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My Dream Team: Dave Boylen

By: Andrew Hubbert
Date: 03/02/2008 (Last updated: 03/03/2008)

HAVING been an attendee at Blundell Park almost ever since he made his debut in 1966, Dave Boylen has had the benefit of watching Grimsby play for over forty years.

Therefore, his side includes players from a variety of eras, many from sides who enjoyed substantial success for the Mariners. Dave’s Mariner’s Dream XI shows the attacking instincts he demonstrated whilst playing for the club, and he has opted for a 4-3-3 line-up. With three forwards all capable of getting 20 goals in a season, plus three players in midfield who are also capable of getting a few, this side would get plenty of goals. The defence doesn’t look bad either!

Below is how the side might look on paper and Dave’s reasons for his selections, as worded by Andrew Hubbert.

GK: Harry Wainman – he was a highly consistent keeper and was captain of the club for a time. We shared hotel rooms along with Stewart Gray for away matches and he was a funny guy. On one such occasion when we were staying in a hotel, it was during a strike in the 1970s, when we were told there would be no electricity between six and seven o’clock. At two minutes to six, Harry and Stewart thought they would try their luck and use the lift at the hotel, but ended up stuck in there! He was a great character and a great clubman who made nearly 500 appearances for the Mariners.

RB: John McDermott – his loyalty speaks volumes for his commitment. He was also very consistent, but not the most flamboyant players, so was probably taken for granted. When he was injured though he was missed sorely by the Town defence. He had offers to go elsewhere, but with Alan’s return he decided to stay and was rewarded with two trips to Wembley.

LB: Tony Gallimore – perhaps a surprising choice, given the bad press he received. However, he was well thought of by all at the club and by the staff at Carlisle when he was there from what I understand. A very consistent performer and a left sided footballer, which is a rarity.

CB: Kevin Moore – he came through the juniors at the same time I was in the first team. He was a talented player back then, who was very tall and good in the air. He was also an intimidating player, but still a first class professional who was very determined even as an apprentice. He demonstrated his excellent temperament by captaining Town and Southampton when he later moved on there.

CB: Ryan Bennett – an absolutely terrific prospect with a great attitude. He is thought of very highly by all the staff at the club who commend his attitude and his willingness to turn up to club events. To him every match is like a kick-about in that nothing seems to faze him. Macca’s decision to hand him the captain’s armband in the game at home to Lincoln last season speaks volumes.

CM: Joe Waters – one of the most accomplished players to have played for the club. He was an inspiration to a young side that was being built as he signed for the club, and he went on to be one of the leaders on the park. He was a fiery and passionate player as well. When I found out we weren’t going to sign him permanently from Leicester, I went to the manager Tom Casey’s office who was also disappointed at the board’s decision not to fund the transfer. We decided I would leak the story that we weren’t going to sign him to the press and due to this, a campaign was created in the local media, leading to supporters’ efforts to buy him.

CM: Dave Gilbert – he was a very prominent member of Alan Buckley’s side and Alan really got the best out of him. He linked up well with his teammates and he was very consistent. He was a small midfield player and the type of player who would add to the current side; Dave’s also a very nice lad to boot.

CM: John Cockerill – a grafter who could get forward as well and he had lots of energy. He loved the club to pieces and his passion could be seen with the joy on his face when he scored a goal. I never played alongside him, but I did play with his dad Ron, at the end of his, and the beginning of my career.

CF: Stuart Brace – not the tallest person, but he was fast as anything. He played off Matt Tees during the 1971/72 season and him and Matt got nearly 50 goals between them. It was a delight for me to play with him in the side, because you could knock the ball over the top for him and he would most probably get on the end of it due to his pace. He was particularly good in one-on-one situations and told me the secret was to aim for the keepers’ legs.

CF: Matt Tees – he was a player who never ceased to amaze me and he was twice at the club. Some of the crosses he went for made me blink and I thought he was going to get clattered by the keeper; he was one of the bravest players I have ever seen. When we won the Fourth Division Championship he got something like 34 goals and he was joy to play with, as you just needed to get the ball into the box for him and he would throw himself at it.

CF: Kevin Drinkell – Kevin was an apprentice at the same time I was in the first team. He lived close-by and I would give him lifts to the ground. I remember he was scoring goals for the reserves and juniors and struck two consecutive hat tricks, but still wasn’t being picked. I went to the manager’s office one day to ask why he wasn’t in the first team and I think he ended up scoring on his debut. A Grimsby-lad, he was very determined and on a par with Matt Tees. He played for the love of the game as well.


Ivano Bonetti – he was unpredictable, but he was idolised by the Grimsby Town fans. The first Italian to play for Grimsby, he set the club alight and it was unfortunate that he fell out with the manager.

Stewart Gray – he was the coolest footballer I ever played with and in that way, he reminds me of Ryan Bennett. He was calm and mature and nothing seemed to ruffle him.

Jack Lewis – he was something of a super-sub under Lawrie McMenemy and every time he came on he seemed to score. However, when he started, somehow he didn’t seem to adapt and you never really knew what to expect from him. He was fast player and played with a lot of heart.

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