The Diary

Cod Almighty | Diary

Next to a Town fan with a grievance, an elephant is a goldfish

30 March 2017

If you want entertainment, try our latest feature. If you want common sense, you'll find goalkeeping coach Andy Warrington talking to the Telegraph about the progress of YTS stopper Oakley Heath-Drury. Brave the fan who in years to come, after a penalty save, starts up a chant with "Give us an O..."

Warrington is also to be found speculating that Dan Jones, recently returned from Fylde, could feature in the first team soon. Not at left-back, naturally, but in midfield. Some will call it Bignotry. Middle-Aged Diary prefers to call it the Reverse Jobling.

The rest of this diary is over to you. Two weeks ago we asked you to populate our definitive list of Grimsby hate figures – people never employed by the Mariners who have proved to our satisfaction that they have it in for us. We started with Carl Boyeson, Dave Challinor-Boo and Tranmere Rovers fans; Trentside Diary's civilised precept that you shouldn't condemn the majority for the actions of a few applies when a club's existence is threatened, but not when we are parading petty prejudices.

To add to those...

Joel Wheatley picks off some low-hanging fruit. I hang my head in shame that Matt Rhead, Jon Parkin and Steve Evans didn't feature when I launched the topic. Does Rhead earn a reprieve for showing up Joey Barton though? 

That you have to go to Qatar to hear the unreconstructed views of Andy Gray nowadays is no great loss. Even before he was a hired rent-a-gob, he had plenty of offensive remarks to make. Sarah Mann-Needs recalls his reaction when Town drew his Wolves in the fifth round of the League Cup in 1979 (Town fans have a long memory for grudges): this was our cup final, apparently, and we wouldn't be going any further. Whatever you are doing at 3:00pm today, just stop and will it that Kevin Moore's header was an inch lower; collectively we can rewrite history.

Does anyone remember the referee David Elleray? Ian Jackson certainly does: "I was at Notts County away in 1992. Elleray seemed to only have one thing on his mind. Making sure Town got a pasting from him. I remember Buckley FUMING about the way the Harrow housemaster had spoken to him pre-match." Six Town players were booked and Notts County were awarded a contentious penalty in a game they won through a Gary Lund goal. Elleray also sent off Graham Rodger and Rhys Willmot. And therein lies Elleray's mitigation; without him, we'd not have had Dave Beasant between the sticks at Newcastle.

No-one really likes Jamie Vardy, do they? He's one of those figures (Alan Shearer was another) who the media coat in Teflon but who most fans see right through. Still, as Rich Lord reminds us, we have more cause to hate him than most:

I still fume about Jamie Vardy on a daily basis. I remember how he dived to win a late penalty that won Fleetwood a tight game back in 2011-12. I've seen many players cheat to win penalties against us, but for some reason that one sticks out. I think it's because he was their star player and we kept him quiet all game. He couldn't get the better of us, so he resorted to cheating.

I've seen him dive and cheat over the years on TV as he's progressed up the leagues. I don't for one minute deny that he's a very good player and his story is quite remarkable, but just because he's won the Premier League and scored for England it doesn't mean he's suddenly not a dirty little cheating twat.

Talking of Alan Shearer, he was one of the names suggested when this theme was being kicked around on Twitter. Others were Alan Ball, Alan Biley, Gary Bennett, George O'Reilly and Graeme Crawford, who Barry Whittleton recalls as responsible for 1970s defeats when he kept goal for York and Scunthorpe in the 1970s. Another obvious miss is Ross Joyce, the man who took charge of the 2015 play-off final and didn't want to spoil a game so he ruined a season instead.

Have we exhausted this theme, or are there more...?