The Diary

Cod Almighty | Diary

New icons, old legends

9 September 2021

Mr Target Demographic Diary writes: As a younger fan of Town, I find many of the legendary players and managers that have come and gone over the past 50 years extremely hard to connect with. So, when someone tells me of legends such as John McDermott and Paul Groves, I simply smile and nod. That's taking nothing away from Town's record appearance holder who I have nothing but the utmost respect for and am saddened that I never saw him play.

Just for me Town legends were the team of that play-off final which won us back our League status. I had never seen Town play in the Football League at that point, so for me it wasn't "We're back!" it was "We're Here", and those emotions that I felt on that day, and realising we would be in next year's FIFA and I could finally do my "Road to glory" with Town made it so much sweeter.

To give you an insight into just how recently I have started watching Town and the players I am not too young to remember, my hero growing up was Liam Hearn. Simply his ability to hurt a defence and cause problems I will never forget. Nevertheless, I still tore up his picture after his move to Lincoln City. Just as I remember nobody heading the ball with more grace than Andy Monkhouse or when I walked out with the best left back in the world - within my 11-year-old mind - Aswad Thomas, who's hand I held with such pride on that cold, rainy Tuesday night in December (Craig Disley's was already taken.)

This leads me, as a younger fan who never saw the likes of Buckley or McMenemy, to consider Paul Hurst, quickly becoming an icon at the club if he wasn't one already. The past three months have shown a blind man just how good a manger he is and just how lucky Town are to have him. Players want to come and play for him, noticeably helped by the new positive vision and atmosphere around the club. However, this should take nothing away from a manager who inherited a squad that would be fighting for survival in this league and turn it into one that is fighting for promotion in such a short space of time. If he can repeat the magic of that day five years ago, for me it would validate his status at the club as an icon.

In other news there is a new addition to the team. I'd like to welcome Ryley Towler who is on loan from Bristol City until January. Unfortunately for the lad I don't see where he would fit in the current team; with Pearson back, Longe-King looking to be Hurst's go to when fit and Waterfall, for all his mistakes, proving decent cover at this level he could struggle to break through into the first team. However, it is always good to have cover and if Longe-King's injury is worse than first thought and if Hurst wishes to deploy three at the back at any point in the season, I could see Towler being a handy addition. We never know, the last time we received a player off Bristol City he turned out to be very good!

Being someone who went to school with him, I'd also like to wish Joe Starbuck all the best as he joins Sheffield United's U23s team. Joe is someone I will certainly be looking out for in future, probably pulling the trousers down of defenders, like he did to me many times at lunch. You'll forever have a bed in Grimsby if you ever do wish to return, Joe, just as long as you don't score against us one day!


Mr Target Demographic Diary is the first of Cod Almighty's trialists in our competition to find a new diary writer. We plan to feature four more trialists over the next four Thursdays. We're always glad to have your feedback, and we'll be especially glad to have it for the trialists' entries.