The Grimsby Town FC


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A Day To Remember

By: Bill Osborne
Date: 16/05/2001

It's all happening! Tickets are almost sold out, the Fulham team coach is on its way, champagne and balloons have been delivered, meat pies are ready for the oven, fans are travelling from around the nation and the fat lady is waiting in the wings to sing in triumph or despair at day's end.

There will be more than a few tears shed today at Blundell Park with Grimsby fans hoping they will be tears of joy!

That sets the scene for the biggest game Town fans have seen since Wembley. Reminiscent of the long remembered Exeter and Norwich games in league and cup thrillers. A game to tell the grandchildren about!! It all points to an exciting but nerve-wracking day at Blundell Park.

Grimsby Town fans around the world will also be there in spirit. Gathered around the radio or meeting in chat rooms across the Internet and listening to the commentary on Real Audio. Others who cannot see or hear the game are relying on portable phone updates from friends at the game.

On this the last and biggest day of the season, Town will face the promotion winners Fulham in a match that could determine the future of the Mariners. One point is all that is needed to guarantee survival in the first division although they may well be safe before the game is played with bookmakers and pundits backing Portsmouth, Huddersfield and Crystal Palace to be the main contenders for the drop.

Manager Lennie Lawrence is not prepared to count his chickens however until the final whistle blows and has said he does not want to hear what is going on elsewhere while the game is on. Brave words, but one can assume that if the unfortunate happens and Town are 2 goals down, Lennie's Sony Walkman will be called into action in double quick time. There can be no doubt either that the fans will not leave him in ignorance.

The team news is not good with Peter Handyside, Tony Gallimore and Stacey Coldicott regarded as "doubtful" but Fulham have their problems too. Defender Andy Melville is out being replaced by Alain Goma with Karlheinz Riedle on the bench and Barry Hayles has played his last match of the season due to an ankle injury.

But perhaps this day is not just about relegation. Surprisingly, the fans who have stayed away most of the season are demonstrating that unique Grimsbyness in turning out when the chips are down and hopefully rekindling their interest in the fortunes of their team. If that is the case, then whatever the result, today will be a day to remember!

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