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My Black And White Hero: Matt Tees
By: James Milne
THERE'S one and only one! In all my years since 1958, when I moved to Grimsby, there can only be one man who fills the accolade with a fearless, gutsy performance every time he took to the pitch.
In the mid sixties, whether in a late summer breeze or a stiff gale off the Humber, the cry would go up from the Pontoon at every Town corner:
And usually Matt Tees did score. In 227 appearances for Town, Matt scored 109 goals - an average of 0.48 goals per game. Better than George MacLean, beaten only by "Chips" Rafferty, but outta sight of Drinkell, Brace, Donovan and even Mendonca - all of which I've seen in Black & White stripes.
Signed from Airdie, Matt scored on his debut against Swansea, and after leaving the Mariners to join Charlton and Luton, scored again on his second debut against Cambridge in 1970.
I would say that he is one of the finest headers of the ball I have ever seen, and I have seen Ron Davies (Southampton and Wales) in his pomp, and therefore my comment is not made lightly. It wasn't about power with Matt but with subtle glances, touches, exceptional positional play, anticipation and ultimately sublime placement, he was the last Mariner to score more than 20 league goals in a season - 27 in 1971/72. Before that in 1965/66 he netted 28 times when forming that deadly partnership with Rod Green.
Personal memories are his bravery against centre-halves built like the Dock Tower - if you saw Matt you would think that he would struggle to stand up in a strong wind. A headed goal against Peterborough away in April 1966, when most forwards would have used their feet, rather than risk the Posh fullback clogging their head into London Road. A stunned silence when he scored the sweetest volley against Scunny at the start of the infamous 7-1 rout in the 66/67 season. And finally when I was entering the Main Stand (before my graduation to the Pontoon) at about a quarter to three, Matt poured himself out of a taxi, and within 10 minutes had changed, taken out his teeth to assume that fearsome grin, and stepped onto the BP pitch!
The top man, ever! A goal every other game, and a never-say-die attitude. In my book anyway, a diamond geezer and a real legend. There's only one Matt Tees!
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