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Diary - May 2007
Thursday 31 May
Your lunchtimes are no longer wastelands of salad, sausages and surfing, for abnormal service has been resumed. Hi-di-hi campers, it's Deviant Diary with a medley of summer fruit for your dessert, or an oasis of fruity summer froth in a desert of facts.
In the years since our ships passed on the river Babbelot the wonderful world of Buckley has moved on from stop-motion inaction to digitally-enhanced rumour. Let's dive into the desperate pool of despond and dross.
Lincoln fans are agog and awash with wailing gnashers at the thought of captain Paul Morgan's ruminations. He wants to move home, towards Manchester, for family reasons (babelfish translates that into English as "I've spoken to Big Keef at Bury"). Another day, another thought. "If Grimsby want to speak to me I'd certainly listen to what they'd have to say". Now if that ain't a binding verbal contract (with one year option) I don't know what is. You want substance to your idle gossip? Well, his fiancée has withdrawn her application to transfer to the Lancashire Constabulary, you know. So he's going to Boston then.
Ah Boston, such happy memories of six points and six-shooting down in the badlands. Are we happy or sad? Why, oh tell me Steve, why do people break up? No longer the Fat Fenland Fraudster, but now the biggest creepy Crawley of them all. Oh dear.
Alan Buckley has been talking to people. Three keepers, two strikers and an Alan Partridge DVD. Ah-ha! so who's been buying a Ginster's pasty and a bunch of flowers for the missus at the infamous petrol station at the end of the A180? Who said Danny Coyne? He's off to coin it somewhere else, where the benches are padded and the cheques dangle brightly. Let's just wait, shall we.
Positively fourth street John has been blathering on again, for he wants us all to be together in his concrete dreams. The clone dome moves ever nearer in his own mind, which makes one wonder why they are bothering to waste money on the old pitch. A couple of bags of grass seed, two forks and twenty tonnes of chicken droppings are, like love, all you need. So why has he got himself a big ten-four convoy of tractors and has his staff seeding four ways. In certain Scottish isles, and Immingham, that's still illegal.
And the GET wheel out their weekly update on Curtis Flophouse, the flipping flapping pugilist. Why should we care about, if I may say so minister, a here today, gone tomorrow footballer? I'd rather read in-depth analysis of John McDermott's shrubbery (rear garden). I bet he uses chicken droppings.
Wednesday 30 May
Hello! Apologies for the recent lack of Diaries. We could blame some sort of post-season apathy. We could blame IT issues. We could blame it on drying out after the recent rain-sodden test match. But really it's just down to us being really, really slack. We're sorry. You, dear reader, are too good for us. We've recently repaid your daily loyalty by not even turning up. We truly are sorry.
But fear not! The Diary will be back on track tomorrow with anything that has happened over the past few days. And when we say 'anything' we do mean anything, such has been the paucity of Town related news. So, until tomorrow lunchtime, cheerio!
Friday 25 May
Over the hills and far away diary here. Everybody else has called in sick with an array of ailments and feeble excuses that Lord Buckley wouldn't stand for. I have a sneaking suspicion that the impending bank holiday weekend might have something to do with it. More of that later.
Actually your guest diarist is not too well either having suffered a number of cuts and bruises in a 'friendly' works eleven a side football match last night. This was a real match involving nets, corner flags, a proper referee and a couple of fights. The kit (black and white stripes of course) had been borrowed from the roughest pub team in town and the shirts had obviously been well stretched over some serious potbellies. I was the John McDermott of the side playing at right back and, like John, have now decided that I have made my final ever appearance.
Lord Buckley has told the official site that there is no need to panic in the search for a new striker for next season, but becomes a bit tongue tied when explaining the reasons, 'We know where we are going with things. We will make sure that we do our homework and get the player in that are going to benefit that is next season'.
The latest auction thingy on the official website is a real anoraks collectors item, a super package of the commemorative scarf and badge made to mark the last ever league game at Gay Meadow. Thanks to the heroic efforts of a certain rival website bidding under the imaginative name of 'grimbofan', this price of this collectable package has now been pushed up to £62. It looks as though 'grimbofan' and equally persistent 'spamwilly' are going to go head to head for the next four days. If anybody else fancies the package, I suggest that they check out the Shrewsbury FC club shop where £62 will buy you as many scarves and badges as you can wear. Next week's auction is rumoured to be featuring Michael Reddy's crutches.
And so back to the Bank Holiday weekend, which for some will be a pretty tense affair at the revamped venue of legends in northwest London. Let's hope Russell Slade is better at preparing his Yeovil side for the play off final against Blackpool than he was at preparing his previous outfit exactly a year ago. John Paul Kalala is no doubt looking forward to sitting on the hallowed Wembley bench.
Have a good weekend
Thursday 24 May
Hello! B.O.T.B. Diary here, with all the hotter-than
a-wasp-vindaloo GTFC news fresh from the Tetney
wastelands. First though, a little quiz.
A rich man owns something of great beauty and value.
He destroys it in order to make himself richer. Do you:
a/ Bemoan the loss of the beautiful thing to ignorance
b/ Praise the rich man for his financial acumen?
Surely nobody could answer 'b' could they? Nah. Oh
hang on, what's this?
Summer diaries eh? Open the windows and listen to all
that news. Far, far away, carried on a zephyr breeze,
is a rumour about Bolland going to Bradford. Apart
from that, it's just bees buzzing in the flowers.
Birds singing in the trees. Or, if you're Daryl Clare,
bulldozers moving earth and concreters with Radio 1
playing at full shouty. So, with a news summerout,
what do we do now? I know – I've provided a link to
the worst of Grimsby, let's praise the best of
Firstly, a big hand for the superb diarists who have
kept us entertained through the season, especially the
super-talented regular diarist, -------------. [Name removed to protect the innocent – CA security advisor]. All the stand-ins have been great too, and I'm sure all readers would agree that the level is consistently good (apart from today, for
Secondly, let us praise the match reports of the
wondrous Tony Butcher [Has he got a wikipedia entry yet? – Ed], and his able deputies who have
filled in nicely when Tony couldn't drag himself away
from 'Obscured By Clouds' for long enough to attend
Thirdly, a round of applause for messageboards legends
BawB, sacktheboard, MadLen, blimey, yorkmariner,
Maringer, jase and more who have kept us entertained
on the Grim Outlook, and other less salubrious
internet haunts, for many years.
All these people make their contributions for nothing.
No pay, no fame, no fortune, and we are the
Together they are proof that Grimsby has something
worth fighting for, and even though we may seem to
some to be the geographical equivalent of a leper
colony, there is plenty of intelligent life and talent
within the Town boundaries. We may not be famous for
our culture, our intellectuals, our beautiful
surroundings, our dynamism or our environmentalism,
yet ignorance and greed do not yet have full control.
All is not lost!
Up the Mariners.
Wednesday 23 May
Hello, Miss Guest Diary here, taking a well-earned break from reading a very badly written project initiation document written by a business analyst whose writing style is to the English language what Russell Slade's management style is to beautiful, flowing football. Tell me – what are "dis-benefits"? And why should anybody be "envisioning" them?
I'd like to bring you some Town news but the best the official site can manage is an auction for a scarf and the Grimsby Telegraph's news consists of Lincoln releasing Martin Gritton and the continuing count of how many season tickets have been sold. [At the moment the best the OS can manage for me is "Error! Could not locate remote server. You tried to access the address http://www..premiumtv.co.uk/redirect/
index.html?campaignName=mobilezonesms, which is currently unavailable. Please make sure that the Web address (URL) is correctly spelled and punctuated, then try reloading the page." – ed.]
By contrast, it's impossible to escape the Champions League final. I'm fed up already with the endless media coverage: the pull-out supplements in every newspaper, the endless TV footage of drunken crowds in Athens or reporters standing in airport terminals and the "special features" about every aspect of the whole extravaganza. The Times have gone to the extent of consulting a colour psychologist about the likely outcome based on the colour of the kits. I think I may give the whole thing a miss and finally get round to watching the last few episodes of 24: Season 5. A programme I used to really enjoy – and race through a box set in a few days – but which has now definitely jumped the shark.
Talking of jumping the shark – isn't that how Jack Lester used to win free kicks? And now he is jumping the ship, released by Forest and, no doubt, high up on the average Town fan's daydream list of those who might return. Not on mine, though – there's only one person on my wish list and it begins with a W...
Tuesday 22 May
With Mr Normal Diary still electronically ill and taking his Knoppix with vegetarian tea and digestives it's Deviant Diary, live and exclusive from a wi-fi hotspot, just down the hill from the lady with the tin foil bedroom. Run for the Hills! No don't run for the hills, that's where that mobile phone mast is that's frying our Brians. Or brains. Or Barnes. That explains his reluctance to wander beyond the six yards box in front of the Pontoon? It must be that radio mast on the floodlights beaming messages from beyond the Humber Graving Dock.
Or it could be cobblers.
Happy Birthday! Yes, it's a well known Mariner's birthday today. Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Paul Mariner, happy birthday to you. And Isaiaiaiaiaiaiah Rankin's too, apparently. He used to play for Town too, apparently.
As everyone at Blundell Park has gone to the moon the Gawd-Bless-It-Official-Site is reduced to the cyberversion of dredging up the Tetney Lock – an interview with
little Johnny Rowan, Lennie's Big Thing. Stuck as we are in the flatlands and badlands south of the border down Humberston way, let's hold a minute's silence for each one of Daryl Clare's trees.
Meanwhile further down the Grimsby Road the GET continues its obsession with events in a field near Irthlingborough, though at least this does involve a local lad, so we can forgive that. His mum'll be pleased. Meanwhile the rest of us are still dreaming of Martin Paterson. It's a long, hot summer so you better slip into something more comfortable before you melt with excitement.
Or it could be cobblers.
No football and nothing going on? Tired of waiting for news? Let's end on a smile. With Eric Morecambe's ascension to the fourth division of professional football in England we can look forward to this next year. What a beauty!
Now that really is cobblers.
Monday 21 May
It's midday and rain's interrupted play at Lord's, an opportune moment to take in the latest Town news with me, Headingley Diary, still trying to wake up after the tedious first FA Cup at the NEW! Wembley.
So Eeyore was right on Friday then: Ciaran Toner turned out to be the 'fifth summer signing'. Shame the club's OS again reduced itself to bigging up what was merely keeping on a member of staff, with Toner simply signing the deal he shook on with the Talented Mr Alan several weeks ago. "Rubber-stamped" says the Telegraph, reminding me of the time Margaret Atwood said she was going to get a rubber stamp of her signature made to save her doing "all those autographs". Now for Toner to stamp his authority on games next season, ho ho.
There will also be a few more familiar faces returning to Blundell Park next season, as 300 fans (or, in modern day currency: £57,000) have already renewed their season tickets, before the prices go up on 9 June. That's 9 June not 9 July as some parts of the season ticket renewal pack stated. Go on. You know you want to...
Ever fancied fancied visiting Morecambe but never had the perfect excuse? You have now, as Morecambe's victory over Exeter in a cracking Conference play-off final confirmed another seaside town added to next season's fourth division roster. Play-offs, play-offs . That reminds me: check out Bald Russ's bad boys, thumping Forest with some mashing footie on Friday night, to set up a final against Blackpool. Good luck at Wembley, Russ, and the other ex-Mariners you keep in tow. What about the Tangerine? What about them?
Guest Diary is always lurking in the shadows – like our very own Deep Throat or Mr Saxon but notso sinister – and has sent on this mentioning of Grimmo on the Independent's site: "As the Liverpool invasion of Greece begins in earnest...the Crouch family will be no different. 'They would come to watch me anywhere,' he says. 'Athens makes a nice change – my Mum says she has never been so cold in all her life as the away end at Grimsby.'" Hats off to Crouch's mum for making the journey to Blundell Park in the first place and declaring the Osmind the coldest place in the world ever, but it wasn't likely to have been any warmer in any of the other three stands that day. Unless the Osmond end is a giant fridge disguised as a football stand. Which isn't very likely, in all probability. Is it?
That's all for today. T'ra!
Friday 18 May
The Grimsby Town official web site can be a sad, lonely and depressing place to visit. Your Guest Diarist has to dwell on this lonely street from time to time – partly to be able to recount to you, gentle reader, a précis of what is published there, but partly as a guilty pleasure. For the latter I can only apologise. As I write to you Joanna Lumley is reminiscing about her youth on Desert Island Discs, and the Mariners World video showing off the new Town home shirt is endlessly and soundlessly looping in the top right hand corner of my screen. Ooh, she likes Last Christmas, and Beethoven's melodies are so imprinted on her heart that sometimes she thinks she wrote them herself.
There – my devotion to your service has saved you the agony of listening to the velvet tones of Kirsty Young chatting up the fair Joanna and having to face up to the vision of Peter Bore and a young male friend posing provocatively with a Grimsby lass wearing a black and white striped shirt, and seemingly little else. Which of these two vistas caused a melancholy stirring in my loins I will leave you to ponder as I bask in a creamy pool of Nat King Cole until I feel slightly sick.
Fifteen minutes have passed and now it is John Major talking about cricket and the latest Town video has been turned off just in case young Mr Bore started complaining why the girl had to be in the middle all the time and that it was so hot he need to remove his new shirt. A further guilty glance at the OS reveals they are toying and teasing with us again, promising news of a signing on Saturday. In all probability, said Eeyore gloomily, it will be that Ciaran Toner signing up for another season. And if you fancied a last fag at Blundell Park then it's already too late as the law will require it to be a no smoking place from 1 July. As Eddie Izzard said when he played San Francisco after that city introduced no smoking to its bars: "Next it will be no talking, and then no drinking."
The new Town shirt looks very nice from the front I must say. Except for the grisly swoosh which is a constant reminder that this forty quid fashion item was made by someone working all hours God sent in some horrible sweatshop for about ten bob a month. As David Smith says in the voice over: "the little tick says it all, really." It's no good folks, I can't go on today otherwise you'll get me started on the incredibly expensive world that the football fan enters when they approach the new Wembley. This world needs a fairly fucking major kick up the arse and I nominate Sergeant Whittle to do it. Gordon Bennett! It's time I cleared off to mince a few oaths ready for the next time I see you. Ta-ra, and stay groovy this weekend.
Thursday 17 May
For a considerable number of Town fans, your Guest Diarist imagines, re-signing Martin Paterson (on any sort of basis) would be akin to a complete stranger approaching you to offer a jar of home-made piccalilli. If such a thing happened you just couldn't wait to get home, tell the missus and make a nice sarnie, could you? The little darling of the Main Stand's dentists has taken his first step towards returning to their ample manly bosoms by getting a new contract offer from Stoke. He would be a fool to turn it down, methinks, but whether he will get near their first team much next season is a matter for conjecture.
Lord Buckley, who has just returned from a fruitless trip to London where he spent a night allegedly looking for a Yorkshire terrier named Gullit, could not be contacted this morning for comment on the Paterson story. Rumours that he intended to ransom the dog's owner for a season-long loan of a suitable teenage striker abound in parts of North East Lincolnshire and the police are taking them seriously, apparently, with officers being diverted to assess whether they can issue a control order. Remember, gentle reader, in the new labour age, as well as the age of the Premier League, intent is an offence. Tom Cruise made a film about it just the other year, and the reason it flopped, possibly, was that they didn't have the wit to cast Lord Buckley in a minor, yet significant role.
Relieved by that news (no, I have no idea which news, my thread being taffled this morning), Town striker Gary Jones has been having a chat to Mariners World. I found this interview to be cosily, dozily, dreamily hypnotic as the big lump caressed his scouse vowels into the microphone. Much was going on in the background – to the point where it became the foreground at one stage – but yes, the Lumpmeister too feels a good start is important. And he says if the defence sorts itself out the attackers will score enough goals. News of Lord Buckley's regime leaked through too: get fit with a ball at your feet; don't slack in training or sulk if you are dropped; come back roughly the same weight you went away. Yes, we have a real manager. And he shall never be sacked again. It's the law.
Speaking of which, the Grimsby Telewag has run a story about Nicky Law. This is notable only for the accompanying photo which shows the evil, ugly man adopting what he feels is the sort of expression one should adopt when cooing over a dying kitten. I'm off in search of a stranger, now. See yer tomorrow.
Wednesday 16 May
Hi! I'm Deviant Diary, you may remember me from such diaries as 29 March 2007 – Tmesis Or Not Tmesis, and 10 April 2006 – Dentists Have Eyes But The Horses Have Guns.
It's stopped raining and the council have started cutting the grass. Wouldn't it be cheaper and trendily eco-pure to buy some sheep? Meanwhile in the children's playground little Jose, the Iberian fireman's first born, is crying because his dog has run away.
Like Max Bygraves I wanna tell you a story, about a little man, if I can. Town have signed another player! Don't get excited, and not because he's short, because he isn't that short. Of the youthers only Luke Foulkes, a rightish back, has been given six months to prove his innocence. At least he's taller than the maestro of mirth, Sir Alan of Bucksford. Or maybe young Luke is standing on Dale Ladson's step-ladder. But what of the rest of the youth team? We have no answers, just questions. Where are the disappeared? Perhaps Generalissimo Fentyeri hired a helicopter and dumped them 12 miles off Spurn Point.
Shot on! Chance on! Someone has been watching those old Town videos again, this ghostly ring of dark matter was formed when Livvo assassinated Tranmere's bloated keeper and Town stayed up. Just thought you'd like to remember glorious days of Livvo past in these empty moments between showers. That's when we were in the Second Division of English football. Re-mem-em-re-mem-em-member when the only reason Town didn't ascend to the elysian fields of the Showbizship was that the board lacked ambition? Is this what ambition means? A second hand car salesman running a football club? Whatever could go wrong?
A second hand manager running a football team, whatever could go wrong? Cod Almighty's Man of Stats, Mr Andy Holt, believes many things, but one of them isn't that a former manager of Grimsby Town could possibly be a Manager of the Year. Well, Rantin' Russ does specialise in getting himself promoted, but not his teams. It must be the way he wears his hat.
That must be the way to success in life, as well as football: big coats and jaunty hats. Oh, it's started raining again, time for some cheese on toast.
Stay calm, the new kit will be revealed shortly. We'll back to normal : Buckley and Stripes.
Tuesday 15 May
"Striker is a priority" runs the back of the Tellywag, with Lord Buckley reckoning he needs another player to partner Lumpaldinho ("he has his failings and he knows that himself...but also has some really good assets that I think we need at the club") "or" Danny North next season. This new player will give Andy Taylor, like a Polaroid picture, time to develop a bit, rather than be the North-Lump's deputy dawg. Going by the list of players Buckers contemplates one player whose name has already faded out of his Lordship's team photo for next season is Isaiaiaiah Rankin.
Good news for Town fans is the level of player Buckers is looking for: "I am not talking about just a bit better than what we have but someone of a real high calibre that will get us goals. The problem is the level I am looking at is the sort of player that would probably be at Championship level." A bit like Martin Paterson of Championship level Stoke City? Buckers has mentioned the possibility, albeit fleetingly, to Tony Pulis. Already you can hear the sighs of fans thinking we should be having reserves and rejects from the highest level. Others will think this means Buckley will fail to come up trumps, turning to Rankin to forge a partnership with Lump next term. The rest of us will have been to a fews games last season, and be happy at merely the thought of that little scamp returning to terrorise opposition defences. Just picture that.
Monday 14 May
"If you can build early doors, get the points in the bag and then keep going you've got to have a chance." A graduate of one of Ron Atkinson's weekend media schools, James Hunt, has been speaking to Mariners World following the excellent decision he made to rejoin Grimsby Town on a permanent basis. Mr Hunt has signed a two-year contract and revealed that Lord Buckley had told Hunt that he wanted him back at the time that his loan spell had finished. Hunt's failure to cite poor training facilities, crap dressing room or smelly toilets and his eagerness to return to a side which enjoys playing passing football have been duly noted by your Fentydome–sceptic Guest Diarist.
Town will have Peterborough to contend with next season. A Peterborough awash with cash, it would seem, and who have already signed from Walsall two of the bottom division players of the season in Chris Westwood and Dean Keates. Salary cap, I hear you bleat? Forget it, because the Posh's millionaire sugar daddy has channelled bucketloads of cash into the club via a clever sponsorship deal. Cheating's easy these days, isn't it? Look at Boston, Leeds, West Ham et al. Tax avoidance is clever, tax evasion is illegal, and the moral compass has been discarded by those sharp men in suits who dominate our beloved game. Where there's a rule there's a way round it, gentle reader. But a top-seven place we must aim for, says Hunt, and there's no reason why not, is there? Not just play-offs though – Town need to play with good, old-fashioned Buckley style.
Town have announced that they will be playing an excellent set of pre-season friendlies at Brigg and Grantham and Farsley. These will be followed by home matches against the Hully gullies and Scunny. Farsley, I'm told, play at Throstle Nest in blue and white shirts, which rather spoils the black and white theme of the first two fixtures. Throstle Nest – it just rolls off the tongue, doesn't it? First match is on 13 July, so only two more months of the footballing void to get through, eh?
Benevolent club owner, and man completely in charge of all things Grimsby Town, 'Positive' John Fenty has deemed it fit that we can all buy season tickets at last year's prices. Until 9 June, that is, and this page purports to tell us how much we will save by so doing. The new-fangled Sports Telegraph web page tries to add clarity by advising that match day prices will rise by a quid next season. It's the future, apparently, that's caused it. The new home shirt is coming out this week and it has been widely trailed as being black and white striped at the front and black in the rear. The last time we had something similar I found it hard to spot Town players running away from me at night. But stripes are good. Definitely good. See yer.
Friday 11 May
The geographical and political landscape is changing, gentle reader. No eulogy to New Labour you will find here, though, but your Guest Diarist is settling down to write to you today after an excursion to a much-trumpeted continental market held in a sleepy Lincolnshire market town.
The result was one Frenchman, nine Poles and a big bag of interestingly flavoured nuts and dried fruits. "Try my prunes, my friend. We grew them in Poland." The Frenchman merely urged me to try a bite of his spicy sausage. Old-fashioned English good manners ensured that I accept his offer with alacrity. Spicy, yes, but reassuringly flaccid and encased in a foot of fresh French bread. Drool on, drool on.
And the European theme will continue tomorrow as my mate's part-time girlfriend camps it up with the British Eurovision crew. She (and her name escapes me) is the brunette air hostess and my mate does not relish this publicity at all, waiting for her to return home before he ends it all. So nowadays you are never far from either a Pole or a Z-list celebrity, gentle reader. Or a Scottish politician, unfortunately.
In the meantime, Lord Buckley has lived up to his promise and signed a player: Sunderland-born Jamie Clark from non-League Boston United. Not a great surprise, for the rumour mill had long predicted this one. So we lose a Macca and gain a Mackem. Jamie is six feet two inches tall, thinks of himself as versatile and likes to impress with his 'fine array of passing'. He joins Grimsby hoping to learn the art of movement to complement his other skills. Mr Clark made two interesting statements in his inaugural Mariners World interview: "Grimsby are a big club" and "Boston were hard done by". Wearing a shocking pink shirt [as shocking as Tony Butcher's last Saturday? Ed] in early compliance with the 'straight as a Bore' policy of his new club, Jamie seems like a nice lad.
Lord Buckley, being incisively questioned against a background of what appeared to be distant artillery fire, admitted that he has pencilled his new recruit in to the Macca position. But then again the wily old fox quickly followed this confidence shared with the bluster that he might play him anywhere or, in actual fact, not play him at all. Well we'll just have to see won't we?
Mariners World also interviewed the outgoing Cohen lad, who is, shall we say, rueful. Sadly the injury is never explained in detail but Gary's comeback is, apparently, impossible to predict. Gary will continue to try and strengthen his knee, but from within the bosom of his family who are 'down south'. Don't put up with rock salmon though, Gary. Not now you've tasted real fish. As to whether the next signing will be a replacement for the fleet-footed forward, or the return of midfield destroyer James Hunt, only Lord Buckley knows. What we do know is that Town already have the vast majority of next season's first team squad in place. And that is flaming marvellous. See yer.
Thursday 10 May
It started with a house full of curry and ended with a flying pig. Hello, it is me, that is I, Deviant Diary, returning like Gary Harkins to fill a man-sized hole with slow-moving mystery.
In this fallow period between games we can either sleep or indulge in spectacularly speculative speculation; or put our spectacles on and read the OS. That limping remnant of Sladism, young Gary Cohen, won't be paid by Town, but we will hold his cards. Sound very bonded labour to me – quick, get the Slave Czar on the phone! Poor GC, it sounds like the end. Fortunately, he isn't a racehorse, or even a carthorse. Is that a gratuitous but endearing link to the next item on the agenda? Oh yes. Lumpy may move slow, but only because Lumpy doesn't have to move for anybody; and he won't be moving from Town, for he's ours, all ours, for one more year of impossible passing and imperceptible movement.
The OS promises a "new face" at the club. Hmmm, what does new face mean in Townspeak? A new turnstile operator to replace the one who scared Mr Normal Diary? Tomorrow's exciting and unknown diarist will be working through the night contextually analysing. At least, that's what he'll tell his mum.
Britain's leading Phil Watson has mused in public upon the mysteries of Boston, in particular their magical appearance in a vague insolvency just one hundred and twenty seconds before the season ended:
"I suspect that 'going into administration' is a lengthy process involving well fed people in suits around boardroom tables and a veritable ocean of paperwork, rather than the degree of ceremony previously associated with playing one's joker on It's a Knockout."
You're such a 20th-century boy Phil. You're thinking of the Insolvency Act 1986! On this day of days we too can look back on the wrong TB's footballing legacy. You see, it's all down to the Enterprise Act 2002, which was heralded as promoting the entrepreneurial spirit. Well, that's what abolishing red tape does for you, pop-pickers. The solution is quite clear – we need more civil servants to save football from crookery.
Hot news of derring-do, post season. Just three days after the event we can unexclusively be arsed to remember to tell you who won the Town Go-Kart Challenge. It's the old stagers themselves: the dynamic duo of Dastardly and Muttley. No, sorry, I've just been watching Wacky Races again. Hang on, the press release is under the box of bourbons. Here it is... the Sorcerer and his apprentice: Sir Alan of Buckley and Archbishop John McDermott. And how did they manage that? Passing and movement, of course.
Meditate on that mantra for three months.
Wednesday 9 May
Cor, blimey – is it Wednesday already? That certainly was the weekend that was. What with an epic day out at Shrewsbury and long-in-to-the-night merrymaking at the demise of the evil crooks at Boston, there was plenty to celebrate alright. The Cod Almighty crew had a curry and a quiz. Then they watched match of the day with the sound down (so they could hear the cows mooing outside). Then they went to bed. Crazy times indeed. By the way, your Guest Diarist is here today because Mr Diary's computer has gone kerplunk. And no-one was here earlier this week because we couldn't be arsed. So now you know, gentle reader.
A fantastic game to end the season, and I beg to differ with Andy Lombard's (otherwise excellent) match report in so far as the man of the match was most definitely Barnes. One of his saves was in the as-good-as-you-will-ever-see category, and Barnes' initiative in coming up for that final pair of corners will stick in the mind for a long, long time. The only tiny cloud on Saturday's horizon was the muffled cheer that went up at the announcement of the Man U-fuckin'-nited result. This was also heard at the last home game and represents a dispiriting trend. In fact reading out Premiership scores should be outlawed at Football League grounds.
And while I'm astride this high horse, gentle reader, so should multi-ball. Multi-ball is the practise of home biased ball boys choosing whether or not to let players take a quick throw in. A system wide open to flagrant abuse and more or less completely out of the control of the match officials. It should only be allowed to be used with the consent of both managers, don't you reckon? The match Sat'day was yet another perfect example of why a draw can be a good thing. Honours even, plenty of goals and two sets of happy fans applauding each other. So don't mention the Premiership, use only one ball and enjoy a good draw. Got it?
At least there are tiny nuggets of news to report today. Like Justin Whittle getting player of the year, with Danny North easily beating the outrageously heterosexual Peter Bore to grab young player of the year. I told you Bore was wrong not to go for the pink vote. The slackers that read and write Cod Almighty just couldn't get it together to have their own award, but I for one can't argue with that pair of results. And they'll both be still around next season. In fact that was the biggest vibe coming away from the last game of the season – how up everyone is about the next campaign. We have the nucleus of a squad already and the young lads in it are improving in leaps and bounds under the munificent gaze of the almighty Lord Buckley. What better feeling, eh? Good young players coming through the youth system – I love it. Who needs Georges Santos or prats like Sestanovich when we have Ryan Bennett? Bennett acquitted himself admirably on Saturday and looks like a professional footballer. My case is rested.
So pray to your god that the Conference do the right thing today and have nothing to do with the likes of Boston. But don't hold your breath because the cheating, squirming wriggling bastards will no doubt survive to fight another campaign. For an up-to-the-minute and frighteningly accurate summation of what the crooks at Boston are up to just click here. Boston are like ground elder – spray is the only solution. And on that gardening note I will leave yer til Friday. See yer.
Friday 4 May
Today the Cod Almighty diary beats even the "Evening" Telegraph's ludicrously early publication time with a special early edition. The Scots seem to have fucked up their election, with a posse of tartan clad election officials currently labouring to stick back together the ballot papers torn up by an irate golf-club-swinging non voter. Meanwhile Fen Butcher has woken up to the fact that his bedroom now appears to be a shop window as Ferguson junior has a bit of a clear out. But Town were involved in these elections too – it's Councillor Boylen now. Mr Boylen who allegedly eschewed traditional vote garnering tactics in favour of a pre-vote cheerleading session beat a tory called Phyllis. She never had a chance, eh?
Lord Buckley is a very quotable man. So quote his excellent interview on Mariners World I will. "I never take me foot off the gas, me" indicates that Town will be trying at Shrewsbury tomorrow. "Peter Bore stubbed his toe in training this morning" is another coded message to the fevered ears of your Guest Diarist. Buckley, who continues to refuse the platitude generator implant, is surprised to discover that he will miss Danny North tomorrow. Young North went over on his ankle and will miss the last game of the season. Buckley is not surprised about the injury, but rather at the excellent progress his young striker has made in the last couple of months. Hear hear we all say. And damn that pesky ankle – I was looking forward to him and Lump leading the line together again tomorrow. On the good news front the excellent Bolland will return to face a crowded midfield at gay meadow. There was no mention for once of his Maccaness. So wait we must to find out if we will get a final glimpse of the greatest right back ever.
Any road that's your lot because, as that most flippant of diarists told us yesterday, in his most insouciant style, we're off out for the weekend. And I've got to peel the veg. One last piece of advice from Martin Fry who is on the radio just now: "never put food references in to lyrics". I knew there was something over the top in Macarthur Park. See yer.
Thursday 3 May
With Mr Normal Diary's computer having, like Luton's Ex-Michael Reddy bearing down upon goal, an unfathomable last minute collapse, you're stuck with Deviant Diary breaking off from cooking some carrots and contemplating just when to mow the lawn.
Now, where's that rake?
In a packed programme tonight we have... no news. That's good, isn't it? The Official Site is reduced to spinning some mumbled telephone call to Bradley Allen from the Barnet programme as news and it's good to see that Curtis Woodhouse still has a role to play – space filling for the rag-bag formerly known as the Grimsby Evening Telegraph. Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn, do you? Did he? Are we drifting in to a Lionel Ritchie song?
Look, we're still not interested in that non-celebrity death match: Fenty v Burns. One of them will have to lose a limb before we even think about commenting. We have standards.
So shall we ponder the end? Who shall play on Saturday? Will it be Macca's last, again? After an absence the Alchemist Buckley's heart may grow fonder for Straight Peter Bore, who emerged from his introspection to play in last Monday's Reserve's thrashing of Doncaster Rovers. We really need to know if SPB will be coming out at Gay Meadow, don't we.
And talking of absences, Cod Almighty will be unmanned over the workers holiday as the entire editorial team will be locked away at a rural retreat working on next season's Corporate Strategy, and finding 46 different ways of saying "passing and movement". Unless, of course, we can persuade some poor sucker to Guestly Diary tomorrow while we all sip champagne and choke on our canapés at a swanky end of season do.
Wednesday 2 May
The regret could be on both sides as GTFC have finally confirmed that permanently crocked forward Luton's Michael Reddy will leave the club when his contract expires this summer. Town officials will rue their optimism in turning down substantial bids for the player in January 2006 and preferring to keep him on board for last season's unsuccessful promotion challenge, while the player himself could well be wishing he had accepted what Alan Buckley calls "a really good offer" earlier this season to extend his term at Blundell Park. Following another operation on Reddy's dodgy parts, explains the manager, "he will be on crutches for six weeks and then will have to start rehabilitation all over again. It means he could be out until Christmas. We could wait and see what happens but then we are without him for half a season again." All of which sounds sensible enough to the Diary; it's just all terribly sad, though, isn't it? Unless you're Luton, obviously, in which case you've been spared blowing a quarter of a million quid on a player, had he been born a racehorse, would be looking towards a bright future in the glue industry – but being Luton is surely quite enough of a cause for regret in itself.
Fancy paying ten quid for the match programme at Shrewsbury this Saturday? Me neither, so let's take a look at the Diary's inbox, whence an email from John Ide has come to rest. "I know of a ground that could help Louth United," he writes, in response to an item in yesterday's Diary, "about 16 miles up the A16 and very close to the Humber. It could also improve their home gate enormously." Interesting idea, John. Can you remember the identity of the last club to receive an offer from the Mariners to share Blundell Park when they were in danger of losing their ground? If Louth say no, they'll end up suddenly discovering 20,000 new 'fans' when they get a swish new ground built for them by the council, their chairman will go on Radio Humberside to make fun of Town's financial problems when Alan Buckley enquires about loaning one of their players, and they'll just fluke staying up in the second division because Leeds have an even worse season than them.
Meanwhile, Durham Diary has emailed me a picture of John Oster behind Michael Owen and Dan Humphrey is trying to get me involved in some kind of row between GTFC, Radio Humberside and another Town website. I don't really understand any of it and it's time for a chip butty, so that's yer lot for today. T'ra!
Tuesday 1 May
Your regular Diarist is otherwise engaged, as are his able replacements (hey! we all have day jobs, y'know), so it is left to the Leeds office to put off w*rk for half an hour and take in the latest Town news. Why don't you do the same, rather than read this and complain about its quality later?
Last season the reserves refused to win a game. This season they've just been pipped to winning the Pontins Holidays League, after Rotherham clinched the title with a 4-0 win earlier in the day. Not to be outdone, Town's second eleven wrapped up their league programme with the same score, tonking Donny's stiffs, and taking time to trial two players: Phillip Starkey (defender, Crystal Palace) Bailey Camfield (right-back, Leeds). Caps off to Stuart Watkiss whose side are reportedly entertaining to watch, a point noted in a Telegraph report that, if it was a cat, would be purring.
The back page of the same paper clarifies that His Lordship Sir Macca did indeed skipper the side on Saturday in his last home game. More surprising, this is the lead-up to an ace interview with Ryan Bennett. The up-and-coming defender reveals he took over Macca's duties when the old-and-going defender left the pitch, despite the presence of more senior pros on the pitch. The act seems symbolic in more ways than one. Bennett reckons "if I can be half the player Macca has been I'll be doing all right." But rather than copy and paste a myriad of, erm, quotable quotes get yonself over to that there Tellygraph website.
The front page of the same paper runs with Refs forced to quit soccer. Sadly not news of the mass resignation of the Football Leage match officials due to their nominal ineptness, but younger local league refs not being able to take some abuse. The youth of today! Can't even take some stick! Dave Young, the town's referees' instructor remarks: "Sadly, only the strongest survive because of the stick they receive from the touchlines." 'Strongest' doesn't mean 'best' either. As we see week in, week out at Football League grounds.
The club wants to remind fans they have 110 tickets left for the game at Shrewsbury, which is all ticket. As well as being Shrewsbury's last league match at the Meadow of Gay, it's Macca's proper last game, so get yourself down there; it's a lovely part of the world. "Make sure you check out the cathedral. It's lovely!" advised my father-in-law at the weekend. "It'd be rude not visit the Three Fish pub!" exclaimed a Cod Almighty contributor last week. And I fancy Grope Lane, but each to their own. Anything else you would recommend?
And, finally, talking of last games, Louth United – a team that this diarist used to see on occasion in his mid to late teens – have played their last game at Park Avenue after their 60 year lease expired. Due to the expense of running the ground the club sold up to – who else? – property developers, and are desperately looking for a ground/pitch near the town. Their replacement pitch at Saltfleetby won't be in adequate condition for Central Midlands Football League games by August, so next term looks like one of "just Lincs League soccer". Unlike Leeds fans facing "just division three footie" next season, Louth's potential 'relegation' certainly would be a shame.