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Alan's Away Day Angst Part 2

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 24/09/2001

The Fishy caught up with Alan during the week, and asked him some questions about his travels around the country watching Gillingham exclusively away from home.

Fishy: Grimsby isn't exactly most fans favourite away ground? How do you find it?

Alan: Cleethorpes is a friendly town with superb fish & chips and some nice pubs to wash them down. Unfortunately I have some bad memories of Blundell Park as when my wife and I came up on the coach about 20 years ago the stewards at the turnstiles refused to let her bring an umbrella in and had to leave it at the turnstile.

Last season the stewards congregated in front of the away fans behind the goal which was very intimidating and confrontational. One of our fans was ejected for going in goal during half-time whilst our players took shots. A bit OTT we reckon

Fishy: Would you find The Mariners proposed new out of town stadium off the A180 a more attractive venue as an away supporter? How do you think the new stadia by and large compare with the old ones? What's the best ground in the division as an away fan?

Alan: I think the facilities at most new grounds make it a better place to watch football and the view is also better with no poles to obstruct the view. Reading, Huddersfield, Bolton and Blackburn have been superb in the past but the redevelopments at Scunthorpe and Walsall were not particularly good. I’m looking forward to Nottingham Forest as it really was a memorable day not just the result where we won but the City Ground is lovely stadium.

Fishy: Were you surprised by Grimsby's start to the season which currently sees the Mariners in 6th place?

Alan: I was a little surprised Grimsby started so well but have the highest regard for Lennie Lawrence after what he achieved at Charlton and did his best at Luton under intense pressure with no money. His shrewd transfer dealings are well known and I’m really glad the Mariners are doing well.

Fishy: Do you think you will ever be able to attend home games again?

Alan: Very doubtful with the present chairman although he has an outstanding fine after being found guilty of betting on the play-off match against Man City a couple of years ago that he refuses to pay to the FA. They could ban him from all football at the end of the day which would be ironic under the circumstances and maybe get me back in.

Fishy: What will the score be on Tuesday night?

Alan: Now there’s a difficult one for me to answer. We had lost four on the bounce up until Saturday but beat Rotherham 2-1 although not that convincingly. We rely on Marlon King and Iffy Onuora in attack and Iffy returned thankfully on Saturday after being out for a few matches. Only one signing made since last season, Perpetuini from Watfords reserves and a few quality players like Southall to Bolton and Asaba to the Blades have left. Andy Thomson who was a good squad player and could get around 15 goals a season left on a free to QPR although many Gills fans rated him especially as he scored the winner against Wigan at Wembley when we were promoted to Div1.
Scoreline: 2-2

Fishy: Finally, what on earth do you do when Gillingham are playing at home?

Alan: Cry would be the obvious answer whilst sticking pins in an effigy of Paul Scally our chairman.

My wife Gloria is merchandising manageress for the shops at the Club and responsible for ordering the team kit as well as organising the matchday mascots. I drop her off at the Club around 10.00 am on a Saturday matchday, I then go home and around 1.00 pm go down to the Supporters Club drinking hole for a drink and a chat with the fans. At 3.00 pm I go back home and relay how the match is going by listening to the local radio station (Radio Kent) who have been very supportive of me and putting it onto the GillsConnect MB.

Then a little later I go down to the Club to pick up my missus.about 6.00pm. I have had an offer to go on the roof of an adjacent house with the banned snappers from the local paper but have declined their invitation

Alan excluded from Priestfield and misses Gills going top of Division 1

Gillingham's story about their trip to Cleethorpes.

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