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Town Sign Togolese

By: Yadouf T'Buga
Date: 01/04/2001

TODAY the Fishy can exclusively reveal that Grimsby Town have signed an unknown player from the tiny African state of Togo. Bhat-urd H'doq, a 22-year-old striker, caught Lennie Lawrence's eye in a recent friendly match with neighbours Nigeria.

Although they were soundly beaten 9-2 by the former Olympic champions, H'doq scored both of his country's goals, and was unlucky not to get a hat trick after an appalling offside decision by the Eritrean assistant referee. The match, attended by a Grimsby Town scout and later seen by Lawrence on video, was enough to convince the Grimsby manager the H'doq was the man for Grimsby.

"Bhat-urd is a natural goalscorer," said the cheery Londoner, "but he also has an excellent work rate and is a great team player. His 6'3" frame will give Grimsby a much-needed physical presence up front."

It is believed that H'doq is shocked at his meteoric rise to international attention. In an interview with Togolese daily 'Togo Aujourd'hui', the tall African spoke about his move to England. "It is beyond my wildest dreams to play in England. My family have been poor fishermen for generations, but now I am going to bring great honour on my village and my ancestors by playing football for Grimsby."

However, the move had to approved by a surprising source, as the softly-spoken giant explained. "I had to ask the elders of my seaside village of Lapoolfri if it was appropriate for me to leave. They were unwilling to let me go, until they learnt of Grimsby's great fishing heritage. Then they were convinced, so much so that they declared a week-long festival of singing, dancing, love-making, and eating fish in honour of Grimsby.

"In a solemn oath to our tribal sea gods, we gave three fish back to the sea, and promised to do this every year until the end of time in honour of Grimsby." Bhat-urd appears to be concerned about only one thing. "I believe that it is very cold in England. I hope that I do not freeze solid in the winter."

A spokesman for the Togolese Football Association, Pol Yulleg, commented in the same article. "This is an incredible day for all the footballers of Togo. We cannot believe that one of our countrymen is going to play in the home of football, England. I am sure the Bhat-urd will be a great Grimsby player. I know him well, and he trains obsessively. He is sure to be successful."

It is believed that H'doq will arrive in Grimsby on 3rd April, and may be ready to play in the match against Tranmere on 7th April, providing his work permit has been granted.


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