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Will you attend any Checkatrade Trophy games next season?

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By: Bill Osborne
Date: 07/11/2002

WITH the latest happenings at Blundell Park concerning players like Kabba, Santos and other players like Cornwall, Nielsen and Boulding before them, it is clear that football is not what it was.

If we look back at the "good old days" of football before it became as mercenary as it is today, we were able then to take at face value the assertions of players regarding their commitment and loyalty to the club they served.

It was not unusual for players to spend almost their entire career at one club and they really were the true heroes that the fans believed in.

But we have come a long way since then, with the introduction of player agents and the resulting high wage demands, making money the centrepiece of football rather than the efforts on the field of play. (Not that agents have been the sole reason for the changes but they have certainly contributed)

That has not changed the fans attitude to players. We still hail our favourites as heroes, and rightly so, as that is part of the fun of being a fan. But we should not kid ourselves.

The days are gone when players, like Livvo for example, choose to see out their career with one club spurning "better offers" because they are happy where they are.

It is not unusual nowadays to see players arriving at a club pledging themselves to the long-term success of the club and then moving on for a better offer before completing a season.

So it is good to see that when Grimsby visit Stoke on Saturday a few players will be reaching milestones in their careers at Grimsby Town.

John McDermott will be looking to make his 600th appearance for the club. Macca joined the club in 1986, and was recently nominated for BBC Radio Humberside's Sporting Achievement of 2002 in recognition of his services to the club.

Steve Livingstone will also be hoping to score his 50th goal for Town.

Tony Gallimore should make his 249th league appearance and Stuart Campbell is just four games away from his 100th appearance for the club.

Not world record breaking events but it is still good to see players fulfilling the commitments they made when signing. A pretty rare event in these days methinks.

Good luck to them.

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