Welsh Fencing honours Lyndon Martin
At the Welsh Fencing AGM in November, Lyndon Martin was made an Honorary Life Member, in recognition of his contribution to fencing in Wales, both as a competitor, and as a coach.
Mark Ridsdale, Welsh Fencing Chair, explained “Lyndon has been in fencing ever since I’ve known him, and long before. These days he is one of our most experienced coaches, but before that, and before I knew him, he was an active competitor.” This year’s AGM was conducted via “Zoom” because of the Social Distancing regulations, but Mark added that they hoped to make an actual presentation in person, when circumstances permitted.
Lyndon's fencing career has spanned 54 years. He took up fencing in 1966, prompted by the late Wynford Seymour of Swansea Fencing Club, whom he had met whilst working at the Port Talbot steelworks. After fencing for some years at Swansea, Lyndon ‘moved’ to Cardiff Fencing Club around 1970, fencing both there, and in the old Excalibur club, in the 60s & 70s.
An able fencer, noted for his quick accurate attacks, Lyndon was soon taking part in several high profile matches. His career as a senior international Welsh fencer spanned some 15 years. A member of the Wales epee team in their match against Denmark in Copenhagen in 1972/3, Lyndon was one of the group of Welsh fencers who regularly attended many events at home, and outside Wales, in those years. He was highly placed in the Epee Club Cup in 1978, and again in 1979, and secured 4th place in the Bristol Open of 1977/8.
Malcolm Fare, former editor of The Sword, and founder of the National Fencing Museum, Hanley Swan, recalls meeting Lyndon, along with Bob Turner, Alf Pearce and other Welsh notables, as they searched together for accommodation in Dieppe in 1973, having overlooked the fact that this was the eve of Bastille Day, a national holiday in France - eventually securing the last bedroom in the last hotel in Dieppe on that occasion. Lyndon had success again in Dieppe, taking 3rd place in their 1978/9 epee competition.
One of the highlights of his fencing career was as a member of the successful Welsh Epee team, who secured the Silver Medal in the Commonwealth Fencing Championships in Ottawa in 1974.
Lyndon fenced competitively through the 70s, 80s and into the 90s, a Welsh Champion, several times winning the Emrys Lloyd Challenge Plate for Foil (1974, 76, 88 & 89), and also the John Warburn Cup for Epee (1984, 87 & 88).
More recently his main activity has been in coaching, which, as a Level 3 Coach, he does expertly & energetically at all levels. His coaching career has spanned 30 years, having first qualified in 1990, turning to coaching full time in 2002/3. For many years this was in Cardiff FC, where he successfully coached at least one former winner of the Kingston Cup and the Pearce Cup to success in both of those epee events. Since then he has been at Whitchurch FC, where he is their resident Head Coach. He also coaches regularly at Celtic Sword FC, and on occasions at Russell Swords as well.
Throughout his career Lyndon has been solidly supportive of fencing, and Welsh Fencing, thinking nothing of driving or travelling long distances to attend events far afield, either as a competitor or coach, or merely as a spectator, whether the Hereford & Worcester, or the Triangular in Largs in Ayrshire. He has consistently been an active presence at the regular coaching days & other sessions run by WF, and is well known for speaking up, in thanking the organisers of smaller events for their hard work in arranging the competition in question.
Note : Welsh Fencing’s membership records were transferred to BFA for administrative reasons in 2005, and all fencers were allocated “BFA numbers”. Until then, each Welsh fencer had a “WAFU number”. Lyndon was WAFU member No 4 (Gordon Kingston No 1, Alf Pearce No 5, Bob Turner No 13). That is how long Lyndon has been fencing …