Player profile: Glen Downey

Cod Almighty | Article

by Paul Thundercliffe

1 August 2005

The word 'legend' can be applied only to a few Grimsby Town players. Super Clive, Ivano, Macca and Futch are some more recent examples of those with legendary status (and in the case of the first three, Cod Almighty T-shirt status) - but how do you get it?

Well, in this town and at this club you have to be a little different. Stand out from the crowd. In short, you have to be good. Very good. Whether that means 20 goals a season out of nothing, Italian flair never to be repeated, 18 years of unstinting loyalty, or majestic defensive performance at the age of 63, those guys are legends. And here comes another.

Mr Glen Downey. Legend. But why? And how? Well, seeing as good footballers don't seem to exist any more, or at least don't fancy living in North East Lincolnshire for some strange reason, we have to reposition the goalposts just a little. Glen Downey is not a goalscorer, is not a foreigner (although he was born in Newcastle in 1978), hasn't played more than 600 games for us and cannot tackle with the inside of his thigh.

And therein lies the legendary status: we do not know what he can do. He is an enigma, a mystery, the Lord Lucan of DN35. Fifteen minutes at Kidderminster last April apart, nobody has ever seen him. And certainly, nobody knows what he looks like.

Rumours abound that Downey is the son of a Russell Slade acquaintance and that he is playing professional football as a favour to his dad. Aww. That might explain why Glen only started playing proper footy two seasons ago, at the age of 25, for Slade's Scarborough. Fourteen games, three yellows and a goal (against Hereford). Nothing to write home about and surely not deserving of a professional contract?

Glen followed Baldy here last August (amid stories that his dad was paying half the wages) and immediately got injured playing for the reserves, with the ensuing poorly ankle keeping him out until the aforementioned last quarter of an hour at Aggborough. Unlucky, Glen. Nice to have almost known you. Good luck in the Conference North.

But wait. Those magical minutes as a substitute for Rob Jones were all Russell needed to see in order to offer Glen a one-year contract extension. He really has got a keen eye for a player, old Russ. Or is it more sinister than that? Has Glen or Glen's dad got something juicy on Slade? Have cupboards been opened and skeletons pushed back in? Surely that can't be? Surely Russell Slade would not be using our money to pay the wages of somebody with hardly any football experience just to keep people sweet?

No. It can't. The simple answer is that once Glen Downy is given a chance he will be the first ever 20-goal-a-season, Italian Geordie defender who plays 600 games for GTFC. Legend.