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Mentioned Part 25

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 17/08/2001

Home > Features > Mentioned > Mentioned #25


"No disrespect to the likes of Grimsby..."

friday 17th august

Gruesome Grimsby

By Ruth Armstrong

"Grimsby! Oh Grimsby, One look's all that it takes, to prove even God can make mistakes".

This is the ditty about the town which appears in Willy Russell's first novel, just out in paperback.

The Wrong Boy, by the playwright who created Shirley Valentine and Educating Rita, mercilessly criticises the town as the "cod capital of Europe".

Gruesome Grimsby, Gulag Grimsby and Gobbing Grimsby, are just some of the names Russell comes up with for the town.

The Wrong Boy details the journey of Morrissey fan Raymond trying to get to the town to work on a building site.

He only manages to get to Grimsby for a day, but stops off in Cleethorpes on the way.

Despite constant teasing of Grimsby, the novel is a good read.

Raymond is a misfit desperately trying to be normal.

His escapades are laugh-out-loud funny, but tear-jerkingly sad at the same time. Although he has an irrational hatred of Grimsby, you cannot help but like him.

The rest of the North does not escape from the endless teasing, either.

Hull, Doncaster and Goole are described as "universally unfortunate", and Huddersfield is "hideous".

This leads to the suspicion that Ray mond does not think Grimsby is especially "Gruesome", but finds the rest of the country just as unappealing.

Willy Russell said: "I hope that the readers will see that the book's narrator has very little good to say about any of the places he mentions.

"Although not actually in Grimsby, it is generally in that neck of the woods where Raymond finds his redemption."

Raymond eventually finds his niche as a writer in Heaton Wold, North Lincolnshire.

And author Willy Russell, born in Whitson, near Liverpool, has visited Grimsby, and enjoyed his stay.

He said: "I came about four years ago. I gave a reading from the novel at the Town Hall, it was a splendid evening.

"I certainly enjoyed the short time I spent in Grimsby, and found the people I met to be rather warm and open, not unlike Liverpudlians."

He added: "I wanted Raymond to get to the other side of the country and I am much more fond of Grimsby than Hull."

The Wrong Boy is published by Black Swan, price £6.99 in paperback.

Spotted by Billo.

Three Mentions in One Mag!

From 4-4-2

  • The Daily Express runs the headline "Viera off to Juve" and reports a staggering £150,000-a-week pay packet, whilst The Sun, two days later, claims Viera "catergorically will not sign for an Italian club" United legend Eric Cantona tells his fellow countryman to join the United trophy band wagon if he wants a new challenge. And with Gerrard Houllier declaring in the News of the World "I want Viera", Grimsby Town are the only club not linked with the big Frenchman.
  • Interview with Ronnie Moore. I believe there are three leagues within the First Division. The top eight or nine clubs will always be vying for automatic promotion. Then there's the middle group, who aren't quite good enough but won't have to look over their shoulders at relegation. That leaves the rest, including us, fighting to avoid the drop. Not only are the likes of Crewe, Grimsby and Stockport teams we have to get at least four league points from, but we've got to try to get points from the teams that are unbeatable.
  • In their pre-season preview the Coventry fanfile had the following question:
    Q: What has your team got to look forward to?
    A: Games against Rotherham,Crewe and Grimsby. Our Chairman says it is better than the Premiership, I think he is talking Bollocks!

    Spotted by Masked Mariner.

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