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We Need a Veteran!

By: Tony Hamilton
Date: 19/07/2003

AFTER seeing all the rumours on the Fishy MB, I thought I'd give my thoughts about seeing a veteran playing up front for Grimsby Town in the forthcoming season. Having someone like Brett Angell or Iffy Onoura would do our team no harm whatsoever, in my opinion.

Home > Features > 2003 Features > We Need a Veteran!

Their experience could help our team hopefully out of Division Two this season, and their presence would make them invaluable mentors to youngsters like Soames and Mansaram, in turn helping Town's younger professionals to develop their forward skills.

The thing people are missing is that it wouldn't be the first time Grimsby Town have signed someone who was thought to be "over the hill". The three that spring to my mind are Garry Birtles, Trevor Whymark and Paul Futcher.

Trevor was bought from Vancouver Whitecaps for £80,000 after winning the NASL championship with them and then went on to prolong his career with Town. When he was brought here people thought he was finished but, when asked, Town Whymark always speaks fondly about his extended career (as he puts it) because he honestly thought going to Canada and playing in the NASL was the last thing he would do footballing-wise, and was surprised about Grimsby Town even being interested in him

Next there’s Garry Birtles. After the roller-coaster career he had he was told by Notts County he had no future there. So then Town boss Alan Buckley showed him a way out by first offering him a trial here, and then signing him up for on a two year contract. Most supporters will remember the hat trick he scored against Wrexham at Blundell Park, and he was another who only said good things about his time with the Mariners, although the move cost him other things which were personal!

Last but not least there was Paul Futcher. He was languishing in Halifax Town's reserve side after a fall out with the manager, when Alan Buckley paid the tidy sum of £10,000 to bring him here. When he has finished at Blundell Park "Futch" had left his indelible mark on all our supporters who had seem him pull on the famous black and white jersey. Admittedly Futcher left under a cloud after Laws (the newly installed Grimsby Town boss at the time) saw him as a threat to his job, so unceremoniously booted out of Blundell Park.

So let's face it, after listing these three players, all rated as well "past it" when they came to Grimsby Town, let's just trust Groves’s judgement as his track record on signings for the Mariners speaks for itself and he knows better than anyone else what the Town squad is short of.

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