The Diary

Cod Almighty | Diary

To be stuck inside of Blundell Park with the Russell Slade blues again

28 October 2019

When Middle-Aged Diary was growing up in Mid-Wales, I once agreed to a half-term trip to relatives in Cleethorpes, thinking I'd be able to watch a game. Only when I was there did I learn that Grimsby's midweek match with Wrexham had been rearranged. I was far too much of a pest that week not to feel sympathy for those exiled fans who had been planning a visit to Blundell Park weeks in advance, only to find our game with Cheltenham was washed out. The only compensation is that it is the kind of tale you can dine out on, earning instant kudos in the biggest fan stakes.

But are you a big enough fan to meet Liam Wood's standards? He tells the tale of three Norwegian fans who had come over for Saturday, two of them shelling out a £100 taxi fare to make sure they were on time for the game that wasn't happening. They made their way to Blundell Park anyway to take some pictures, and found themselves locked in. Then Wood writes: "Alas they were eventually rescued and are set to spend the next few days in the area."

It may just be that Liam has entered a competition for the worst published use of the word "alas". Or he may feel that being locked inside an empty football ground would be preferable to spending time in Grimsby and Cleethorpes. The obvious joke that being locked inside an empty Blundell Park is better than being there when a match is on was sacked in February 2018. Donna Nook comes highly recommended if our Norwegian fans are short of things to do.

The other possibility is that, with that "alas", Liam is suggesting that no one can count themselves a real fan unless they have got themselves locked inside the stadium of the club they love for several days.

One person who passes the most stringent test for fans - he must have lost count how long he has spent inside Blundell Park - is Dave Roberts. It is quite simply excellent news that he is back on the board of Grimsby Town. He doesn't guarantee that sense will always prevail, but he does guarantee that sense will be spoken. More strength to his elbow.