The Grimsby Town FC


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Question of the Week

Priority for transfer window?

Reduce squad size
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Stu Morton

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 06/08/2000

This site is written by fans for fans and each week we interview a prominent "Cod Head" as part our commitment to fans of Grimsby Town FC. We regularly need new cod heads, so please contribute if you are a lifelong supporter of the Mariners. This week's Cod Head is Stu Morton.

Stu Morton

The following is an interview of Stu Morton undertaken by The Fishy.

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

A supporter since forever, but started getting to games from about 11/12yrs old onwards. It's all a bit hazy, and I couldn't name a specific game, too young to remember correctly, but I do have memories of starting in the Imperial corner with my brother, before graduating to the Pontoon then retiring to the Findus. I do remember flashes of those early games, such as the 3 leg FA cup tie with Southampton, the night we managed to beat Darlington 7-2ish after being about 6 up at half time, and another Saturday when it hailed so hard on the Pontoon roof that it was deafening and we sung even louder to drown it out...... and the smell of woodbines, the pushing, heaving, swearing and singing that went with every match at the time, pretty exhilirating for a young lad. Things seemed bigger then, the pontoon seemed immense, standing room only, jumping room most of the time. Mind you, I was a bit smaller too at the time, I suppose ! Give me an almanac with photos, and some dates and names will come rushing back - probably.

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

Ivano Bonetti just stands out for international class technique and vision. Out of many good, more "typical" Town players, one I always enjoyed watching was Bobby Cummings.

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

1-0 win at Everton, just to experience that second of silent disbelief when the goal went in, before everyone woke up and went barmy.

What are your favourite and least favourite away grounds?

A couple of French favourites have to be the Velodrome in Marseille, the Stadium in Lens,and the Parc des Princes in Paris, but Town haven't been to those (yet). For most of my days as a supporter, I've been more bothered about atmosphere than about comfort, so the least favourite has to be the MacAlpine, which is the biggest wind-blown waste of space I have ever visited, and the favourite would be.........hard to say. I most fancy visiting Sunderlands Stadium of ##ite. The memory of cup runs ending at Leicester in a mid-winter evening means that Filbert Street will always come to mind - a big adventure at the time - but a visit today would probably burst that particular bubble.

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

Best season I remember clearly is the 97/98 season, not just for trip to Wembley, but for the great form after a mediocre start, and especially for the Fulham play-offs.
Can't put my finger on the worst overall, but surely the biggest disappointment was throwing away a promising 2nd place in November 95, with the whole Town buzzing with interest in the club, then spiralling down the table from then on, and the catastrophic bust up between Laws and Bonetti. Even with the cup run we had, it was a mare of a season, and eventually lead to relegation the year after. Still, looking on the bright side, that season inspired some classic SWWF editions !

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

Well, no surprises really, but it has to be one of the two Wembley finals, probably the first. The excitement of preparing for the trip, finally going to Wembley with Town, "last one out turn the lights off", the atmosphere on the coach, the awe of walking up Wembley way, the feeling of being part of such an exodus, seeing the team walk out of the tunnel, watching the golden goal go in and not quite believing it, watching the celebrations filling one half of the Stadium in black and white, hearing so many Town fans singing in unison - it was all so unforgettable - if I had scored that winner then it would have been a dream totally fulfilled !!. It might only have been the AWS, but it might as well have been the FA Cup Final. Add to that the drive up from Paris to Grimsby, only to get the coach back down to Wembley then back up home to Grimsby before driving back down to France, and you get an eventful round-trip to a great match.

Who is the greatest ever GTFC manager?

I can only really speak for what I know. "Great" is perhaps not the term I would use, but the one with the finest sustained record..........Alan Buckley.

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?

Varies from year to year, but rarely more than five a year. I follow as many matches as possible in the chat room, on RA, with the SL vidiprinter, and straining to decipher the crap reception of 5-live or Talk Sport, mostly all those at once. If a game is on Sky, I watch in the nearest English pub (10 miles from home).

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

Batch, Macca, K. Moore, Handysides, Croft, Cumming, Groves (at his best), Waters, Brolly, Drinkell or Mendonca, Bonetti.

Do your children support the Mariners?

I have three boys : Elliot is 9, Scott is 5 and Sean is 3, and they will of course all play for Grimsby someday (probably). They know more or less where Grimsby is, and they know their Dad is mad about something that makes him a manic depressive between 4 and 6 most Saturday afternoons, but they humour me. They don't object to walking around Paris with their Grimsby Town Football Club sweatshirts on, which has to be a good start. I have my fingers crossed !!!

Stu Morton

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