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Richard Hubbert
Richard Hubbert

Cod Head of the Week: Richard Hubbert

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 15/08/2005

THIS site is written by fans for fans and the latest installment of the new series of Cod Head of the Week is Richard Hubbert.

Home > Features > Cod Heads > Richard Hubbert

We regularly need new Cod Heads, so would appreciate contributions from lifelong supporters of the Mariners. This week's Cod Head is Richard Hubbert.

Richard Hubbert

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Well, I'm 19 - been a Mariners supporter from being a little 'nipper. I actually live just outside Lincoln. I study History and Politics at York University and for the last 5 months have been studying in America at the University of Illinois in Champaign. Next summer, I will be graduating and entering the real world, hoping to pursue a career in radio journalism.

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

I think it was December 1992 when we lost 3-1 at home to Leicester. A few weeks after that I was given a Town kit for Christmas and so officially began my life as a Grimsby fan!

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

Mmmm, part of me would say Andy Todd. He was a class act and had a big hand in our survival that season. However, seeing as he played relatively few games I think I'd go with Clive Mendonca. Not just a decent goalscorer but for his ability to bring others into the game. Seeing him come out before the Charlton game earlier last season and hear the chants of "Super Clive Mendonca" both reminded me of what a great player he was and what a hero he was (and still is).

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

Well I missed the Liverpool game in 2001 so I'd like to have been there then. At the same time, despite knowing the score I'd quite gladly go back to Blundell Park on the night we beat Fulham to get to Wembley in 1998.

What are your favourite and least favourite away grounds?

Well I think that Oldham has to be my least favourite now. I went to the 6-0 mauling the season before last and quite frankly I don't want to go back there again in a hurry! Macclesfield last season was also quite depressing - the bad ground and awful performance made me realise how far Town have sunk in recent years. As for my favourite ground, if Wembley doesn't count as an away ground then I suppose it would be Pride Park (Derby) and The City Ground (Nottingham Forest). The 3-1 win on Boxing Day at Derby a few years ago was a terrific performance and a real surprise! I like the City Ground, nice stadium and it's generally a good game there.

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

I think that the 2003-2004 season was by far the worst for me. The most frustrating thing, like this season, is that there were so many dire teams in the league! We had so many opportunities to get out of trouble, but ultimately didn't take them. Some players clearly weren't up for the fight whilst the constant changing of players and managers I think isolated the team from the Town and the supporters. Whatever people think of last season there is a greater affinity between some of the fans and players. In 2003-2004 there was a new player every single week! As for the best season it is hard, 1997/98 is unforgettable although I did enjoy the end of the 2001/02 season very much when Allen and Boulding were terrific up front and Todd a rock at the back. I still think had we kept Allen and Boulding for the start of the following season it would have made a huge difference.

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

Lots still linger long in the memory! One of the earliest ones was a game in 1994 against Stoke when the whole family packed into my Grandad's car on a bitterly cold Tuesday night and the exhaust fell off halfway to the game. After much hassle and organisation in sorting things out (this of course in the days before mobile phones) we all took taxi's to the game, only to see a boring, dire 0-0 draw. Another was what seemed a day of travelling to get to Oldham last season only to see the most disgraceful Town performance I've ever witnessed! The trains were late and everyone was in a bad mood. Both weren't necessarily enjoyable, but ones I will always remember.

What is the strangest thing you have ever done at a game?

Nearly died. Seriously. 1996, sat right at the top of the Main Stand in front of the press box and Tommy Widdrington absolutely whacked the ball out of play, straight up into the stand, to exactly where I was sat. Thanks to my Jedi-reflexes I moved just in time to miss the ball. It was seriously scary at the time, it would have taken my head off! Totally bizarre though because the ball never goes anywhere near the back of the Main Stand.

What is the worst game you've ever been to?

Definitely the Oldham game for me. It was just terrible to watch. It was so tragic it was almost comical. Other than that, the 7-1 thumping at Sheffield Wednesday I remember being particularly disheartening.

What's the most amusing chant you've heard at a game?

Well I laughed so much at the Pontoon "Fish" chant when I heard it. All of my friends when I tell them about it think it's hilarious. At the moment to me, all our chants are amusing. Spending 5 months in the USA has made me realise how inventive and amusing we are with our chants back home. The ones here are rubbish, quite frankly. The only chants at the ice hockey game I went to for example, were "Illinois" or "You Suck". And that's it! We are far more original.

Who is the greatest ever GTFC manager?

For his record, it has to be Buckley. The only thing that I think prevents unanimous opinion on this is that he was never as popular as McMenemy perhaps was. I think many Town fans have realised after our recent slide what a fantastic job he did and I am certainly one of those.

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?

Well it's hit and miss at the moment to be honest. From around '93 until 2002 I had a season ticket and went to all the home games and the odd away ones. Whenever I am home from University I go to the home games and try to get to a few away ones in during term time. When I'm not there I will be listening to it on the radio or when I'm at Uni I occasionally host the University radio station's sports program, so report it all first hand. That's actually where I was on the last day of the season before last when we got relegated, so I was somewhat subdued, meaning I had to leave early to go to the pub! Obviously the final 5 months of last season I wasn't been able to get to any games, but faithfully got up at 9am every Saturday morning to listen to the commentary on the Internet.

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

GK Coyne
DR Sir Macca
DL Gary Croft
DC Andy Todd
DC Paul Futcher
MR John Oster
MC Paul Groves
MC Wayne Burnett
ML Ivano Bonetti
FC Clive Mendonca
FC Jack Lester

What's the best-ever atmosphere you remember at a home and away game?

At home there have been many special atmospheres. The Cup games against Leicester and West Ham spring to mind. However, I think it is a close call between two meetings with Fulham - both the one at the end of the 2000/01 season when Fulham were promoted to The Premiership but we won to stay up when Grovesy scored. Although I think the one in 1998 to take us to Wembley was the best - the place was packed and the joy at the final whistle will stay with me for a long time.

If you have any, do your children support the Mariners?

Nope, no sproglets at the moment but any I do acquire will be sufficiently coerced to support the Mariners.

Richard Hubbert

If you would like to be a Cod Head please send an e-mail at once to Rob Sedgwick.

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