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Cod Almighty | Other stuff


What is Cod Almighty?

Cod Almighty is a long-established independent digital fanzine about Grimsby Town FC, sometimes about the culture and history of the Grimsby area, and occasionally about football more widely. Our website carries features, match reports, a daily Diary, a comic strip, emails from readers, and other material. We also have a presence on Twitter and (sporadically) Facebook.

Behind the scenes Cod Almighty is an informal non-profit collective, composed of a small editorial team and a wider network of contributors. Broadly speaking, we like Alan Buckley, supporter ownership, a good atmosphere, proper stripes, floodlights, social inclusiveness, chips, Sensible World of Soccer, and having a pint with the other team's fans. We dislike Shaun Harvey, futsal, reflexive pronoun abuse, the Daily Mail, the Premier League, blue drinks, and shouty blokes who like smacking people round the chops.

What isn't Cod Almighty?

We are not a 'voice of the fans' campaign group and we've never claimed to represent Town supporters as a whole (that's what the Mariners Trust is for). The articles that appear on this website represent the views of individual contributors rather than CA as a whole. While you may come across a lot of strong opinions here, we don't take an official 'party line' on anything, although our Twitter account expresses an approximately collective view on some issues.

Cod Almighty is not a vehicle for 'sponsored content' or paid advertising of any kind. You've probably spotted that already; it's quite readily apparent. So it's surprising how many PR types still offer us wads of cash to publish some promotional dreck they're trying to place for a client. You should see some of the replies Rich sends to them.

Who is Cod Almighty for?

It's for Town fans of all ages, and supporters of other clubs. We don't just say that – we try and shape the content accordingly.

Imagine a reference to Bobby Cumming, for example, which assumes the reader already knows (a) who Bobby Cumming was; and (b) that he carried a hard-man reputation. This will not make sense to readers who are too young to remember him or don't support Grimsby. We know most readers will get it without further explanation – but we'll include some further explanation for those who won't. In other words, we write and edit the content here on the basis that its readers will have minimal background knowledge, in order to make it as widely accessible as possible.

That said, we don't patronise our readers by asterisking out swear words, so some of the material here may not be suitable for young children. They've probably heard worse in the Pontoon, mind.

Nor do we patronise our readers by assuming they only want to read pundit clichés or sub-tabloid grunting. So you might come across some Big Words. There might even be a Big Thought here and there. But we reckon you can deal with it.

Why is Cod Almighty?

"Grimsby Town turned professional in 1890 with their first League game coming as founder members of Division Two in 1892 with a 2-1 victory over Forthwith Victoria" – grimsbytown-mad.co.uk, early 21st century

In the late 1990s a small raggle-taggle band of misfit Town fans based in various cities and towns started meeting up for matches and gigs. Within a couple of years they had established a steady routine of watching GTFC lose an away game, sitting down for a few pints, and mulling over the shortcomings of Knut Anders Fostervold and this new worldwide web that everyone was talking about.

This digital media revolution was all very exciting, they agreed, but a lot of the new stuff appearing as the web took off was just not very good. When one GTFC site put up a history of the club which had apparently been run through a spellchecker, changing 'Northwich' to 'Forthwith', and its publisher didn't care two hoots, it tipped them over the edge.

The group set out to create a site which would combine the immediacy of the web with the tradition of intelligent, high-quality writing about the Mariners that was embodied in the old print zine Sing When We're Fishing. It would avoid duplicating the style or content of other websites. And it would be free from advertising, and not use sponsors' names, so as to maintain editorial integrity and a better experience for readers, and to demonstrate that it was still possible to make nice things for love, not money.

What happened next?

Cod Almighty was launched in the autumn of 2002. Some people liked us and some people didn't, which was pretty much what we expected.

We did a thing called Fans' Day in the 2002-03 season, which raised more than £2,000 for the club. We won some WSC Web Awards. We contributed to the match programme, the Grimsby Telegraph and Radio Humberside. We got the Grimsby Reaper mentioned on Danny Baker's show on Radio 5 Live. We went on the telly to talk about the T-shirts we were selling to pay for the site, to read a poem about the 2006 play-off final against Cheltenham Town, and to plug our highly acclaimed book We Are Town: Writing by Grimsby Fans 1970-2002, published by the Mariners Trust in November 2015. We worked with the trust again in 2016 to stage Can You Hear The Grimsby Sing? – an evening of words and music celebrating our town's football club, community and culture.

Both the design of the site and the make-up of the team have changed a fair bit since the site was launched. Desktop screens have got bigger and mobile phones became a thing; and people have had children, been poorly, moved to the other side of the world, and got proper jobs where they actually have to do some work. We've managed to keep Cod Almighty going but we're absolutely knackered.

Can I write something for you to publish?

Yes. We're a fanzine: that's how it works. Make it half decent though, eh? Please see our contributors' guidelines for information.

Can I take something you've published and use it on my site without asking your permission?

No. The rights to everything published here remain with the authors. Please get in touch to let us know what you want, and we will ask the author on your behalf.

Can you write something for my site/do a Q&A for my blog/put someone up to go on the radio/that sort of thing?

Probably. Drop us a line and we'll see.

Can I buy you all a pint for being such good eggs?

Definitely. Our non-profit principles do not cover gifts of beer from readers. Please come and meet us in the Rutland before the match.