The BIG Interview: Padraig Amond

By Dan Barker, 23/08/2018.

Padraig Amond joined Grimsby Town in the Summer of 2015 following the agonising Play-Off Final defeat to Bristol Rovers. During the 2015-16 season, Amond racked up an impressive 32 goals in 46 appearances to help The Mariners win promotion back to the Football League whilst also winning the personal honour of the club’s Player of the Year award. On the eve of Town’s trip to Amond’s current club, Newport County, Written In Black And White’s editor Dan Barker was lucky enough to speak to Padraig about his time in Cleethorpes.

DB: Hi Padraig, thanks for taking the time to speak to us. What did you know about Grimsby Town before you joined the club, did you have any particular memories of playing at Blundell Park as a visitor?

PA: ‘I knew that they were a massive club in the wrong division, I remembered them being in what is now the Championship and then dropping down the leagues. I had seen them on TV over the years but I had never played against them so my first game at Blundell Park was as a Grimsby Town player.’

DB: Somewhat unknown territory for you then! There were a few clubs interested in signing you in the Summer of 2015. What was the deciding factor that helped you choose Town?

PA: ‘I had spoken to players who were there before and knew it was a club that had gone close to promotion the previous year and were on the up. Toto (Nsiala) played a big part in me signing there, I called him to see what the club was like as I had played with him before and trusted his opinion and he couldn’t sell the club enough to me. The big thing he spoke to me about was the team spirit which he got spot on as it was evident that there was a good bunch of lads there. Playing with a good, hungry bunch of lads is something every player wants to do so that what swayed it.’

DB: That’s great to hear, it was incredibly clear that there was a strong team spirit amongst the players, especially during our final two seasons in the National League. Knowing that the club came agonisingly close to promotion the previous year, did you feel any pressure to deliver especially given what was at stake for the club?

PA: ‘If I’m being honest, I didn’t feel under any pressure as I was pleased to be used as a striker at the club. Previously at Morecambe and Accrington I played the majority of my games on the wing, despite never being a winger I was honest enough to do a job for the team. I knew the players were so close to promotion the previous year but when I met them at Cheapside on the first day of pre-season training they had already put the disappointment behind them and spoke from day one about how they were going to use the heartbreak from the Wembley loss in a positive way to get promoted that season.’

DB: It didn’t take long for the fans to endear themselves to you, thanks in no small part to the goals you scored early in the season. Did the supporters have a positive impact on how you and the rest of the squad performed?

PA: ‘I hit the ground running in pre-season and from then my confidence was sky high. Once the season started the goals started to flow and everytime I stepped on the pitch I expected to score a goal or two in the game I was playing. The lads created a lot of chances which left me with the easy job of finishing them off. Obviously getting a lot of praise from supporters helps a lot of players out as it gives them more confidence to be more creative on the pitch. The fans were excellent with me and I loved the songs being sung about me as it meant I was doing my job really well. I can’t stress enough though how much the team helped me by creating all the chances for me and giving me a platform to show what I could do.’

DB: I can imagine that being important to you. It might be difficult as there is a fair few to choose from but what was your favourite goal from that season?

PA: ‘That’s easy, Nathan Arnold’s goal at Wembley but on a personal level then my best goal would be the volley away at Welling.’

DB: I thought that might have been the answer! If I could take you back to the semi-final second leg away at Braintree for a moment. What was going through your mind when you stepped up to take the penalty that levelled the tie?

PA: ‘I knew it was a big moment and there was pressure but I also knew I couldn’t miss it. I had taken a couple of penalties that season and gone the same way each time so when the Grimsby supporters ran on to the pitch it gave the Braintree goalkeeper coach a chance to run around the pitch to the goalkeeper and show him where I had gone with all my penalties so far that season. Luckily for me I spotted that and knew if I went the other way I couldn’t miss. The biggest thing for me was to make sure I didn’t go to close to the post and try make it the perfect penalty so as long as it was just to the left of the goal it would go in.’

DB: That’s really well thought out. Stepping away from the enormity of the occasion for a moment, how did it feel stepping off the coach at Wembley Stadium?

PA: ‘It was an unreal feeling to be honest. The gaffer and Doigy (Chris Doig) were brilliant in the lead up to the game and we spent a couple of days in London which helped us settle. The fact that most of the lads had been there the previous yeat was very important as the Wembley experience wasn’t new to them so their experience was key. We knew once we came out for the start of the game we were going to have a lot more supporters there than Forest Green so we were prepared for that and the noise was amazing. From a personal perspective I had always dreamed of playing at Wembley. I can remember growing up watching every FA Cup Final from 1993 and highlights of previous finals so it was a big thing to play at Wembley. It has changed now with so many live games on TV but the thrill of it all was everything I thought it would be.’

DB: ‘I can imagine it would be. How did it feel once the referee blew his whistle and confirmed that not only had you won the game but also that Town’s non-league days were over?’

PA: ‘When the final whistle went it was one of the best feelings I have ever had in football, it was just an amazing bubble we were in. You dream of playing at Wembley and winning there and we had done just that. All of my family and my fiancé were there too so to share it with them was a special moment. To share the moment with the group of lads and management staff we had was brilliant too. We had worked so hard to get the club back into the Football League and achieve what we had set out to do.’

DB: It was a great feeling to be a supporter too. After the week of celebrations, how important was it to win the FA Trophy Final?

PA: ‘I can’t even imagine what it was like for the supporters. Players come and go all the time but the supporters of the football club are always there and us getting promoted was more important to them than any of the players. There was a sense of achievement for us as players and staff but for supporters, the years of hurt were put to bed. We wanted to win the FA Trophy Final but it just wasn’t meant to be for us. We had won the most important final and for us that was the main thing.’

DB: Most definitely. How did it feel to win the club’s Player of the Year Award?

PA: ‘Again from a personal point of view I was delighted because it showed the season I had was decent, but at the same time you could have picked about 6/7 players and made a case for those players to win it too. We were an excellent team collectively because we trusted each other and would have run through a brick wall for each other too.’

DB: With that in mind, you must have been disappointed to leave Grimsby Town after just one season. Was it a difficult decision to leave?

PA: ‘Of course I was disappointed to leave. I was coming off the best season and most enjoyable season of my career so it was a very hard decision to leave. At the same time I had to think about the future too for myself so the length of the contract was a massive thing for me. I had seen players on one year deals before get injured early or struggle for form and then not be able to get a club the following year so for my own security I wanted longer than a years deal and I felt my goals should have got me that but it wasn’t to be.’

DB: That’s completely understandable, it came as a shock to the fans that the club were reticent to offer you an extended deal. To briefly mention your time at Hartlepool, how did it feel coming back to Blundell Park as part of the opposition?

PA: ‘It was weird to be honest with you. There had been a lot of changes in the club over the summer so on the playing side it was a different team I was facing compared to playing against all your ex teammates. I honestly knew I was going to score in the game before it started. I think everyone did. When I scored the first goal I remember seeing supporters in the stand standing and clapping and the same after the my second goal and that was a great moment. The same as when I was being substituted the majority of the fans stood and clapped me off and that was the goodbye I never really got to say to the fans because of leaving the previous summer.

DB: I remember it well, mainly because I was one of the fans applauding you. You came back to the club for Craig Disley’s benefit game last season. How was it re-uniting with all your old teammates?

PA: ‘Well I can tell you that I really appreciated the applause so thank you very much. Dizza, what a legend, I could be here for days talking about how great that man is. To be asked to come back and play was an honour and I was always going to be there whether I could play or not. Thankfully my manager at Newport allowed me to and it was great to see all the lads again. It was a great night for Diz and the fact that so many of his ex teammates were there shows you how much he was valued in the dressing room.’

DB: It was great to see you in black and white again which leads nicely into my final question. If the opportunity arose, would you ever come back to the club?

PA: ‘It’s a hard one to answer just because you just never know what is around the corner. Since I have left the opportunity hasn’t come back up so the decision has been out of my hands. If I say I would love to play there again it puts unnecessary pressure on the new manager from supporters to try re-sign me which is unfair for everyone. Again at the same time I am really really happy at Newport County and things are going really well for me here at the minute. I am also coaching the u16 academy team too as I start my coaching career although I have no intentions of finishing anytime soon. Never say never though. I loved every second of my time at Grimsby Town and the people of Grimsby made me feel very welcome there and also made my family feel very welcome when they were at games too.’

DB: That’s good to hear, thank you for taking the time to speak to me, it’s been an honour and a privilege.

PA: ‘No problem, thank you.’

I would just like to reiterate how grateful I am to Padraig for taking time out of his busy schedule to talk to us and to wish him all the best for the rest of the season (not too much on Saturday though!)

We’ll be back next week with another instalment of What Became Of The Likely Lads?

Until then, Mariners fans, take care.

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I Don’t Know What It Is, But I Love It

By Alex Ramsden, 19/08/2018

What does it mean to be a Town fan? What feelings does it conjure up inside when you think of Blundell Park and the men in black and white. Here, Alex Ramsden takes a look at football identity and what keeps him coming back for more, even during dark times for The Mariners.

Identity is a funny thing. You are moulded by your hometown, your first memory and your childhood friends. Whether you know that or not, that’s the way it goes.

Football identity is what separates supporters into packs, the black and white army with it’s numerous members from the Pontoon to the Potomac.

I first realised what it means to be a Mariner after witnessing a disgusting 0-0 draw against Cheltenham in early 2010. It was the first time I’d gone to the match with my mates, sixteen years old in the biting chill of a coastal midwinter. It’s probably telling that our relegation year coincided with me being a regular matchgoer for the first time, sorry about that. The sodden trek home after we extended our winless run was one that could make you turn to drink, or at least OD on jaffa cakes in a sugary fix of self-loathing.

I replayed Adam Proudlock’s disallowed goal all night, tossing and turning that my team were terrible and that we were treading water on our proud Football League existence. I recalled the camaraderie, the banter and the larynx shredding vocal acrobatics that had pinged between the Pontoon, with cries of anger and frustration mixed in with the songs about fish and the Yorkies.

I knew then that I wanted to be a part of all that. A piece of my heart would be forever occupied by the starting eleven of Grimsby Town FC, no matter if that included Jude Stirling or not.

Identity is a funny thing, like I said, it was the sense of belonging, of being a player in the game. As Town fans, we were all in it together regardless of class, employment status or intelligence. The minute you set foot into Blundell Park, the world outside of it barely matters and the will to win and power of love engulf the many, not just the few.

Thousands of Grimabarian gobs all gearing up for goals and gluttons for punishment, the swaying mania that sweeps across the seaside air, taking in the Main Stand, the Findus and wafting the stench of burger grease and beer farts up Imperial Avenue is what football identity truly is. For me it is anyway.

I kept praying that Akpa Akpro would come good, that Peter Sweeney could turn on a sixpence, smack a scorcher into the net and celebrate by lifting Mark Hudson in the air like he was the King of Isaac’s Hill. I prayed, I hoped, I believed.

In the end, despite Atkinson’s Barnet bomb and the bleached blonde bonce of Lee Peacock trying everything in their limited powers to keep us in the Football League, we dropped into the bizarre, untested waters of non-league football. The love stayed, I could have walked away, hurt and let down, never to return to the Pontoon again. Of course, I didn’t. That sense of of identity and belonging kept me magnetised to The Mariners. A force far stronger than any deity, one that is as hard to explain as it is hard to walk away from.

For non football folk, they probably think I’m romanticising something that is nothing more than bad language and spilled Bovril. I’m regularly asked ‘Why do I follow Town when it’s inevitable that I’m going to go home disappointed?’ If you have to ask that question, then the answer is going to go straight over your head like the Red Arrows buzzing through the big blue above. The disappointments, the drama and the drudgery are all worth it when you get to go mental when Omar Bogle bags two at Wembley and Nathan Arnold goes round the keeper to send us to heaven. The nail-biting tension and soul searching are rewarded, eventually, rarely, happily by the ecstasy of your side doing the business.

I think back to that sullen, silver-skied afternoon in Cleethorpes and a wave of nostalgia blankets me. I don’t know what it was, but I enjoyed it. A scrappy 0-0 draw in the heart of relegation trouble had somehow seduced me into a love affair I never want to escape.

That is football identity.

Thank you to Alex for this piece, hopefully it has reminded you of what it means for you to be a Town fan and how it makes you feel when you pass through the Blundell Park gates.

Later on this week, we’ll have our first interview on Written In Black And White as we speak to a former Mariners striker.

Until then, Mariners fans, take care.

What Became Of The Likely Lads? #1: Glen Downey

Welcome to the first in a new regular series looking back at some of the more obscure names who have represented The Mariners over the years.

Our first entry into the series looks at a player so obscure, there isn’t even a photo of him on Google image search.

Sometimes football throws up it’s own JFK moment, ask any Manchester United fan and they’ll be able to tell you where they were when United won the Champions League in 1999 just in the same way that Arsenal supporters can tell you their exact location when Michael Thomas netted his winning goal at Anfield in 1989.

For a handful of Town supporters, December 31st 2005 is one of many memorable dates as this was the day the invisible man momentarily stepped out of the shadows and headed home a dramatic winning goal. Hands up now, who can actually say they were there when Glen Downey scored for Grimsby Town?

Downey, a centre-half by trade, had started his career in 1997 with Hartlepool United but had failed to make a senior appearance in his time with the club and spent prolonged periods of time on loan with non-league clubs local to the North East, notably Bishop Auckland and Gateshead.

After a spell in Ireland with Shelbourne and Newry City, Downey returned to the North East of England, turning out for Spennymoor United in the 2002-2003 season.

Following his time at Spennymoor, Downey found himself signing for Scarborough under the stewardship of Russell Slade but found first team appearances limited as he struggled to make an impact.

After Slade made the move down the coast to Cleethorpes, many were surprised when Downey followed Grimsby’s new manager. Rumours began to abound that Slade was a family friend of Downey’s parents with further whispers claiming that Downey’s father was making a substantial contribution to his wages.

The centre-half would spend his time with The Mariners mainly as a squad player, acting as cover for first team regulars Simon Ramsden, Rob Jones, Tony Crane and veteran Justin Whittle. A rare first team appearance came on the final day of the 2004/2005 campaign in a 4-1 away win at Kidderminster Harriers.

Downey was rewarded with a new contract for the 2005-2006 season and struggled to see any first team action until New Year’s Eve of 2005 when an injury crisis took hold.

Already blighted by absentees and a goal down, Rob Jones went off injured and was replaced by Martin Gritton whilst Simon Ramsden, himself making a rare appearance, also succumbed to an early second half injury and was replaced by Downey as Russell Slade had to think on his feet and shuffle his defensive pack.

As time ticked on, Town were looking to improve on their position after Michael Reddy had dragged them level in riposte to Mark Jones’ first half goal for the home side.

With six minutes to go, Tom Newey launched a free kick into the penalty area. The ball was headed goalwards by none other than Downey and nestled in the back of the Wrexham net. The unlikeliest of unlikely heroes had been born, Glen Downey had scored the winning goal to keep Town’s promotion push alive.

Unfortunately, that would be it as far as high spots in Downey’s Grimsby Town career, at the end of the 05-06 campaign following the Play-Off Final defeat to Cheltenham Town, Downey was released from the club at the end of his contract.

Downey found himself at Worksop Town at the beginning of the 2006-2007 season but only made a handful of appearances, after his time at Worksop came to an end he never played competitive football again.

After his career had ended, Downey moved back to his native North East and found himself in a spot of bother after he was accused of money laundering and running a brothel in Sunderland.

After he was cleared of the charges in 2009, Downey went into business with his brother and now runs a chain of successful fish and chip shops along the Wearside coast with his brother Gareth, also a former non-league footballer.

This was literally the only photo containing Glen Downey I could find on Google image search.

I hope you have enjoyed our brief look back at one of the many obscure Mariners from down the years. Who is your favourite forgotten Town player? Let us know on Twitter where we can be found @writteninBaW.

Until next time Mariners fans, take care.

A New Viking Invasion?

By Jostein Jensen, 06/08/2018

It’s time for something a little bit different now as Norwegian Mariner Jostein Jensen explores tbe link between Grimsby and the Scandinavian countries. In addition to this we also take a look at some of the Scandinavian players who have graced the Blundell Park pitch in the famous black and white.

There wouldn’t be a town called ‘Grimsby’ without the Danes and indeed you may not have existed if the Vikings hadn’t paid a ‘visit’ in the 9th century.

Scandinavia with tbeir Vikings for sure have had a long history in Grimsby. It’s now time for a history lesson on ‘Written In Black And White’.

While most Grimbarians think that the Danes were Danish people, it isn’t that easy. The myths tell of ‘Havelock the Dane’ who was saved by a fisherman named ‘Grim’ but the term ‘Dane’ is a wide notion. Archaeology professor Dagfinn Skre from the University in Oslo, Norway, explains it like this.

The concept of Danes come from a long time before we can speak about stable Scandinavian countries. We don’t know which parts of Scandinavia they came from. Even though they’re being spoken about as Danes it must be understood as a common term for Scandinavians. They are most likely to have been from the South and West of Scandinavia’

It is not easy to divide nationalities between the Vikings in England and Ireland. That is due to the fact that the first nationalities didn’t exist before the 900s, until then we identify more by names of regions. Secondly do all English sources refer to Vikings as Danes regardless of where they are from. For example, do they refer to the settlers who landed at Portland in Dorset in 788 as Danes despite the fact they landed from Hordeland in Norway. This is a common phenomenon, Englishmen knew about Danes from a time before the Vikings. When others came across the North Sea and behaved and talked in a similar manner there was no use in giving them a new designation.’

You can safely count on the fact that the largest armies were composed from several places but where the army that founded Grimsby came from is something that nobody knows.’

Nobody knows says Mr. Professor but as the founder of GTFC’s Norwegian fan website I can add some random name stats.

There are 122 people in Norway with the name Grim.

1572 people have the surname Grimstad in Norway.

116 people actually have Grimsby as their surname in Norway.

I know about several places in Norway that are named Grimsby or something similar, check out http://grimsbynorge.com/?p=5202

(By the way, you will not find anything like this in Denmark, not one single person has the surname Grimsby)

So whilst the Vikings may have been brutal, maybe a slightly more peaceful Scandinavian invasion will take place soon. Michael Jolley is believed to be bringing in at least one player from the Swedish league.

Jolley himself admitted this during a conversation with some visiting Scandinavian fans in the boardroom following the win over Chesterfield last season. The only problem is that the Swedish season goes from Spring to Autumn meaning that his targets will only be out of contract during the January transfer window.

Former Scandi Links

There is a history of other Scandinavian players previously playing for the club, let’s take a walk down memory lane and look at former ‘Danes’ in Grimsby.

The first was Denmark’s Edvin Hansen during the 1946/47 season. Hansen, formerly of Køge played six matches for Grimsby Town and became the club’s third foreign signing (behind German Max Seeburg and Kansas-born Billy Andrews).

The Danish federation allowed Hansen to play as an amateur in some games for Grimsby and made the journey over on 30th November 1946 along with Køge manager Alf Young. During his six week stay, Edvin played in six games with five coming in the reserve team, scoring one goal.

As he had retained his amateur status, Edvin was still allowed to represent his country during the 1948 Olympic Games where he helped Denmark win the Bronze Medal, defeating Great Britain 5-3 in London.

Edvin Hansen passed away in 1990, aged 70 years old.

To get to our next example, we take a giant leap to the advent of the ITV Digital era as several foreigners came to the club under Lennie Lawrence’s management, between a Dutch villain and a Chinese cult hero we got David Nielsen from Denmark and Norwegian Knut Anders Fostervold. Later, under Paul Groves’ stewardship we also managed to get Swede Martin Pringle in as well.

David Jean Nielsen was the first, coming from FC Kobenhavn who were managed by Roy Hodgson at the time, a friend of Mariners boss Lennie Lawrence.

The powerful striker had previously been a regular for the Danish giants but wasn’t playing regularly under Hodgson.

A loan deal with Grimsby Town was sorted but Nielsen thought he could have played for a better club. In his 2008 autobiography ‘Sorte Svin’ he wrote;

It was a bit down the ladder from what I expected but at the same time it was a small club where I was promised a lot plqying time’.

Nielsen got off to a great start, netting seven goals in his first eight appearances and earning the nickname ‘Messiah’ from the Blundell Park faithful.

However, the forward had a lot of gambling debt that he had got Kobenhavn to cover up but by now the club had decided they wanted their one million Danish krone back.

Pleased with his start for the club, Grimsby wanted to sign Nielsen and wanted to organise a 2.2 million DKK deal (roughly £200,000).

An agent came over from Denmark to sort out the details but it became clear that Kobenhavn wanted one million DKK from Nielsen’s signing on fee to recover his gambling debt.

Grimsby offered Nielsen 40,000 DKK a week, which at the time was the equivalent of around £3200 a week in addition to bonuses and a 1.5 million DKK signing on fee (around £120,000). The total package would have made him one of the club’s most expensive players ever.

Negotiations carried on for weeks with Kobenhavn wanting a split deal to help repay Nielsen’s debt. 500,000 DKK from the transfer along with the same amount from the signing on fee would have been taken by the club but Nielsen said no to the proposal and travelled back to Denmark.

The Danish media had the time of their lives and wrote page after page about the story, Never has there been so many stories about Grimsby Town in the Danish press.

Following a vacation to Portugal, a deal was arranged to take Nielsen to Wimbledon.

(Whilst he was playing for Grimsby, Nielsen’s wife stayed at home as she was pregnant with their son Noah Jean Holm who is now very talented and playing for German side RB Leipzig.)

Knut Anders Fostervold wasn’t the player Lennie Lawrence had in mind when he travelled to Bergen for the match between Brann and Molde on October 22nd 2000. He wFossias looking for a striker, although as Brann’s frontmen Azar Karadaz and Thorstein Helstad both scored twice it became clear that those two players would be a bit expensive. Molde strikers Andre Schei Lindbaek and Bernd Hulsker may have also been on the shopping list but it was Molde’s left-back Fostervold that impressed.

Fossi was 29 at the time and had been mentioned as a candidate for the Norwegian World Cup squad in 1998 but by now his knees were starting to feel it. Perhaps extending a long Norwegian season with a loan wasn’t the smartest idea, but the money was good.

Norwegian channel TV2 was the first to break the news, possibly due to Knut Anders’ sister Guro being a well known sports host at the channel.

Grimsby wanted to sign the Norwegian straight away but Molde demanded five million Norwegian krone (£375,000), the board felt the price was a bit too high and started off with a loan deal while negotiations continued.

Fostervold played ten games for the club and despite Grimsby’s hope of making a permanent transfer, a fee was never agreed on.

Knut Anders is probably now best remembered for this theatrical dive in 1999

After his football career ended, he made a radical career change, participating in the UCI Road Cycling World Championship in 2006 and 2007 in the individual time trial.

Swede Martin Pringle joined Town on loan in 2002 but would only play two matches for the club before Stockport’s Dave Challinor ended his career with a horror challenge that broke his foot in two places.

It was unlucky for Pringle as he had been impressive in his short time at the club alongside fellow Charlton Athletic loanee Andy Todd.

Earlier in his career, Martin had also played for Benfica, competing for the main striker role with Brian Deane, Nuno Gomes and joao Pinto, in addition to this he also earned two caps for Sweden.

Nowadays, Pringle works in coaching and is currently manager of Eskilaminne in Swedish women’s football and previously assistant to Roland Nilsson at FC Kobenhavn in 2011.

Pringle will always be a hero for Grimsby, it was just so sad that a fantastic career ended in an unfortunate manner.

A big thank you to Jostein for this article, I hope you found it as interesting as I did.

Head on over to @writteninBaW on Twitter to find out how you can take part in our new prediction league as well as keeping in touch for new content from the site.

Until next time, Mariners fans, take care.

Saturday Afternoon

By Dan Barker, 03/08/2018

Inspired by the rousing poem ‘Let Us Be One’ by Gordon Wilson, who we hope will one day contribute to Written In Black And White, our Editor and head writer Dan has let his creative juices flow and written some poetry of his own.

As we anticipate the beginning of the new season, Dan’s first effort encapsulates the feelings and emotion attached to passing through the Blundell Park gates and watching Town in action.

‘Have you got your ticket?’ Mum shouts as I bolt out through the door

It’s Saturday afternoon, of course I have, thrills lay ahead in store

As I make the short trip down Grimsby Road, I think of the Blundell roar

I just can’t wait to hear the sound that greets us every time we score

Sing when we’re fishing, we sing proud and true

Up The Mariners, this town knows, we dream black and white for you

As three approaches we await the gladiators to emerge

Nervous defenders glance at attackers, soon to be their scourge

It’s here, we’re underway, at last the game is on

‘We’ll hammer these’ I loudly say ‘They’ll be lucky to get one’

As the game goes on, we’re in control, bossing all the play

Until disaster, oh no! and much to our dismay

Our optimism evaporates, it appears all hope is gone

Catastrophe, we’re losing, we’re down by nil to one

At half time we conduct our inquest, as the smell of Bovril fills the air

‘They’re cheating and the ref’s against us, it really is unfair’

As play recommences, to score a goal we must

Restore our hope, give back our faith just please repay our trust

The noise begins to waiver, as heads begin to fall

Whack! It’s a goal, we’re equal

The score is now one all

We’re on our way to glory now, of this I am so sure

Nothing now will stop us, I know we’re going to score

We’re on the up, in the ascendancy, we’re really on a roll

As Town become relentless in their hunt for a winning goal

A cross comes in and for an age the ball hangs in the air

Our centre forward meets it, it’s in, bloody well get in there!

The relief is palpable, feels like we’ve won the cup

Three points are safely in the bag, the only way is up

In the pub we toast our victory as a friend hands me a glass

We pore over the action, that tackle, that cross, that pass

We hear results of rivals, to which we turn the other cheek

There’s no substitute for this feeling, I’ll definietly be back next week

Thank you for taking the time to read our poetic interlude, I hope you’ve enjoyed it. Enjoy tomorrow’s game and hopefully we’ll be toasting a victory this time tomorrow.

Remember that contributions are more than welcome, if you would like to write for the page then drop us a DM on Twitter and we’ll get something organised. We can be found @writteninBaW

Until next time, Mariners fans, take care.

Let’s Get Ready To Rumble!!

By Ben Curry, 01/08/2018

It’s finally here!! After an (almost) glorious World Cup and a long, hot Summer, the time has come once again for Grimsby Town to start their assault on League Two glory. To whet your appetite for the new campaign just a little bit more, please enjoy Ben Curry’s preview of Saturday’s 2018-19 curtain raiser against Forest Green Rovers.

Well it’s starting to feel like Christmas Eve to me as the excitement of the impending season is getting too much to bear! After the disappointment (to put it mildly!) of most of last season I, along with many Town supporters, go into this season with, dare I say it, hope thanks to Michael Jolley re-igniting the passion and love for the club over the last few months. After some promising signings and encouraging performances in pre-season, I’m sure that I am not alone in saying Up The Mariners!

That isn’t to say that I’m expecting promotion as we have a young squad and this being Jolley’s first full season as manager, I just want to see a damn sight more football being played on the ground and players that look like they want to play for the club, if we achieve this then I would be happy sitting in mid-table at the end of the season.

So to the first match of the season and Forest Green Rovers. The veggies are coming to town and will be hoping for an improved season like us. To do this they will need to keep hold of main striker Christian Doidge who has attracted plenty of interest from Championship clubs as well as sides from the Scottish Premier League. Whilst I’m doubtful they’ll be playing league football next season, that doesn’t mean they’ll be an easy three points, let’s hope for a repeat of the final day of last season.

In Demand: Forest Green striker Christian Doidge has attracted plenty of higher level interest this Summer.

As for Town, I think we’ll play in the same 3-5-2 formation as seen below. During pre-season it has been noted how we have liked to play out from the back and I’ve been impressed with John Welsh, who could quite easily still be playing in the Championship. He loves a tackle and likes to play simple passes to get us moving forward when he receives the ball in midfield.

Jake Hessenthaler has brought some much needed energy into the midfield as a true box-to-box player, like many I was looking forward to seeing how he links up with Elliot Whitehouse, but the former Lincoln man will be lucky to play any part of this campaign following his serious knee ligament damage suffered in pre-season.

I’m hoping that the first game will give Charles Vernam the opportunity to hit the ground running and get on the scoresheet, personally I’m looking forward to seeing the striker play for us again after his promising loan spell was cut short by a knee injury.

Back In Black (And White): Striker Charles Vernam will be eager to get on the scoresheet for Town following his return to the club from Derby County.

I hope to see between 5 and 6,000 Town fans turn out for Saturday’s game all in good voice, getting behind the team to give us the perfect start. When BP is rocking there is no place like it, the fans really know how to get behind a team that reflects the local community and it’s values which is something Michael Jolley has brought back to the club.

#UTM

Thanks for taking the time to read our preview for Saturday’s game, hopefully Michael and the boys can dothe job and get three points on the board. If you would like to submit a review of the game or anything you would like to say on the topic of Grimsby Town then please get in touch. The best way to do so is on our Twitter page, which can be found @writteninBaW.

Until next time, Mariners fans, take care.

Welcome To Written In Black And White

By Dan Barker, 30/07/2018

Hello and welcome to Written In Black And White, a new platform for Grimsby Town fans to air their views and opinions on all things Mariners related.

This is very much YOUR site so if you have anything you would like to say on the current squad, match previews and reviews, an ode to your favourite player or cult hero, a piece on your favourite kit from the past, memories of your first game or a trip back in time to relive your favourite Mariners victory then please get in touch, contributions are always welcome.

The best way to get in touch with the site is by following our Twitter account, which can be found @writteninBaW. Send us a DM with any ideas for contributions and we’ll get back to you to arrange your piece getting published on the site.

Hopefully plenty of you can get behind the site and we look forward to receiving and publishing your contributions.

Most importantly, let’s get behind Michael and the boys this season.

#UTM