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Emma Gillingham

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 18/10/2000

Emma Gillingham
Emma Gillingham

Tell us a bit about yourself

Emma Gillingham, born in Wiltshire, lives in London and has no connections with Grimsby whatsoever. Tires of explaining why she supports Town, but saw the light early in the 1997/98 season.

When did you first start supporting the Mariners, and what was your first game?

I have always been a fan of football generally, and grew up in a household of mixed Capital following (Arsenal & West Ham). I tended to follow Everton in my formative years (for no other reason that I liked the colour Blue) but circumstances prevented me from actually going to any live games.

My first game happened to be a Town game at BP(I was going out with a Town supporter who dragged me along). Watford, October 1997. Town lost 0-1 to a Ronnie Rosenthal goal after less than a minute. I recall thinking 'What on earth have I got myself in to?'.

The relationship with the bloke floundered (boom boom), but my intetrest in Town continued. I am now a season ticket holder.

Who is the best player you ever saw wearing a Grimsby Town shirt?

I only have 4 seasons of players to choose from here, so I managed to miss many of the 'greats' I have heard so much about. But I`d pick Aidan Davison. Apart from being a top goalkeeper, he provided a very pleasant distraction when sitting behind the goal in the Ponny!!

If there is one game you were allowed to go back in time and watch what would it be and why?

From what I have heard, the game where Jim Dobbin ruined Newcastles record unbeaten run.

What are your favourite and least favourite away grounds?

Least favourite - Priestfields. Although we won last time we went there, there was a very bad atmosphere and the supporters weren`t the friendliest of people.

Most favourite - The Valley. Apart from being handy for where I live (always a plus), the atmosphere is good and the community spirit is strong.

What, in your opinion, are GTFC's best and worst seasons since you have been supporting them?

Best - promotion season naturally
Worst - I have a feeling I am about to see it!

What is the most eventful day you have ever had in the course of following the Mariners?

Probably either of the Wembley games. As I live in London I was inundated with requests for a bit of floor space for people to collapse on, and being the obliging person that I am, said 'yes' to all of them. Hence I had a flat full of Town Fans.

I spent a lot of time in the Rat & Parrott in Bayswater on both occassions, drank far too much and saw far too much of a few of the Town lads that felt the need to strip off to celebrate the promotion.

Who is the greatest ever GTFC manager?

I have only known Buckley, so I have to say Buckley. From reading various things about Town's history, he certainly seems to have been the most successful.

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 try to go to 95% of them now, although I can't get to midweek home games and probably miss 2-3 away games per seaon (visits back to the parents & holidays). Sometimes midweek I'll go to The Valley (I can get a free seat), but usually I'll stay in and watch for the score on Teletext or listen to Radio 5.

Name your all-time starting eleven since you have been watching Town?

Again, I only have 4 years worth of players to pick from, but here we go: Davison (who else)
Handyside (for the overhead goal at Portman Road)
Gallimore (for looking like my brother)
R Smith
Coldicott (always gives 100%)
Burnett (for that golden goal)
Black (for the best goal I've seen so far - free kick vs Gillingham)
Lester (for his ability to give us hope!)
Livvo (for being a thoroughly nice bloke and scoring last week)

Do your children support the Mariners?

No kids, but I have managed to convert my younger brother, Max! He now wears the Town shirt with pride and comes from Wiltshire to 4-5 games a season! Amusing tale # 1 - I managed to get my bro to the last home game of the season last season. As mentioned before, Max bears a passing resemblance to Gally. I had dragged Max to the Pier where comments of 'I see Gallys out again' were heard!!!!

Emma Gillingham

If you would like to be a Cod Head please send an email at once to Rob Sedgwick.

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