A rallying call to Town fans

Cod Almighty | Article

by Matt Quinton

13 April 2018

As the Mariners prepare for their biggest game in seven days, Matt reaches to Shakespeare for inspiration

I have loved Town since I first went to see them in 1978 against Swansea. John Toshack had just become their youngest manager. I was 12 and was taken by a girl, who had been our baby sitter. We won 2-1 and I was hooked! Stood behind the goal in the Pontoon Stand, I watched Town play a certain way, on the floor, with a passing game that I have always thought was the best way to play (no hoof ball), including my days in teams. I’ve been through the good days (top 3 in the championship in 1998-99, before finishing 11th) to crying at getting back into the League last season, but one.

Now we find ourselves on the verge on dropping out again, but I can't think in such negative terms. Throughout the season, no matter what the result, I have believed we can turn it around. That Slade is gone makes it even more realistic that we can be positive. I love GTFC no matter what.

I have found it hard these last few months and have taken to the Bard to find solace in the darkest days. With the light dwindling on this season, I refuse to "go gentle" as Dylan purports. I have edited a version of the Bard's Henry V rallying cry at the battle of Agincourt. Here the odds were against them, but this stirring call girded the men for the days ahead.

Please fans/supporters of GTFC, do not go gently. Barnet is another step towards safety, so if we can keep the improvement going, in all areas, it will only help our future causes. So here’s my contribution...

Once more unto the breach, dear Town, once more;
Or listen to the mighty Mariners fans roar with dread.
On non-match days there's nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility:
But when the first blast of whistle blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger;
Stiffen your sinews, summon up the blood,
Disguise fair nature with hard-favoured rage;
Then lend your eye a terrible aspect;
Let it pry through the portage of the head
Like the brass cannon; let your brow overwhelm it
As fearfully as doth a galled rock
Overhang and jut the confounded base,
Forehead swilled with the wild and wasteful ocean.
Now set the teeth and stretch the nostrils wide,
Hold hard the breath and bend up every spirit
To his full height. On, on, you noblest Mariners.
Whose blood is brought from fathers of war-proof!
Fathers that, like so many Disleys,
Have in these parts from morn till even fought
And hide their skills for lack of argument:
Dishonour not your mothers; now attest
That those whom you called fathers did raise you.
Be like now to men of Grimsby past,
And teach them how to play. And you, good Mariners,
Whose limbs were made for football, show us here
The mettle of your field; let us swear
That you are worth your breeding; which I doubt not;
For there is none of you so mean and instinctive,
That hath not noble lustre in your eyes.
I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
Straining upon the start. The game's afoot:
Follow your spirit, and upon this charge
Cry 'God for MJ, Grimsby, and The Mighty Mariners!'

The front page image is a cropped version of “Walton Henry V Michael Sheen Naxos”, by iClassical Com. It is licensed under CC BY 2.0.