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When should John Fenty stand down?

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Job for life!


Bar Larder

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 18/06/2000

Cod Head Bar Larder

The following is an interview of Bar Larder undertaken by The Fishy.

When did you first start supporting the Mariners, and what was your first game?

Originally I followed Town during Cliff Portwood & Ron Raffferty days through the GET, until I was old enough to be allowed to go to BP on my own. Wittering never persuaded any adults to take me. My first attended match (very dim memory) was 1965 -v- Southport (I think) and we won 2-0.

Who is the best player you ever saw wearing a Grimsby Town shirt?

It is often difficult to separate best from favourite......... Best on technique would be Ivano Bonetti, & Garry Birtles. Best instinctive finisher: Stuart Brace - I was devastated when we sold him to Southend, because Ashman daren't give him another 2 quid a week. Effort players would be Davey Boylen, Joe Waters, John Cockerill, Graham Rodger, Paul Futcher. Personal favourites would be Brian Hill, Stuart Brace, Paul Futcher and Sir Matt Tees.

If there is one game you were allowed to go back in time and watch what would it be and why?

Exeter 1972 - just the most electric atmosphere ever. The whole of BP was heaving; the sense of "This is our town, this is our club and this is our success", was overwhelmingly emotional. Lucky for me, my regular spot was just below the directors box in the Main Stand, where the players celebrated after the match - wow!

What are your favourite and least favourite away grounds?

Favourite for facilities and viewing; sorry, but Old Trafford. I once did a double-header at MU -v- Liverpool in the afternoon, followed by Town -v-Stockport in the evening. This just proved that however 'comfortable' you may be in a big ground, nothing beats supporting your own team.

If 'worst' = worst female loos, then Blackburn 1970s (disgusting). If 'worst' equals ignorant fans, then Wrexham. We took insults all game, then Jack Lewis equalised in the last 5 mins, and in the celebrations, Dai Dickhead's cap got thrown off. It went spiraling up into the air and landed on the pitch, where a Wrexham player picked it up and chucked it across the other side of the ground. Heh!

What, in your opinion, are GTFC's best and worst seasons since you have been supporting them?

Worst - It was when Bill Harvey and Buddha Kennedy were in charge, 68-70. During one winter in a couple of weeks, we lost at home 2-4, then 1-5. Only Bradford PA going pear-shaped saved us. Crowds were barely 2000. Depressing times.

Best - definitely 71-72. We just became so confident. The match atmosphere was unbeatable. The team as a whole were honest grafters, but we had reliable goal-scorers. The local area was as one - even my Gran was interested in GTFC. Great, great times.

What is the most eventful day you have ever had in the course of following the Mariners?

Getting married on to Dave the beach in Adelaide in full Town strip - magic day. Town also won 3-0!

Being 'lead away' by a policeman at Orient in late 80s. Awful day that was - I was late arriving at the ground, and asked a copper, which end the Town fans were in. "No, you don't want to be there, love. You'll be better off over here". And he physically escorted me into an area I did not want to be in. Hell, then the Town played the worst I have ever seen and lost 5-0.

Of course the Brentford, brick, bus and BillO kerfuffle in 1972.

Being in Town Hall Square for the 1972 championship celebrations. My Mum accused me of being tipsy when I finally got home. "No, just ecstatic, Mum!"

Who is the greatest ever GTFC manager?

Lawrie McMenemy without any doubt! The Big Man had the spirit that fired the whole community. He ensured that the players got out into the factories, the hospitals, the schools and made everyone feel part of the club's success. He also had the drive and skills to motivate a team of no-hopers in 1970, into a team everyone feared. We all respected him immensely and still do.

How many games a season do you get to now, and what do you do while Town are playing games that you can't get to?

Alas no games at the mo. This does not make me any less passionate about my club - it is more frustrating NOT being there. The isfa chatroom, the wonderful TEF and GTISC provide the debate and contact, which as an exile I crave.

Name your all-time starting eleven since you have been watching Town?

Dave Beasant,
Dave Worthington, Paul Futcher, Peter Handyside, Bob Cumming
Shaun Cunnington, Joe Waters, Ivano Bonetti
Clive Mendonca, Matt Tees, Brian Hill

What are your hopes for the future of GTFC?

I want us to 'go for it', and be ambitious enough to aim for the Premiership. Enough of this 'we know our place' rubbish. Totally revamp/move the stadium to 21st century standards. The hopes and aspirations of the fans should not be held to ransom by the shortcomings of poor club management. I wish Huxford and the new board all the best - they'll need it!


Bar Larder

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