The Grimsby Town FC


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19Crawley Town15-415
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Question of the Week

What is more important, result or style of football?

Style of Football


Cod Head of the Week: Richard Lord

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 15/11/2004

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

Home > Features > Cod Heads > Richard Lord

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

Richard Lord

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I'm 21 years old and I currently live in Cleethorpes although I'll soon be moving to Huddersfield where I'll be studying English Language at the university. I've written for The Fishy, the official website and Cod Almighty, as well as present Mariners World and write for the match-day programme. It's all voluntary of course, but I won't get anywhere without valuable experience!

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

I can vaguely recollect a game against Leyton Orient when we drew 2-2, which must have been in the early 90's. I think Steve Livingstone and Neil Woods scored; although I remember thinking it'd be hard work supporting the Mariners, even back then!

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

It's a difficult question to answer as most players I've seen play have tended to be inconsistent. Kevin Donovan was an inspiration in his first season here, but disappointing beyond that. I really liked Jack Lester's trickery and persistence and Clive Mendonca was always a threat to the opposition, but I've always appreciated defenders and Peter Handyside would be my choice. It seems strange to say it now, seeing as he's at Northwich Victoria, but he had so much more potential. Alan Buckley always said that he was nine months behind Gary Croft, with regards to moving up into the Premiership.

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

I was always intrigued by the way Town won 1-0 at Everton in the 80's, but I realise now I have my own story to tell from the more recent game at Liverpool. I missed out on the 1-0 win over West Brom when Bonetti scored, and I also missed the game when we beat Fulham in the second leg of the Play-Off semi final in 1998. But ultimately, I think the 2-1 win over Exeter would be a game to watch once more. Either that, or the 1-0 win at 'unbeatable' Newcastle.

What are your favourite and least favourite away grounds?

I've always liked Loftus Road for some reason, but obviously Anfield was by far and away the best ground I've visited. I didn't think much to Highbury, and I've not experienced the delights of Layer Road but the worst away ground I've been to would be STK Samorin in the Slovak Republic - not that Town have ever played there!

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

The best season, statistically, would be the 97/98 campaign, although personally I enjoyed the 01/02 season the best. I think that when you get used to your team winning, routine victories aren't appreciated as much as those that come along once every now and again. I think you need to be taken on a journey, and in the 01/02 season Town did just that - the highs of topping the table and winning at Liverpool, to looking doomed in February. Then, from nowhere, an amazing recovery kept us up. I was certain, after that defeat at Watford, that we were relegated. My emotions were all over the place that year, but I'll remember more games from that season than any other. The worst season would be the one that followed. Or last season. Both are forgettable.

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

There have been quite a few. The most eventful day happened last season when I travelled to Oldham by train. The rail ticket cost me £29 and I nearly never made it past Doncaster. I was planning to meet Richard Hubbert at York, but the train from Donny was running 15 minutes late, and that would've cocked up the whole journey. As it transpired, I arrived at York and literally ran from one side of the station to the other and hopped on the train with a second to spare. In the end, it wasn't worth it. We were treat to a 6-0 defeat, as most of you will remember. The two Wembley days were very special, although I seem to remember that on the second occasion, The Verve were playing their homecoming gig at Wigan and it was a case of two massive events on the same day.

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

This isn't very strange, because I feel it's something we've all done - or will do in the future - and that was break a chair. It happened at Watford when we lost 2-0, and I gave the plastic thing in front of me a good kick. I tiny split at the bottom began to run all the way to the top and widen, right in front of a steward. On the way home, I decided to ring up one of my work colleagues at BT (International Directory Enquiries, to be precise), put on an accent and played merry hell. All because I was in a mood about a routine defeat.

Who is the greatest ever GTFC manager?

During my time it would have to be Alan Buckley.

What is the worst game you've ever been to?

Unfortunately I'm spoilt for choice here. The Tranmere game from last season was depressing, especially as the news filtered through that Chesterfield had scored a late winner. The Walsall game from the season before was just pathetic. We really needed to win that day to give ourselves any hope of staying up, but the players' attitude was abysmal. The same could be said for that 6-0 defeat at Oldham.

What's the most amusing chant you've heard at a game?

Well, this isn't a chant but it's worth saying anyway. It was during the height of Lee Nogan's rubbishness, when he'd make a point of standing near the opposition keeper as he was about to drop kick the ball up-field. One supporter behind me shouted: "Nogan, touch his nob!" It seemed funny at the time. Also, one mad mate of mine made an extraordinarily loud Pingu noise during a silenced Pontoon moment. Some chants are amusing, but they lose their effect when they're repeated. Funny comments and noises are much more regular.

Who is the greatest ever GTFC manager?

During my time it would have to be Alan Buckley.

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?

I can't really estimate for this season as I'll be moving away but I'll get to see the home games around Christmas and Easter, and I'll see any away games that are within a couple of hours of Huddersfield. I had a season ticket last season, and went to seven away games. If I can't get to a game, I do everything humanly possible to keep up to date.

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

GK - Danny Coyne
DR - John McDermott
DL - Gary Croft
DC - Peter Handyside
DC - Mark Lever
MR - John Oster
ML - Dave Gilbert
MC - Paul Groves
MC - Alan Pouton
SC - Clive Mendonca
SC - Jack Lester

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

The best away game atmosphere was when Town won 1-0 at QPR in March 2001. It was a massive six-pointer and we played crap for the majority of the game, but nicked it in the last ten minutes. Despite playing so poorly, we never stopped singing. It snowed that day too, if I remember rightly. As for home games, the atmosphere against Leicester, the League Cup holders at the time, was electric. Jobling somehow scored, and Livvo got a brace. That atmosphere was only usurped by the win over Norwich later that season in the FA Cup.

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

I don't have any children, not knowingly anyway. They'd support the Mariners though, no question.

Richard Lord

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

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