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Cockers Resigns!

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 28/12/2001

GRIMSBY TOWN Assistant Manager John Cockerill has ended a lifelong association with Grimsby and resigned after being overlooked for the vacant managerial position. "Cockers", a rare breed these days having played for and coached just one club, has been replaced by Community Officer Graham Rodger.

The news comes as part of a dramatic series developments at Blundell Park, which began this morning at 10am when manager Lennie Lawrence was dismissed. Club Chairman Peter Furneaux, himself only having been in the job for eight months, terminated the former Luton boss's contract "by mutual agreement".

Shortly afterwards it was announced that club captain Paul Groves was to be the new Grimsby Town manager, effectively overlooking loyal servant John Cockerill, who has stood in as caretaker manager on no less than four occasions in the past.

Although Cockerill has not expressed a desire to manage the club on prior occasions when he was caretaker, it is understood that the Town Assistant Manager tendered his resignation to express his disappointment at being sidestepped. This was despite earlier assurances from the board that Cockerill's position as No. 2 would continue under the management of Paul Groves.

A popular central midfield player whose career was curtailed because of injury, Grimsby-born Cockerill has apparently fallen on his sword rather than continue in a backroom role indefinitely.

Peter Furneaux and the Grimsby Town board now found themselves at the Captain's Table of a very creaking ship, minus the club's manager and one of Town's loyalist servants over the years, and with two men with no managerial experience between them currently at the helm.

Fortunately for the board, players and new management duo Town have a game tomorrow against Portsmouth which will deflect attention away from them and back to playing matters - for a while at least.

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