The Diary

Cod Almighty | Diary

Diary - Friday 12 March 2004

12 March 2004

Regular readers will know that Mr Diary is well and truly incommunicado this weekend, separated from his trusty computer, and, no doubt, spending a LOT of time listening to his missus nattering to her sister. So while he's away your Guest Diarist can get all subversive and controversial if you like. Just for one day, as the song goes. In fact for about ten minutes actually, as I'm off to view a converted chapel in the middle of a fen after that. This house is about as far as possible from any other people that I can find while still remaining in Lincs.

To avoid bloody Arsenal the other night I watched Real Madrid instead. I actually watch quite a few of the Spanish games, which are either really ace, or gently soporific. A crap Premiership game just winds me up to the point of howling invective at the screen, but the Spanish games either quicken my pulse, or send me to the land of nod. Anyway, the Zidane and Beckham show was very, very good indeed, and so was the Real keeper, Casillas. I'm trying to think of a link between them and Town, and the only thing that springs to mind is that both clubs seem contemptuous of the need for decent centre-halves. As for Barnard v Roberto Carlos... no difference really if you squint your eyes up, is there? Well, they both always hit the wall, anyway.

In a week where Town player Paul Groves has shown that he can still make and take goals aplenty (albeit for Scunny), Town have decided to add another bunch of misfits to the squad in their continuing effort to break the record for the most players to feature in any one season. In the 30s already folks, and counting. Flippin' bewildering to us older ones with failing eyesight and who are too mean to buy a programme. Come on in numbers 5 and 10, your time is up. Some squad numbers just get ingrained though, don't they? For all the wrong reasons...

Speaking of flashes in the pan, a Cod Almighty reader wrote to me last week to tell me that he used to work with one of my all-time favourite Town players: Gordon Walker. Mark Fenton tells me that after leaving Town, Gordon returned to Northern Premier League football and scored shedloads of goals for Stocksbridge Park Steels. Mark tells me that he and Gordon worked as posties together for about seven years, during which Gordon gained weight at an impressive rate. Gordon arrived on the Town scene, you may recall, in the '68-69 season, as a non-league signing to replace Town star Doug Collins, who was sold for (deep breath) £27,000. Gordon was a very big lad (think like Tony Crane size and shape) who somehow managed about four goals in his first five games. Then (and I can't be arsed to check my facts here), he 'never scored again', becoming an ironic hero for those of us standing in the open corner 'twixt the Pontoon and Barrett stands. Happy days.

Continuing to wallow in muddy nostalgia, if any 'cats' out there went to the Bardney Festival, let me know. I took my first illegal substances at Bardney in 1972, but more on that story later. It rained solidly for four days and nights, but we still managed to burn our tent down on the third day. The perfect way to revise for O-levels, I found. Also, if there are any Stray fans out there, let me know as I'm trying to write an article about the Winter Gardens gigs. In the days when you could see Genesis or Roxy Music for fifty pence at the Gardens, it actually cost sixty pence to see local heroes, Stray (think 'Suicide' and 'It's all in yer mind'). Grimsby fans have always liked what they know, and known what they liked.

As you may have noticed I'm steering pretty clear of mentioning tomorrow's match. As NickO used to say in his email subject lines: non-footy related. I'm sure you understand my mental trauma. Simon Wilson is penning a preview, so read that if you need a news fix. I'll be back after the game to console you, or to shout from the bloody rooftops if our points tally has grown. Fingers crossed, chaps.

P.S. Fuck it, I do know only Keith Richard and, possibly, David Bowie can get away with calling people 'cats'...