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Where Are They Now: Gary Lund
By: Tony Hamilton
THE Fishy has been talking to some of the ex-players of Grimsby Town to see where they are now and about their time at Blundell Park. Gary Lund tells us this about himself.
Fishy: Can you remember whom your debut was against? Why did you get in the team, and how you played?
Gary: My debut was against Barnsley in September1983, shortly after my nineteenth birthday. I replaced the injured Kevin Drinkell (I think) and came close to scoring when I hit the bar. I was substituted with about 20 mins to go. I suppose it was an average success!
Fishy:: Which goals spring to mind when you look back on your playing career?
Gary: The most talked about goal was the one I scored for Notts County against Man City to get us into the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, although the goal itself was a tap in. Also in the early days at Grimsby I scored against Arsenal in the FA Cup 3rd round on an icy pitch and the match was one of the games shown on Match of the Day. Although we lost the game 4-2 (Charlie Nicholas was playing). I also scored two goals against Man City in a league game whilst at Grimsby and had possibly my best game for Town.
Fishy: How do you think the Grimsby side you played in would get along in today's game?
Gary: I suppose you always look back favourably on the teams you played in but I genuinely believe we had a good team that would do well in today's 1st division. Players such as Paul Wilkinson, Kevin Drinkell, Kevin Moore and Tony Ford all went on to play at the highest level.
Fishy: You played for Grimsby, Lincoln, Notts County, Chesterfield, and Hull on loan. How did they compare, and did you ever come Close to signing for anyone else?
Gary: I suppose I have to say that they were all similar clubs to an extent in so far as they are all small teams fighting against the financial odds. Grimsby I think were the most friendly/family club, but perhaps I slightly biased as they are my hometown club and I always felt very comfortable there (until Mike Lyons showed up!). When I was leaving Lincoln, Brighton wanted to sign me and the sunny south coast tempted me. Lincoln also turned down a bid from Sheff Utd around December 1986.
Fishy: Of your two hat tricks for Town (Sheff Utd away, Notts County home) which do you have the fondest memories of?
Gary: Easy question. Sheff Utd was one of the best days of my career. I was 19/20 and it seemed as though I had the world at my feet.
Fishy: Who was your best strike partner in football?
Gary: Difficult question as I have had lots of partners-Paul Wilkinson, Kevin Drinkell, Garry Birtles, Ian McParland, Tommy Johnson but the one I built up the best partnership with was Gary McSwegan at Notts and in season 1984-85 we scored about 45 goals between us.
Fishy:7. Do you still keep in touch with any of your former teammates?
Gary: The only one really is Dean Yates (Notts County) who I live close to. Football tends to move people all over the country and you lose touch.
Fishy: Do you still support Town, and go to any of their games? What other teams do you look out for?
Gary: Town is the first result I look for on a Saturday but I don't watch them as I live in Nottingham. I have an interest in Notts but it's not the same as Town-home town club and all that.
Fishy: What's the biggest regret of your career?
Gary: Signing for Lincoln at the time I did. I left Town because of Mike Lyons and not for football reasons and it was a big mistake.
Fishy: Who was the best manager you worked under? And the worst?
Gary: Worst is easy. Mike Lyons was a disaster both for me and Town. He had no man management skills at all. Best was Mick Walker (who, you scream!) at Notts. He was only manager for a short time but we played some wonderful football in his time and only just missed out on the first division play offs.
Fishy: Do you still miss playing, and what do you do now?
Gary: It might sound strange but I do not miss playing at all. I enjoyed it while it lasted but I feel happier in what I'm doing now. I have my own estate agency business in West Bridgford, Nottingham and so control what I do in life. in football you have little or no control whatsoever.
Fishy: Can you see Town getting back in Division One in the near future?
Gary: Unfortunately not. I don't think financial restrictions will allow them to spend the necessary money to acquire the players needed to escape div. 2
Fishy: Thanks Gary for your comments!
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