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Giants From Grimsby's Past

By: Barry West
Date: 18/05/2004

LOGGING onto Grimsby's Official Website and seeing the "latest news" about Dave Boylen's rooting for the Town to avoid relegation (well, after all, that's pretty up-to-date news for Grimsby!) made me going all "soggy with nostalgia, in Tom Lehrer's memorable phrase, for Days Gone By.

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It's normal, I suppose, in times of deepest gloom, with no current player who could remotely be described as being, or likely to become, a Grimsby legend, to reflect on past days when players excited you so much that you could scarcely bear to wait for another two weeks to see them perform again.

There are many from my childhood and early youth, before I deserted Grimsby for Manchester and later the Midlands, who fit that description. Dave Boylen himself was one, and the times my Dad used to curse fate that he was not at least 3, or better still 6 inches taller (Dave Boylen, not my Dad!). But of course if he had been, he'd have been snapped up by a bigger club.

My memories are filled by giants from Grimsby's past - not giants physically, clearly, but giants in their wholehearted devotion and determination in Grimsby's cause. Joe Waters was one such, and my own particular curse was that Grimsby didn't give him the chance to manage the club, when he clearly wanted to.

His enthusiasm for Grimsby was just immense, and it was infinitely sad that he wasn't given the reward of managing the club he loved and worked so hard for in his playing days. I cannot remember any player (and I have watched Town off and on for more than 55 years!) who so inspired by his example. Lionhearted as he was, his jubilation when he scored doubled one's own enjoyment.

He was a great advert for the game, and for Grimsby especially. I hope his years since leaving have been good to him - he was wonderful for us.

Barry West (still a Grimsby fan, though exiled in the Midlands for 32 years)

Editor: Thanks Barry!

Have you got a story about one of your favourite giants from the past you would like to share with us?

Maybe, until now, one who was not acknowledged or recognised at the time. Someone you admired?

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