in Abertillery, South Wales; though moved – with my (Welsh) parents – to Colchester, Essex when I was young.

It was my childhood in Essex that gave me my first introduction to the wonderful world of football ...on the terraces of Colchester United’s old, ramshackle but loveable Layer Road ground. Colchester’s sensational 1971 FA Cup win over the mighty (at the time!) Leeds United... a victory over West Bromwich Albion to win the Watney Cup (...remember that tournament?) ...and the U’s – under Phil Parkinson’s management - taking the lead & giving Jose Mourinho’s Chelski a run for their money at Stamford Bridge in 2006 are among my fondest stand-out memories in my 45+ years following my club (& first love). A few Welshmen have featured for Colchester United over the years with Mike Walker (a fabulous goalkeeper in his day) a particular favourite of mine when I was a kid. Geraint Williams was also a respected player & long-standing servant who later took the managerial reins at our club and delivered an unforgettable season for us in the Championship. Thanks in particular to a deadly Jamie Cureton & Chris Iwelumo strike-partnership bagging 42 goals between them, ‘Little Old Colchester’ even flirted at one time with the play-offs to the Premiership before ultimately finishing 10th – a club all-time high.

After leaving Essex for Liverpool in the early Eighties to study foreign languages (...that’s French, German ...& Scouse) I enjoyed many a Saturday stood on the Kop revelling in the antics of Bruce Grobbelaar, the energy of Craig Johnston and the finishing ability of the great Ian Rush, but subsequently made Warrington in Cheshire my home ...the town where I now live and from where it’s now a tad easier for me to make regular forays into North Wales to quell a feeling of Welsh football ‘hiraeth’

It is CPD Porthmadog FC that has been my main adopted Welsh club for the past 15 years or so and now, to me, my regular stays near Porthmadog just don’t feel complete without a visit to Y Traeth. In fact, I walked to the first home game of the 2016-17 season versus Buckley Town recently from Morfa Bychan (across Black Rock Sands, around Samson Bay & via Borth-y-Gest) and couldn’t help but marvel at what must be – by far – the most stunning & exceptional walk I have made to any football ground in the country. And the vistas aren't too shabby once you arrive at the ground either!!

I’ve always found Port to be an open & welcoming club with an admirable tradition of playing good football in the right way. The set-up is also clearly enhanced by a loyal bunch of trusty stalwarts doing sterling ‘behind the scenes’ work on a match day and in the community. I also love & respect the bilingual nature of the club which – for someone like me who (alas) doesn’t speak Welsh but loves languages – makes a visit to Y Traeth extra-special.

And what a great feeling at long last it is to be a Welsh football fan? I was at Ninian Park, for example, the night we failed to beat Scotland to qualify for the 1986 World Cup so it was pure unadulterated joy, after so many near misses, to not only see Chris Coleman and the boys reach the Finals in France this summer but to watch them perform so incredibly, incredibly well. And of course with Osian Roberts now being a vital part of the Wales set-up, CPD Porthmadog FC has every right to be proud of the part it has played in our country’s historic football success.

I look forward to attending another game soon but meanwhile I would like to wish all Port’s players, staff and loyal supporters an enjoyable & successful 2016-17 season as you continue to reinforce the 'Together Stronger' mantra at Y Traeth.

Up the U’s and C’mon Port!!

Martyn Jones
Twitter @bagsybones



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