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Question of the Week

Will Paul Hurst stay at Grimsby?


Dave Boylen
Dave Boylen

The Final Countdown

By: Dave Boylen
Date: 25/04/2006

COME on you Town supporters let's get behind the lads in these last two vitally important games. The first hurdle is actually where I was born Macclesfield, although I only stayed there for two days.

Home > Features > Dave Boylen > The Final Countdown

The manager at Macclesfield is a guy I have known for years from my playing days, Brian Horton (left) is his name. A ruthless character indeed, when he was at Port Vale, he always marked me in midfield, what a handful.

People don't realise that in professional football there are two important things that go on out on the football pitch. The verbal side and the football side, and boy did me and Brian really get stuck in. His nickname by the way was Tiger Horton. Once the ref blew his whistle that was it, Brian was going to kill me. I can just see him now rolling his sleeves up and glaring at me and warning me that if I thought that I was going to nutmeg him and laugh at the same time he would stamp on my face.

Not very pretty but that was what it was like in the seventies. There were loads of characters at every league club up and down the country. I must tell you the story when the Mariners in the seventies played Brighton at BP. Alan Mullery was the manager another character indeed, and I think we were winning when Tiger who had moved to Brighton the previous summer - and by the way had already been booked for tackling me in a robust fashion - decided to try his luck once again. Sure enough there he was waiting to slide in for the kill right in front of the dug-outs. I thought here his my chance just gave him enough leg to go for and that was it bang, down I go. The ref stops the game and Alan Mullery nearly has a seizure, Tiger Horton is sent off and at the same time wants to kill me. I get up and brush myself down and we went on to win 3-1, I do believe.

After the game after a lot of fighting in the tunnel we were all advised to not take a drink in the bar due to a very irate Alan Mullery and Brian Horton waiting outside to try and fill Dave Boylen in. Did we cheat in our day? Jack Charlton used to say, when he was writing down names in that famous little black book that he made famous, it is all in the game if you can get away with, anything out on the pitch it is up to the ref to punish you for your misdemeanours.

I have met Alan Mullery and Brian Horton on a number of occasions and we always shake hands and talk about the old days, great times indeed and now I am coming to what Saturday's game is all about. It will not be a easy game because all Brian's teams are full of passion and I am going to the game myself and I am expecting a game full of blood and thunder, But I believe we have players at this club who care about the supporters and I think we saw that, in the game against Cheltenham. Gary Jones has been a revelation, along with Rob Jones and of course Michael Reddy this is not a bad side, but let's hope we can get out of this truly dreadful league this season because I fear the worst if we have to go to the play-offs.

My own assumption is that we will beat Macclesfield 1-0 and in the last game against Northampton we will win by 2-0 and go up in style. Let's be positive all you Town fans, get behind the lads for the last two games and roar them on to promotion.

Dave Boylen

Thanks to Dave Boylen for taking the time to answer these questions, and to Jake Olley for organising this article.

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