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Kevin Drinkell Interview

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 11/02/2001

In an internet exclusive we bring you an interview from the Grimsby fanzine "It's a Grim Exile" of former Mariners' striker Kevin Drinkell. Grimsby-born "Drinks" was an integral part of the Mariners side between 1976 and 1985.

Drinkell moved into football management at the end of his career, and has been at the helm of Scottish clubs Stirling Albion and Montrose.

The interview was conducted before Drinkell was dismissed from his job as Montrose manger by the Scottish Third Division club in October last year.

Kevin Drinkell's Career
Grimsby Town76/77 - 84/8512150
Norwich City85/86 - 87/8834(7)5
Glasgow Rangers88/89 - 88/89nda
Coventry City89/90 - 91/9234(7)5
Birmingham City(loan)91/9252

Linda Broughton's interview with Kevin Drinkell appeared in the February /March 2001 edition of 'It's a Grim Exile' - a bi-monthly magazine containing news, views and items of interest both from and for exiled GTFC supporters. Details of how to subscribe to the fanzine can be found at the end of the interview.

Who discovered you playing and when?

Progression through the schools system. I played for the schools select sides at U12 and U13 levels. Transferred my allegiance from the schools to Town - I was involved by the time I was 14.

Have you always enjoyed football?

Yes - probably to the detriment of everything else. By the time I was 14 or 15 I knew that I had a chance of a career in the game.

How did you feel when you made your Town debut?

Excited. It was a good thing that I didn't know until the last minute that I was playing. Still an apprentice, I was putting the kit out before the match. As I hung up the No 9's kit, I was told that I'd be wearing that at 3 o'clock.

Did you enjoy your time at Town?

It was excellent because it was the same group of players (Tony Ford, Shaun Mower, Nigel Batch and Kev & Dave Moore). We'd been mates, grew up together and stayed together as a team for the next 6 to 7 years.

How did you feel about going to Norwich? Did you really want to leave Town?

I felt that I'd probably had my day at Town. After 9 years there, I felt like the older statesman at only 24 or 25. Youngsters were coming through.

What was/is your pre-match meal?

Toast and Beans. I might have had Roast Chicken, but it never changed much.

Any superstitions or rituals?

Too many to mention - routine really. Same route to the ground, same clothes on first, always ran out to the left of the halfway line.

Who's the best boss you've ever played for?

John Newman - great. George Kerr - motivator. Ken Brown - excellent for selecting players and looking after them. Graeme Souness - a winner.

Cyrille Regis

And the worst?

Sillett at Coventry. I was hated by the fans as I'd been brought in to replace Cyrille Regis (pictured), who was getting on a bit. They didn't want the 1987 cup winning team breaking up. I got no support from the boss.

Ray Wilkins

Who's the best player you've ever played with?

Ray Wilkins (left). Quality - immense. He conducted himself well and had a great attitude.

And worst?

The Coventry team of c.1990. In general, their attitudes were very cliquey. They didn't want anyone else in the team.

Do you see anything of your former teammates?

I saw Fordy in Edinburgh - he was up here pre-season. Also, in 1987 - "Jumpin' Joe Waters, 2 foot 2 tall and he sure can jump" in Seattle. Joe was actually introduced to the crowd like this!

Speaking of Joe, was he really a "moaning git" (quote Tony Ford).

Moaned at Tony! Joe was a good player. You get all sorts though - quiet ones, motivators and the Nigel Batch - carefree, always laughing.

Was Bob Cummings a hard man?

I wouldn't have wanted to play against Bobby! He always wanted to win the ball!

What brought you to Scotland?

European Football. Norwich had qualified for Europe, but because of the Heysel disaster and subsequent ban, couldn't take part. When the ban was lifted, Norwich were in the old 2nd division. Scottish clubs weren't affected.

The interview continues in Part Two

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