Think of a number!

Cod Almighty | Article

by Pete Green

2 July 2018

Giddy fans expect immediate success after Jolley's squad numbering masterstroke

Michael Jolley thinking of numbers

GRIMSBY TOWN fans have hailed the announcement of the players' squad numbers for the 2018-19 season as proof of Michael Jolley's all-conquering genius.

Responding with unprecedented excitement to the allocation of worn numerical identifiers to each member of the on-field staff, many supporters have concluded that the Mariners will secure promotion in approximately mid-January.

Season ticket holder Jason Dietrich paid enthusiastic tribute to the talents of the manager, saying: "He's basically issued a list of all the players in his squad, with numbers next to their names. It's incredible really. The man's a legend."

Fellow fan Martin Markle added: "Everything Jolley does is class – the interviews, the visits to poorly children, the way he wears a tie. And look at these squad numbers. Total quality. Hashtag promotion train choo-choo.

"Basically I want his babies."


Some Mariners supporters singled out instances of Jolley's decision to assign a particular number to a certain player as further proof of his infallible football brain.

"The fact that Jolley has given John Welsh the number 4 shirt speaks volumes about his ultra-professional approach to the game," said Upper Findus regular Hayley Cumberbatch.

"You wouldn't see John Askey allocate a number 4 shirt like that. I'm so confident of promotion that I've bought nine season tickets."

You wouldn't see John Askey allocate a number 4 shirt like that

And other fans contrasted Jolley's inspirational distribution of digits with the dour approach to squad numbering taken by his predecessors.

Town fanatic Kayden Newton-John said: "If you looked at the defensive way Paul Hurst assigned the squad numbers, you just knew he was going to destroy the club.

"But there you go, that's Yorkies for you. Thank God that nightmare is over and we now have Michael Jolley."


A local expert has attributed Town fans' outbreak of extreme Jolley-worship to a phenomenon known as confirmation bias – the tendency to seek and interpret information in a way that appears to confirm one's pre-existing beliefs.

Professor Hermione Beckham of the University of Immingham said: "Confirmation bias explains why Michael Jolley can barely scratch his arse at the moment without some Grimsby Town fans citing it as proof of his supernaturally mighty genius.

"Take the fact that Mitch Rose was allowed to leave pre-season training to watch his brother at the World Cup. This was hailed by some as evidence of Jolley's awesome man-management skills, while in reality it shows merely that he is quite a nice bloke."

But some fans queueing outside the club shop for season tickets insisted they weren't getting carried away.

"We have to be realistic," admitted Ian Blessed, a Town fan for 38 years.

"After last season's brush with relegation, and the instability created by the quickfire dismissals of Marcus Bignot and Russell Slade, I'll settle for a top-half finish next season and a tilt at the play-offs in 2020. Hang on, was that his car? That's him! That's Jolley! Oh my God did you see the way he reverse-parked? We're going up as fucking champions."