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Diary - Wednesday 8 November 2006

8 November 2006

Grimsby Town Football Club's annual manager hunt involves several ritual procedures by all those involved. The chief of the clan initiates the ceremony by reciting traditional folk wisdoms concerning the need to appoint the right candidate and the number of high-quality applications already received. The followers then begin a formal invocation by continuously chanting the mantra "Buck-ley-Wil-kinson-Cock-e-rill... Buck-ley-Wil-kinson-Cock-e-rill... Buck-ley-Wil-kinson-Cock-e-rill... Buck-ley-Wil-kinson-Cock-e-rill-FORD!" The Diary then starts a massive fire, draws marks across his face in lipstick and runs around the local park stark bollock naked.

Town's directors were meeting last night to carry the rite to its next stage. Positive John has told Radio Humberside that one candidate stands out Herbal Essences above the rest, and the name of Alan Buckley is featuring more loudly than usual in the current round of incantation. If this should prove to have been significant when the vacancy is filled, it will surely beg the question of why, if Positive John dumped Graham Rodger because the fans didn't like him, he went on to appoint a manager who - despite, or perhaps because of, his record as the most successful in the club's 128-year history - is utterly despised by a sizeable proportion of local supporters. Still, it was the chairman who, shortly before appointing Rodger five months ago, said: "I'm sure the fans will be happy with the choice." Sorry - head and shoulders.

The yoof were knocked out of the FA Yoof Cup last night by their counterparts from Huddersfield. Booo, Woodses out! The only goal came after 80 minutes in which Town's callow blooms seemed to have a slight edge over their opponents, according to the account given on the official website, which is fairly decent but towards the end reverts to capping up random words (Assistant Referee!) and reports that Andy Taylor had a "foot race" against the Terriers' keeper. This is perhaps a kind of reverse echo from a future age when one of Sepp Blatter's ideas is finally put into practice and youth football introduces 200cc motorbikes in a bid to boost attendances.

Ray Davies may have been a lover not a fighter, but Curtis Woodhouse is a fighter not a creative midfield dynamo. The former Town, Peterborough, Birmingham, Sheffield United and King$ton Communication$ FC player was known to be partial to the odd barney even before he swapped the pitch for the ring, and his fledgling pugilistic career has now been dealt what is hopefully not a knockout blow by Bridlington magistrates who yesterday found him guilty of assaulting a police officer and using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour. The charges related to an incident that took place on 30 April - during the decisive period of the Mariners' unsuccessful bid for automatic promotion last season - and the sentence will be passed on 15 November after reports are received by the judge. Mr Woodhouse is also believed to be built for speed.

"The infamous petrol station on the A180 must have a midlands adjunct, for that is where most of our successful managers come from. Well, Buckley anyway." Thus begins an email from Cod Almighty's match reporter come hell or high water, Mr Tony Butcher, who offers what is presumably a unique perspective on the current vacancy at Blundell Park. "My friend Jackie, who supports Arsenal, took her daughter and friend to Nottingham to see McFly in HMV. They couldn't get in, so she took them for a meal in TGI's. That's her daughter and friend, not McFly. At the next table was Nigel Clough and family. When not asked about the Grimsby job he didn't say he was going to take over from Graham Rodger, but he absolutely did not tell Jackie that he wasn't." And Alan Buckley wasn't even in TGI's to deny it - so there it is in black and white (with girly white socks): Clough as manager, Buckley as director of communications.

That's all from yer regular Diary this week, as I have an important interview to attend tomorrow.