Close Encounters: Paul Groves

Cod Almighty | Article

by Steve Meek

19 January 2004

Those fleeting brushes with someone vaguely famous – we've all had them. 80s uber-cow Nina Myskow once waltzed past me at Larnaca airport. Waiting for a bus in the middle of Leeds the last thing I expected was Paul Whitehouse walking past. Terrorvision have pushed-in ahead of me at a Bradford pub. Fame, fame, fatal fame.

And then there are the times when you have had a close unexpected encounter with someone linked with Grimsby Town Football Club. No, not those times you bumped into Tony Gallimore down the Pier. Or you worked at Nisa and your boss was Dudley Ramsden. No, no, none of that. They're all predictable circumstances. We want tales of the unexpected. Chance meetings.

Location: the Lost Shepherd restaurant, Cleethorpes' answer to Robin's Nest, the kind of place where the use of garlic in a dish is considered avant-garde.

Paul Groves appears with wife, and takes the table next to ours. Due to his usual Brummie mumblage he is inaudible to eavesdroppers. The only occurrence of note comes halfway through dessert, when, rising to answer a call of nature, and showing the vision and awareness that comes with midfield maestrocity, he smacks straight into a hapless waitress. She stumbles. Food is spilled.

PG says something about "going for the ball" and disappears towards the darkened urinals with barely an apology. A moment to treasure.

If you have a close encounter to recount to our readership, drop us a line through the feedback page. We'd like to hear about it.