The Diary

Cod Almighty | Diary

It doesn't look much like a park to me

19 April 2017

Russell Slade has announced that he will decide which players he likes by watching them play. The baseball cap-bothering manager, who rejoined GTFC with just five games remaining of the current season, controversially declares in today's Grimsby Telegraph that he will look at his squad in matches and training and have a bit of a think, then presumably offer some of them new contracts while releasing others and possibly even bringing in some new ones. "I tell you who I blame, John – the Frenchman!" said Slade, about ten years ago in a completely unrelated incident that we'll never get bored of referring back to.

It's all a bit weird, isn't it, this? I don't know about the rest of you, but your original/regular Diary still can't be quite sure that the Return of Russ won't all turn out to be some sort of peculiar dream, possibly after he sprouts a pair of angel wings and recites passages from Tennyson in between urging my auntie Linda to visit the Isle of Wight and waving a jigsaw.

With a Grimbarian stepping out at the Crucible, mind you, it could almost be the 1990s, never mind the 2000s. In case you missed it, Stuart Carrington's sparkling first-round cameo drew broad grins from Town fans in particular as 'Up the Mariners' boomed out across the arena on the player's entrance to each session. He may not have progressed in the tournament this time, but our Stu has already etched himself a place alongside Edmonds, Hallett et al in Grimbarian snookering history.

Carrington's choice of entrance music has provoked another small Twitter debate, meanwhile, about when and how GTFC have used the song in the past and perhaps ought to in future. As fond as I am of the original, I can't help feeling some sort of updated, upbeat new version might be just the thing to get Town fans in the mood for the crucial stages of the 2017–18 promotion season. Lloyd Griffith is already rumoured to be among the front runners to lead a new 'Vindaloo'-style vocal take in the bridge.

And finally today, on this day, it seems to be 19 years to the day, today, when Wayne Burnett somehow touched his trailing instep to a corner ball he already seemed to have run past, tapping it beyond Jimmy Glass and sending the still indeterminate number of Mariners fans in attendance in north-west London into something approaching euphoria. What are your memories of that delightful episode, readers? I was still drunk when I went to band practice the next day and ended up improvising a song about the building of Peaks Parkway over the route of the East Lincolnshire Railway. Bye, see you next time!