Question of the Week
Do you support Cleethorpes Town?
By: Rob Sedgwick
The following is an interview of Dave Larder undertaken by The Fishy.
When did you first start supporting the Mariners, and what was your first game?
In about 1956/7 when I was about 6 years old. I had a mate who was couple of years older than me and we used to kick around in the field behind our houses. We got to picking teams, and even then, he was Manchester United and "you can be Grimsby Town" he said. The guy in question lives in North Thoresby and is still a Town season ticket holder.
I had been to a few games with my dad and his mates, but I can't remember a lot about them. My first true recollection is of a home game against Chelsea in the old 2nd division, 24 November 1962. This was the team that Tim Ward had assembled and had gained promotion the year before. Town lined up: Malcolm White, Don Donovan, Brian Keeble (c) Gill Wheaton, Ron Cockerill, Johnny Scott, Mike Cullen, George McLean, Ron Rafferty, Brian Hill. Chelsea's line up was nearly as impressive with Peter Bonetti, Chopper Harris, Ken Shellito, Terry Venables, Frank Blunstone, Barry Bridges and Bobby Tambling all included. They won 3-0.
Who is the best player you ever saw wearing a Grimsby Town shirt?
I hate to be boring, but good strikers have always turned me on - and Town have had a few. Of the ones I have seen regularly, Ron Rafferty and George McLean were early heroes - Ron, gazelle like and McLean, the "charging" old type centre forward. For the best though, I have to plump for Matt Tees. His ability to get high into the air from a standing jump was incredible, and his headers were so powerful for a skinny bloke (we used to call him sparrow 'cos of his legs). When he came back to Town, even though I was nearly 20, it was like getting a birthday present as a kid.
If there is one game you were allowed to go back in time and watch what would it be and why?
The 1965/6 league cup tie against West Ham was a brilliant game, as was the 71/72 title clincher against Exeter. But the game I could go back to over and over was the 7-1 thumping of Scunny. Loved that, still do.
What are your favourite and least favourite away grounds?
Probably Wembley - although I have only ever seen internationals and Cup Finals there. The atmosphere is electric. North Somercotes must be the worst ground I have ever seen and/or played on - always knee deep in cow shit!
What, in your opinion, are GTFC's best and worst seasons since you have been supporting them?
The 1961/62 promotion of the Tim Ward side was a really good season - all the players in that squad are now Town legends. Dave Booth's team which finished 5th in the old division 2 in 1983/4, was a great achievement (under Dudley Ramsden's chairmanship I recall). The Championship side of 71/72 capped another great season. As it happened, I was home in '83, and I just knew that things were happening again. I really loved that '72 side, but to be fair to the others, I'll settle for a three way tie. There have been a few bad seasons in my time, with re-elections, relegations and near bankrupcies, but as far as I am concerned, the very worst was the 96/97 relegation season because we were relegated when it shouldn't have happened. I blame THAT board, and I refer to it as our "politcal relegation".
What is the most eventful day you have ever had in the course of following the Mariners?
The day Sir Matt Tees returned to BP. (Also, the day BillO and I FINALLY launched GTISC was pretty eventful).
Who is the greatest ever GTFC manager?
As mentioned previously, Tim Ward and Dave Booth put together good sides. Even though people will argue, I still think that Lawrie McMenemy is Town's greatest Manager. He made champions and legends of a side that had almost gone out of the league just 12 months previously. That side, short lived though it was, had the whole town, the whole region, talking about football and wanting to be a part of it. That atmosphere was down to one man - Big Mac. What he did for the town and the football club is either ignored or forgotten by the majority. You have to have lived through it to have felt it. If you lived through it, and can't still feel it, then there is something wrong inside your head.
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?
My last game was at Xmas time, 1983. Nowadays, when Town are playing, its a post midnight visit to the GTISC chat room. There is a great crowd of regulars, and its just amazing how much knowledge there is, and how much energy is produced. Contrary to popular belief, we do NOT cheer when Town let in a goal. We take commentary from anywhere we can get it, even if it means somebody in Lincolnshire listening to Radio Humberside, and typing in their commentary. We have lots of fun too. Swin tries to break his own record of 532 beers during a single game, and we guess the crowd, etc. Its the next best thing to being there!
Name your all-time starting eleven since you have been watching Town?
Sorry, I have to include subs, because I have about 368 Town favourites and I hate missing out people like Johnny Scott, Ron Rafferty, Jimmy Fell, Rod Green, Harry Wainman.........................
The following is what i would consider a top side - given that I have only seen Futch, Handyside, Waters, Ivano, Drinks, Macca, Cunno, Beasant and Super Clive on TV or video.
Charlie Wright,Dave Worthington (c), Paul Futcher, Peter Handyside, Brian Keeble Joe Waters, Lou Chatterly, Ivano Bonetti, Kevin Drinkell, Matt Tees, Doug Collins
Subs: Dave Beasant, John McDermott, Shaun Cunnington, Clive Mendonca, Brian Hill
Manager: Lawrie McMenemy
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