The Diary

Cod Almighty | Diary

Death, taxes, and John Tondeur

28 November 2019

We are all Town. In some respects.

Middle-Aged Diary would doubt the credentials of anyone who doesn't have that keening, hopeless, homesick longing - hiraeth if you are Welsh, saudade if you are Portuguese - to see play the great striker they heard about as children but were too young to properly appreciate. In my case, that is Matt Tees, but for you it might be Kevin Drinkell or Clive Mendonca. Perhaps by now - I am getting old - even Gary Jones or Liam Hearn.

I might not doubt the credentials but I would certainly question the soundness of mind of the Town fan who does not want Alan Buckley dispensing footballing wisdom to the people who make decisions at Blundell Park. There was a frisson of excitement the other day when the great man agreed he'd accept a role as director of football. Admittedly I have no idea what a director of football actually does, but get him in. Now. Any manager who does not want to work with him is just not right for Grimsby Town.

Then, for the great moments that will one day come again, we all want to be able to say "I was there", whether it is at Blundell Park, Wembley or a wet, open terrace at Roots Hall. There is no substitute for that, but when, afterwards, we replay that moment over and again, there is only one person who can provide the commentary: John Tondeur.

On a quiet news day, there is a great temptation for a diarist to have their own say on an issue already much chewed over by my colleagues. I'll resist, except to point you to Tondeur's authoritative Twitter thread on the Michael Jolley tape, and to say that it leaves the boards of both the club and the Mariners Trust with important questions to answer.

The club is offering the chance to have displayed on the scoreboard the names of Town fans who have died in 2019, during the last home game of the year against Crawley. It is a welcome gesture, for another thing that unites us is that we all imagine, when our time comes, our spirits haunting the place we longed to be, even when Blundell Park provides more frustration than joy.