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Cockers: "I Was Sacked"

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 29/12/2001

FORMER Grimsby Town Assistant Manager John Cockerill is claiming that he was sacked from his Blundell Park post yesterday, contradicting the club's version of events in which the former Town midfielder resigned after being overlooked for the managerial vacancy.

The Blundell Park stalwart, who left his home town club yesterday ending a 13-year association with the Mariners, told the Evening Telegraph: "I was sacked, I did not resign.". Although refusing to comment further, Cockerill's remarks add another twist to what has been a remarkable last 24 hours for Grimsby Town. Cockerill was a casualty of a dramatic managerial "musical chairs" switch which saw skipper Paul Groves and Community Officer Graham Rodger installed as the new managerial 1-2 at Blundell Park.

Club Chairman Peter Furneaux, speaking on Cockerill leaving the club yesterday said: "The situation regarding John was that we wanted him on our team. We asked him to stay in the position he was in and he felt unable to accept that and left of his own accord. We wish him all the best and we're still surprised by his decision."

40-year-old Cockerill is now widely expected by supporters to join former Grimsby boss Alan Buckley at Lincoln City. The Grimsby-born coach, whose father was captain of the side in the 1960's and who has supported the Mariners all his life, has ruled himself out of the opportunity to manage Grimsby Town on the previous three occasions in which there was a change at the top. Club skipper Paul Groves was the board's first choice as the new manager, and accepted the appointment and the huge task of keeping Grimsby Town in Division One almost immediately.



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