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Cod Head of the Week: Jonathan Wacey

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 11/10/2004

THIS site is written by fans for fans and the latest installment of the new series of Cod Head of the Week is Jonathan Wacey.

Home > Features > Cod Heads > Jonathan Wacey

We regularly need new Cod Heads, so would appreciate contributions from lifelong supporters of the Mariners. This week's Cod Head is Jonathan Wacey.

Jonathan Wacey
My 18th Birthday (before we beat Terry Venables' Crystal Palace 2-0)

Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Jonathan Wacey (aka GollyGTFC). I am 23 years old and was born and still live in Grantham. My dad is a Grimsby exile and I caught the bug for Grimsby Town off him. I go to every game I can get to and have so far clocked up 295 games. I go to matches with my Dad. I have been a season ticket holder in the Pontoon since 1998/99. Apart from following Town (over land and sea and YORKSHIRE!) I like playing snooker and going out on a Friday night. I am also a big Boxing fan and am a Ricky Hatton fan and attend his fights- as long as it doesn't involve missing a Town match. I am also a closet WWE fan and once queued up for 36 hours in a sleeping bag at the MEN Arena to get ringside seats for a show- but don't tell anyone! I was lucky enough to be able to goto Euro 2000 and follow England to Japan for the 2002 World Cup and also to Portugal for Euro 2004. I am already planning for Germany in 2006.

When did you first start supporting the Mariners, and what was your first game?

I first started watching football during the 1987/88 season. I always looked out for the Grimsby result but the couple of matches a season we went to were always at Forest as it is close to us. On Boxing Day 1992 we were going to the City Ground for a 1pm kick-off v QPR. We were approaching the Bingham roundabout (A52-A46) and I asked my dad "Doesn't the A46 goto Grimsby? Why don't we go there instead? They are playing Barnsley at 3pm." Luckily my dad agreed and we went to Blundell Park instead. We beat Barnsley 4-2 (goals from Gilbert 2, Groves & Watson) and we never went back to Forest again (apart from in the away end!).

Who is the best player you ever saw wearing a Grimsby Town shirt?

A tough question. But I would have to say John Oster. So naturally gifted, he could turn a match with a bit of individual brilliance. An equaliser at Wolves in April 1997 and his free kick at Derby on Boxing Day 2002 spring to mind. Great to see him finally starting to realise his amazing potential.

If there is one game you were allowed to go back in time and watch what would it be and why?

Without question it would have to be our 5-1 victory over West Brom. The victory at Anfield and the Wembley matches are close, but that match meant so much to everyone. We had 5 or 6 ex-Baggies in our squad along with Alan Buckley. They came to Blundell Park top of Division 1 and unbeaten. We absolutely played them off the park and gave probably the best performace I have ever seen a Town team give. A fantastic game.

What are your favourite and least favourite away grounds?

My favourite away ground is Millmoor as Town always take a large and vocal following there. It might not be the best ground (one of the few worse than Blundell Park) but we have had a couple of decent results there the 2 times I've been and the away stand echoes noise superbly for a great atmosphere. Any ground that sells Chicken Balti Pies are also high on my list. My least favourite is definately Valley Parade. A very odd and mis-shaped stadium and a truly awful away end. Despite the kiosks selling Chicken Balti Pies I would not be sad if Town never play in the same Division as Bradford City again.

What, in your opinion, are GTFC's best and worst seasons since you have been supporting them?

I would rate 1998/99 as the best as we competed and competed well with all the best teams in Division 1. We were in the play-offs until February until we had a run of tough home games (Bolton, Sunderland & Birmingham) came along and our form dipped a little.
The worse was 2002/03 when we were relegated from Division 1. We went down without a fight. I can handle a team who aren't good enough as long as they give 100%. Last season was dreadful, but at least we made a decent fight of it.

What is the most eventful day you have ever had in the course of following the Mariners?

Back in January me and my dad set off for Wycombe in his car. On the A1 near Huntingdon his alternator went. We parked up at Huntingdon Railway Station knowing that we could get to Wycombe but wouldn't get back in the dark. A train journey to King's Cross, a dash across to Marylebone on the tube, another train journey to High Wycombe and a taxi to the ground later and we got through the turnstyle with literally 15 seconds before kick-off. What was to follow was an abject performance and the beginning of the end for Grovesie. When we returned hom the line was closed between Peterborough & Grantham for engineering work and we had to take a replacement bus service which took ages. Also I had to get up at 8am the next morning (a Sunday) to drive my dad down to Huntingdon to pick up his stranded car.

What is the strangest thing you have ever done at a game?

Can't think of anything strange, but I can think of something unfortunate in a League Cup game v Carlisle at BP in August 1999. When I left home I have a bit of stomach ache. By the time the match was starting I had a bad case of Diarrhoea. We won the game 6-0, but I missed 3 goals and another which was disallowed sitting on one of the toilets round the back of the Pontoon.

Who is the greatest ever GTFC manager?

Sadly I would have to nominate Alan Buckley. Just a pity that he was unbelievably arrogant and had worse PR skills than Michael Barrymore.

How many games a season do you get to now, and what do you do while Town are playing games that you can't get to?

Last season I made it to every game- home and away. I go to every game that I can. The last match I missed was the 4-0 FA Cup 3rd Round replay defeat at Burnley in January 2003. I am supposed to be attending a wedding in Leicester on August 21st- preparing my excuse so I can go to Rushden & Diamonds instead. Currently I have been to 66 current League grounds and with 16 unvisited grounds in League 2, I should reach 82 by the end of the season.

Name your all-time starting eleven since you have been watching Town?


Danny Coyne
John McDermottPaul FutcherGeorges SantosGary Croft
John OsterPaul GrovesWayne BurnettDave Gilbert
Clive MendoncaJack Lester

Subs: Aidan Davison, Peter Handyside, Jim Dobbin, Kevin Donovan, Tony Rees

What's the best-ever atmosphere you remember at a home and away game?

Home: The game when we beat Burnley (with Gazza) 3-1 at Blundell Park to stay up in 2001-02 was special, but the best has to be the 1-0 Play-off Semi Final victory over Kevin Keegan's Fulham. The atmosphere in the Pontoon has incredible that night and was a fitting end to a great season of games at Blundell Park.
Away: The victory at Anfield was special, as was the game at Tranmere back in May before it all went wrong. But the best I can remember was at Millmoor in February 2003 when John Oster converted a Livvo cross in the 93rd minute for a 1-0 win. A priceless and much needed 3 points. A large and vocal Town support and Grovesie's celebration after was incredible, it's so sad that his ability as a manager couldn't match his passion for the job.

If you have any, do your children support the Mariners?

I don't have any children, but if and when I do they will support Town or be adopted.

Jonathan Wacey

Jonathan Wacey
Me and my Dad at the England v France game at Euro 2004.

If you would like to be a Cod Head please send an e-mail at once to Rob Sedgwick.

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