Born in Tonyrefail, Chris was a late starter as far as competitive rugby was concerned, taking up the game at youth level with Gilfach Goch. There followed a four month stint with Bridgend Youth in 2002, before Chris moved back to Gilfach, graduating through to the senior team at a young age.
At the commencement of the 2003 season, Chris joined the ranks of the Warriors regional under 21 team, whilst also appearing on permit from time to time with Pontypridd. A permanent committment to the Sardis Road outfit came about mid season for Chris, who was employed as a railway engineering operative.
Putting in some noteable performances for his club in their premiership campaign, as an industrious lock who relished the physical aspects of the game, Chris was rewarded with a call up to the Wales under 21 squad for the 2004 Six Nations and World Cup campaigns.
At the close of the 2005/06 season, Chris departed Pontypridd on accepting a development contract with the Ospreys. Injuries however plagued much of Chris' professional stint, and in 2007, faced the prospect of an early retirement from the game.
2008 saw a change in Chris' fortunes, having recovered from a major shoulder operation to commence playing for Gilfach Goch . A good run of form was noted by the Pontypridd RFC management, and Chris Martenko stepping back up to the club's ranks during the 2008 - 2009 campaign.
During his two spells at Sardis Road, Martenko turned out on 122 occasions for Pontypridd, scoring 12 tries. His final bow came on 5th November 2010 in the home game against Llanelli.
The former Wales under 21 cap had already fought his way back from a career threatening shoulder injury, which had put paid to his chances with the Ospreys, to return to action with Pontypridd in 2007.
The abrasive lock had become a firm favourite with the Ponty crowd, and a mainstay of the team’s forward unit.
Having undergone surgery on a back problem during the summer of 2010, Tenko had found it increasingly difficult to recover after training and playing, and hence decided to take early retirement from the rigours of semi professional rugby.
"After a lot of soul searching I decided it would be best for my family and the club if I called it a day" said Martenko
"After the operation on my back I realized that I would not be a able to sustain the level of rugby that Ponty would need from me and be able to be a good father to my daughter Lilly.
"I've loved every minute of every game that I've played for Ponty and the only regret that I will leave with is not being able to carry my daughter on to the pitch as a player. I'm sure you will be seeing Lilly as a mascot in the near future though, it’s all she talks about even though she is only 3 months old!
"I'd like to wish the boys all the best for the rest of the season - I'm sure there’s going to be some silverware to celebrate at the end of it."
No one can doubt that Tenko put in a good shift for Pontypridd RFC, always willing to put his body on the line for the club, and all at Sardis Road will thank him for his efforts and wish him and his young family all the best for the future.
SWALEC Cup Final
Total votes 393
Atgyfodiad yn yr ail hanner yn cipio Cwpan SWALEC i Bontypridd yn erbyn Castell Nedd. Ar y maes cenedlaethol, pwy oedd arwr y dydd i Ponty? A second half revival clinches the SWALEC Cup for Pontypridd against Neath. At the national stadium who was the hero of the day for Ponty?