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Dave Otter Interview

By: Jake Olley
Date: 03/06/2006

JAKE Olley caught up with Dave Otter, chairman of the Supporters' Trust, shortly before the match against Cheltenham.

Home > Features > Interviews > Dave Otter

Dave, you are currently Chairman of the Supporters' Trust. What does this mainly involve and what is the job like as a Grimsby Town fan?

I suppose the first thing to say is that it isn't a "job" as such. I work full time as a manager of two mental health teams in the NHS and they have to take priority. That is the case for all members of the Trust Board and I think some people tend to forget that fact. It would be great to have a full time worker such as a Chief Executive but we just don't have the resources to do that.

My job is very easy because I am the public face of the Trust - I tend to get wheeled out when necessary! I have been involved in the Gateway Group (the steering group looking at turning the dream of a new stadium into a reality) and I suppose that is taking up as much of my time as anything in terms of what I do for the Trust.

There are others on the Trust Board such as Rachel Branson who puts a massive amount of work into the Trust. She does all the membership renewals, newsletters, updates etc, and she deserves a great deal of recognition for the work that she does.

As a Town fan it is a great privilege to be in this position...I have been approached by so many people in the streets and at games, who just want to talk about the Club or the team and I have met so many good people that way.

You have supported Grimsby for a number of years and followed them I think you said since you were a child. Was there ever a temptation to support a bigger team (if possible) and what are your earliest memories of the famous black and whites?

When I was 12 or 13 I used to watch the odd Leeds game (I was at Elland Rd to watch them beat Man Utd 5-0 in the early 70s - Bobby Charlton, George Best at al). It was never the same as watching Town though. They are MY team and even if they folded tomorrow, no other team would ever replace them.

My earliest memories of watching the Mariners was in the 60s when the like of Graham Taylor, Matt Tees and Charlie Wright were playing. I used to go on the back of my dad's pushbike and we left it in a lady's front garden in (I think) Blundell Ave.

How do you feel the club has effected your life socially and as a person?

I sometimes think that Nick Hornby (the author of Fever Pitch) and I had a lot in common. He recounted how supporting Arsenal helped him through the traumatic time when his parents divorced.

In my case, my mother died at around the time when Lawrie McMenemy was manager and we had that great season when we won the Fourth Division. Daft as it sounds, having that to look forward to every week made a great difference to me.

What in your opinion was the greatest game you attended?

I think it has to be the Liverpool game a few years ago, if only for that moment when Phil Jevons' shot hit the back of the net....better than sex!!!

Who in your mind is Grimsby Town's greatest ever manager?

Now that is a hard one! Lawrie McMenemy was a great man manager but not, by all accounts, a great coach. George Kerr had great success but inherited a marvelously talented side from John Newman. I think I would have to go for Alan Buckley whose record speaks for itself.

The club recently secured a trip to Cardiff after a cracking season. How do you feel this game compares with the Wembley games and how bigger effect will it have on the town if we do win?

I don't really think it quite measures up to that first Wembley game because we had waited so long to get there. If we win, though, it will have a massive effect - after the last few seasons any sort of success is precious.

What do you think has been the key too such a great season?

It's an overused term, and Russell Slade has said it so many times but...resilience. Great team spirit and every player knowing exactly what is expected of them. The credit for that must go to Russell Slade and Graham Rodger.

What has been the highlight for you personally?

Without doubt, beating Spurs. It wasn't a fluke, we deserved to beat them

If the club were to win on Sunday how do you feel we'll cope in League One?

I honestly don't know - Southend and Swansea were very successful when they went up but Scunthorpe struggled. My gut feeling is that there is very little difference between League 1 and 2. As long as when can keep our best players - no problem!

And do you feel we could ever reach the promised land of the Championship again? If so how long?

I think we can, particularly when we get the new stadium and all the associated income streams. If Watford can reach the Premiership, we can reach the Championship.

Back onto the Supporters club. What are your targets for this year and how has it gone so far?

Our target is always to gain as many members as possible. In the last year we have become one of the biggest shareholders in the Club and that shareholding can only get bigger.

How are you trying to bring in new members and building on the foundations?

We brought in many new members as a result of the Keep the Mariners Afloat campaign. Things are very quiet at the moment but if anyone has any ideas please let us know!!!

Finally could you give us your greatest ever GTFC team?

R. Jones
K Moore

We'd also like to take this chance to thank Dave Otter who took time out from his busy schedule to do this interview for Town fans

This site is by the fans, for the fans, and we will consider articles on any subject relating to the Mariners whether it be related to current news, a nostalgic look back in the past, a story about a player, a game or games in the past, something about Blundell Park or football in general. Click here to submit your article!

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This site is by the fans, for the fans, and we will consider articles on any subject relating to the Mariners whether it be related to current news, a nostalgic look back in the past, a story about a player, a game or games in the past, something about Blundell Park or football in general. Click here to submit your article!

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