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Question of the Week
How long before new manager arrives?
By: Rob Sedgwick
The following is an interview of Paul Ketchley undertaken by The Fishy.
When did you first start supporting the Mariners, and what was your first game?
My dad took me to the last game of the 1956 season when we won the Third Division (North) title. We beat Bradford City 2-0 I think and we had this classic centre forward called Bob Crosbie who scored a hatfull that season. In those days the Osmond stand was for home supporters and I remember being lifted over the picket fence there at the end of the game as everyone ran onto the pitch to celebrate
Who is the best player you ever saw wearing a Grimsby Town shirt?
Ever is a long time. I remember hearing about Tommy Briggs but never saw him play. I dimly remember Jeff Whitefoot, and there's no doubt that he was a class player. So I'd go for Whitefoot although Ivano Bonetti may have been better
If there is one game you were allowed to go back in time and watch what would it be and why?
At one time we always started the season off with a bang. So I can remember going to see us play Leyton Orient in the old Division 2 and win 7-2 on an end of summers afternoon in the late 1950's.
It was a perfect day, bright blue sky, sunny day by the seaside, and we scored seven. I wish it was like that every week
What are your favourite and least favourite away grounds?
I think Portman Road is probably my favourite because it has that old fashioned solidity that grounds had before everyone started building cantilevered stands. I like the Valley too, because I think Charlton have done tremendously well to re-establish themselves there. The least favourite has to be Selhurst Park because it's a slum and we always play badly there.
If you want my favourite ground of all it has to be the stadium at Lens in Northern France where England played Colombia in the 1998 World Cup. It's set in a park and has almost vertical terraces so you're right on top of the pitch almost anywhere you sit.
What, in your opinion, are GTFC's best and worst seasons since you have been supporting them?
The best has to be 1997-98. Going to Wembley once would have been great but twice was just amazing. Alan Buckley will be remembered for that whatever else he does.
The worst was the 1967-68 season when we started the slide down to Division 4 as was. The actual worst point of the worst season was when we played Watford away. I was at Uni and was going out with this girl from Rickmansworth at the time and she had lots of friends from around Watford . So lots of people were at her place and I insisted on watching the BBC results in the days when they had a teleprinter. So it comes through "Watford 7", and then says "(seven)" in words, "Grimsby Town 1". If it hadn't put it in words it wouldn't have been quite so bad. Anyway for half and hour it was the lowest point in my life!
What is the most eventful day you have ever had in the course of following the Mariners?
Winning the AWS final at Wembley. Even when we went one down I couldn't imagine our not ending up winning.
When we did I was elated but there were plenty of people around me who broke down in tears and the significance of it all hit me. On the way home we went to the Football CafÃ© on Haymarket and everyone treated us like we'd won the European Cup
Who is the greatest ever GTFC manager?
Difficult one. Probably whoever got us to fifth in the old Division 1 in 1936 and to two semi-finals of the Cup. Who did that out of interest?
From my point of view I'd say George Kerr because for the previous 20 years we'd been a Division 3 side and Kerr got us into the old Division 2. We've stayed there for the most part for 20 years now and I think that's down to him. Bobby Kennedy was the worst manager we ever had (even worse than Lyons and Laws).
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?
Well I usually go to one home game a season in the summer. This year it was Fulham.
Then I go to most of the games in London or the south east. So probably half a dozen a year I'd say. I'm all for Millwall being promoted and Watford relegated, but we'll lose Charlton and Ipswich this year. I hope Gillingham come up because it's not too far from where I live.
Name your all-time starting eleven since you have been watching Town?
Well I'm going to make use of the substitutes, and ignore the fact that football has got a lot quicker than it was when some of these players were at their best.
All time I'd have a team which would score lots of goals and concede few:
Paul Crichton John McDermott Paul Futcher Peter Handyside Gary Croft Johnnie Scott Duncan Welbourne Jeff Whitefoot Ivano Bonetti Ron Rafferty Matt Tees (first time around)
Charlie Wright (goalkeeper)
Do your children support the Mariners?
Not really, although they humour me on big occasions.
My daughter was born in West London, and although she went to the Wembley games is a Queens Park Rangers supporter at heart. My son was born in Coventry, and although he does go to see the Mariners, decided (when all his friends were signing up as Newcastle and Manchester United supporters) to follow Coventry City for whom he has been a mascot.
I follow Town because that's where I come from, so I don't have any problem with my children identifying with teams which mean something to them. In fact I rather admire them for it.
This site is by the fans, for the fans, and we will consider articles on any subject relating to the Mariners whether it be related to current news, a nostalgic look back in the past, a story about a player, a game or games in the past, something about Blundell Park or football in general. Click here to submit your article!
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