The Diary

Cod Almighty | Diary

1938 and all that

26 June 2020

Middle-Aged Diary is not going to pretend to know a lot about women's football, but I do know that Lincoln City's women's team is some way above Grimsby Town Women in the league pyramid. So it says a lot about Ellie Wilson and Alisha Dejonge as footballers that they were approached about joining the Imps. It says a lot about them as people, and about the set-up Dale Houlston is creating, that they preferred to remain at Town. May they have the chance to show what they can do before too long.

It is June, and in a normal world if we were thinking about football, it would be international football. So here are a few snapshots from some parallel universes (and seldom has a parallel universe seemed such an attractive notion)

Ronaldo tamed - and Scotland owe it all to Grimsby

Far from a bore-draw, Scotland's brave defiance of Brazil set the Tartan Army dancing. And the toast of the night was the young Celtic central defender Peter Handyside. He kept Ronaldo in his pocket throughout the 90 minutes of the 0-0 World Cup opener. But Handyside's assured display was made not on the Clyde but on the banks of the Humber. He drew comparisons with Alan Hansen, but the 23- year-old Handyside says he owes his success to another old master, "When I was at Grimsby, I played alongside Paul Futcher. I could hardly help learning from him."
Daily Clarion, 11 June 1998

The turning point

... Amid the clamour of a country preparing for its first World Cup, Ireland manager Eoin Hand is doing his best to enjoy it. Above all, he is aware of the fine line between success and failure.

"If it wasn't for George Kerr, we might not be here. Every week he was on the phone, telling me I had to come and see how Joe Waters was playing. In the end I think I picked Joe for the squad to play Belgium just to shut him up." No one in the Republic needs reminding what happened next. The Grimsby midfielder's sub appearance in Brussels, then that bustling run and rifled shot to cancel out what had seemed certain to be a late winner for Belgium. Ultimately, it was the point which Waters earned that put Ireland on the plane to Spain. If Hand had been hoping for some peace from the Grimsby manager, it didn't work. "After that, George was on the phone to me every week saying 'I told you so'".
Sunday Recorder, 6 June 1982


The Grimsby Town Football Club directorate and its manager Mr C. Spencer have sent a telegram congratulating the centre half Harry Betmead and goalkeeper George Tweedy on their part in the triumph of the England team at the World Cup in France. It is understood that in the final match, against Italy, Betmead, as pivot, was admirable both in attack and defence. Tweedy produced many clever saves in the Football Association selection's 1-0 win. England's victory in this international tournament affirms its dominance of the sport, and the involvement of two 'Mariners' players demonstrates Grimsby Town's proud position in the game.
Grimsby Evening Telegraph, 21 June 1938

Football items

Sheffield Wednesday have signed the Halifax Town left half J. Cartwright. West Ham United have received many offers for their centre forward Smithson, but none which match their valuation of the player. Wales beat Austria 1-0 in their quarter final of the World international tournament being played in Italy. The goal was scored by Ernest Glover (Grimsby Town)
National Advertiser, 1 June 1934

Having almost toured the isles, you may want to remind yourself of Johnny Scott, whose two Northern Ireland appearances were both in the 1958 World Cup.

Enjoy the weekend.