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Question of the Week

What is more important, result or style of football?

Style of Football


Cod Head of the Week: Phil Ball

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 20/08/2001

This site is written by fans for fans and each week we interview a prominent "Cod Head" as part our commitment to fans of Grimsby Town FC. We regularly need new cod heads, so would appreciate contributions from lifelong supporters of the Mariners. This week's Cod Head is Phil Ball.

Home > Features > Cod Heads > Phil Ball


Tell us a bit about yourself?

Town fan from birth, now living and working in San Sebastian, Spain - obliged to watch Toshack’s Real Sociedad unfortunately. Educational Consultant, educational materials writer and freelance football journalist. Just published ‘Morbo’ in England - book about Spanish football, but I managed to get in various mentions of Town.

Phil Ball

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

Town v Peterboro’ - 1967.

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

Joe Waters. By several miles.

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

Toss-up between Exeter 3-0, 71-72 season, and the 0-5 at Liverpool, 1980. Stuffed of course, but it was so amazing to see Town run out at Anfield.

What are your favourite and least favourite away grounds?

I like Sincil Bank because it’s potty and unpretentious. All grounds should be like that. I like grounds that look like they’re about to fall down. I hate Sheff Utd’s ground - full of psychos and an exaggerated sense of its own importance.

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

Best: 71-72 4th Div Promotion season. Worst - the Lyons relegation year.

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

Easy one. I’d been travelling round the world for a year, west-east and had decided New Dehli was enough. Caught the night flight out and was in Heathrow next morning. Caught the train from Kings Cross and was at Blundell Park for 15.00 hours to see Town beat West Brom 3-1. McGarvey’s home debut, if I recall correctly.

Who is the greatest ever GTFC manager?

None of them stand out for me - but in terms of achievement it has to be Buckley.In terms of being a good club manager, George Kerr.

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?

One or two at the most. Didn’t get to any last year - the first time for a long time. My mum sends me the Sky videos though.

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

Batch, Cumming, Croft, Waters, Futcher, Moore K, Brace, Gilbert, Tees, Mendonca, Brolly.

Do your children support the Mariners?

10. Yes - two kids. Harry is 6 and supports Real Sociedad, unfortunately. I took him to Town v Blackburn two years ago (0-0) and he fell asleep. Mind you, so did I.

Phil Ball

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

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