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Question of the Week
Do you support Cleethorpes Town?
By: Rob Sedgwick
John with his wife Christine and their two grandchildren.
The following is an interview of John Firth undertaken by The Fishy.
When did you first start supporting the Mariners, and what was your first game?
I first started supporting the club in 1961 and my first game I saw was (appropriately) on 1st April 1961 against Brentford which ended in a 0-0 draw. At the time Town were lying in 4th place in the 3rd Division. Walsall and Bury got promoted from what I can remember.
Who is the best player you ever saw wearing a Grimsby Town shirt?
Difficult to say. There is a big gap between 1967 and around the mid 80s when I wasn't that interested in football as I was bringing up a family etc. The period I remember best was in the sixties. I would have to say maybe Matt Tees however I was a fan of Johnny Scott
If there is one game you were allowed to go back in time and watch what would it be and why?
Easy! April 7th 1962, Portsmouth v Town at Fratton Park. Was getting the mick taken out of me at school as I lived in Portsmouth at the time and we beat them 2-0 inflicting their first home defeat of the season. Not only that we were bar the far better side, as the local paper said 'Grimsby blossomed into a neat footballing side' and I must admit it was a very enjoyable game. the goal scorers were Ron Rafferty (who else!) and Ron Cockerill (pen). The team that day was Barnett, Donovan, Keeble, Cockerill, Jobling, Knights, Waite, Portwood, Rafferty, Jones.
What are your favourite and least favourite away grounds?
In the sixties:- Favourite:- Fratton Park. Least Favourite Selhurst Park
What, in your opinion, are GTFC's best and worst seasons since you have been supporting them?
Best 1961-1962 although I have fond memories of 1965-66 in the league cup when they thrashed both Preston and Bolton 4-0 and 4-2 (both then were in the 2nd Division when Town were in the 3rd. They eventually went out to West Ham in a replay. Town should have won the first game as they were leading 2-1 then a backpass stuck in the mud in Town's penalty area and West Ham equalised. Worst can't remember the year but the season they had to seek re-election.
What is the most eventful day you have ever had in the course of following the Mariners?
Wembley 1998 Auto-windscreens final.
Who is the greatest ever GTFC manager?
From the sixties maybe Jimmy Mcguigan or recently AB of course.
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?
I live on the South Coast so I get to see Town rarely, I was working when they were at Fratton Park.
Name your all-time starting eleven since you have been watching Town?
Wright, Donovan, Keeble, Cockerill(R), Jobling(K), Scott, Portwood, Tees, Rafferty, Jones.
Do Your children support the Mariners?
No he does not like football, but for some reason he supported Glasgow Rangers for a time
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