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Slipped Through the Net: Clive Mendonca

By: Richard Lord
Date: 30/03/2003

IN an exclusive interview as part of The Fishy's new "Slipped Through the Net" series, Richard Lord caught up with Clive Menonca to talk about his time at Blundell Park.

Introduction
Clive Mendonca needs no introduction. He remains a firm fans' favourite in the town of Grimsby. He is regarded as a hero even now, six years after he left Blundell Park for Charlton Athletic and over a year on from his retirement.

The Islington-born striker was bought for a bargain £85,000 from Sheffield United in 1991 after a successful loan period. From that moment up until the Mariners' relegation in 1997 Mendonca was regarded as Town's number one striker. He played alongside many others - Rees, Woods and Livingstone to name but a few - netting an impressive 66 goals during his time at Blundell Park.

However, in 1995 Mendonca was sidelined with a spinal injury that kept him out of the game for nearly a whole year. The team, then under new management, hit both highs and lows in that season, which also brought about the appearance of Italian midfield maestro Ivano Bonetti.

Mendonca's return was a highly memorable occasion when he grabbed all three goals in a 3-1 win over Ipswich Town on Easter Monday in 1996. His season to follow was his most successful, but ironically it saw Grimsby relegated to the Second Division.

'Super Clive' signed for Charlton that summer in a £700,000 deal and never looked back. He hit 28 goals in his first season with the Addicks, including a stunning hat-trick at Wembley the day after Grimsby had won their way back into the First Division.

Unfortunately two injury-ravaged seasons followed and, on the advice of doctors, Mendonca was forced to quit the game or face an almost certain hip-replacement operation. This bad news followed another unlucky Charlton striker to retire because of injury - Andy Hunt - and just another year down the line has seen another Charlton player retire - Martin Pringle - when he suffered a broken leg while on loan at Grimsby.

Next: Clive Mendonca Interview

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