First launched in London in the 1980s, this is an annual event that celebrates the contribution made by the generations of African and Caribbean descent living in the UK, who have helped shape Britain's national and cultural life. Following the recent Black Lives Matter campaign, Black History Month kicks off October and is designed to honour the accomplishments of Black Britons and the Black Community across the UK.
Up until as recently as the late 1990’s black players were considerably under represented in the Martyrs line-ups, in fact as far as we can trace the first black player to possibly represent the Club was Murana Waite who joined the Club from Ebbw Vale back in the late 70’s. It wasn’t until the early 90’s that Eston Chiverton signed for the Club followed by Andy Adebowale during the seasons that the Martyrs spent in the GM Vauxhall Conference.
So from Murana Waite to Camden Duncan fifty years later, Merthyr Tydfil AFC and Merthyr Town Football Club have a history of having many fantastic black individuals who have brilliantly contributed to the success of both clubs. Whilst there is a list of players that could be added to this, these are a selection of black icons in the history of the Football Club:
Joined after leaving League of Wales Club Barry Town in the close season of 1997.
Made his debut in the 1-0 win at Nuneaton Borough on the opening day of the 97/98 season. Contributed 10 goals as Colin Addison’s side lost out to Forest Green Rovers in promotion and a return to the Conference.
Started his playing career at Leicester United, before moving to Kettering Town before he was signed by Cardiff City for £60,000 in September 1989. He made over 300 league appearances for the Bluebirds and was part of their double winning side in the early 90’s.
Originally from Barry, Kayne joined the Southampton Academy and played a handful of first team games for the Saints before joining Weston Super Mare. Signed by Garry Shephard and Danny Carter in October 2013, scoring on his debut in the 2-1 win against Slough Town in the FA Trophy. Kayne scored 19 times, including two hat-tricks as we made the play-off final. He followed that up with 27 goals in 14/15 season, playing his final game against Hayes and Yeading in April 2017 before departing to sign a contract for his home town Club.
An extremely confident 19-year old when he was signed in August 2002 by Andy Beattie from Newport YMCA. Cortez was converted into an extremely successful striker scoring 21 goals in his debut season. Born in Coventry but living in Newport, Cortez became a firm favourite with the Martyrs supporters and attracting attention from a number of Football League Club’s that eventually led to his transfer to Chester City in 2004. Cortez returned to the Club for one further season in 2009.
Followed Gerald Aplin from Chesham United to Penydarren Park in August 1994 but only made 13 appearances scoring 2 goals.
Signed by Colin Addison in September 1996 from Gloucester City, just playing during that one season for the Club. Previous Club’s include Wolverhampton Wanderers, Darlington Swansea City, Newport County, Cardiff City, Hereford United, Lincoln City and Colchester United. Steve also played for Inter Cardiff, Aberystwyth and Llanelli in a playing career that span 20 years.
A former Fulham, QPR and West Ham United player Leroy was appointed manager of the Club in December 2001, for a short period of time under the ownership of Wyn Holloway. Arriving from the coaching staff at Bristol City, he brought in a number of experienced players but even his significant football league experience was unable to lift the threat of relegation.
Former Bristol City striker, who joined the Club in September 1999 while on trial at Kidderminster Harriers. Also played in the European Cup while at League of Wales champions Barry Town.
Keyon joined Merthyr from Kidderminster in January 2016 when Steve Jenkins was manager. He was an integral member of the team that beat Cambridge City 7-1 on aggregate over two legs to win the Southern League Cup for the first time in over sixty years in his first season at Penydarren Park.
Keyon left the Club in 2017 to join Hereford where he won the Southern League Premier Division Title, the Herefordshire County Cup and was involved in a run to the FA Cup Second Round Proper. Struggling with injuries Keyon left Hereford in July 2019 to sign for Barry Town United.
Signed originally by Lyn Jones in pre-season of 1991 from Cardiff Civil Service after scoring 40 plus goals in the Welsh League.
Eston’s second spell with the Club came in 1999/20 seasons, he also played for Bath City, Newport AFC and Ebbw Vale
An extremely skilful midfield player who was originally signed by Garry Shephard and Danny Carter in pre-season 2009. Made his debut against Bashley in the 2-1 win on the opening day of the season. Picked up a bad injury against Bitton early in 2011/12 and missed the rest of the season. Made 59 appearances scoring 7 times.
Dominant central defender who was signed by John Lewis in July 1998 from Ebbw Vale. Dangerous at set pieces. Signed for a second spell with the Club from Newport County for £5,000 in August 1999 and returned for a third period in the summer of 2000.
Originally came to the club as a pacy 20-year old striker in 2001/02 season after scoring 23 goals for Goytre in the Welsh League and was signed by John Lewis. In his second spell at the Club Mark played as a central defender.
In addition the following could have been added:
Ismail Yakubu, Samir Misbah, Modamu Touray, Curtis Macdonald, Aaron Cornwall, Richard Harris, Tommy Mutton, Haydn Flemming, Ryan Charles.
Sincere apologies to anyone who has been omitted from the list.