Home > Football > My time at….Grimsby Town-Part 1. A new start.

My time at….Grimsby Town-Part 1. A new start.

From my departure from Leeds Utd in 1995 I was in a bit of limbo. Not too many showed an interest in me when Leeds Utd wanted a fee for me so I hastily sent a fax round to a lot of clubs as a free agent. Brian Laws rang as did Steve McMahon at Swindon Town and also Chris Kamara at Bradford City. As there was no fee to pay a few clubs were prepared to take a chance on me. Both Swindon and Bradford were playing in the third tier at the time with Grimsby in the second. Swindon were only offering a trial so I decided to play at the highest level possible.

 I was definitely in the ‘beggars can’t be choosers’ boat now. I felt that I could maybe have negotiated more money. I had an agent in the latter stages at Leeds but because he hadn’t managed to find a club for me during that time I didn’t want him earning money from doing nothing. 

Finding somewhere to live was a high priority. Gary Croft had a 3 story house on the Cleethorpes sea front where he rented out the lower floor so it worked out really well and essentially it was free for a while with my relocation money covering it. I didn’t even ask for that so I was well happy with it. The maximum amount of relocation money you could receive was, and still is, £8k. This could be spent on anything relating to moving house – legal fees, estate agent fees, removal fees stuff like that needing receipts to claim the money back from the club.

This money was essential for me over the coming years and £8k didn’t always cover the full amount of moving from one house to another but for the time being the £1500 from Grimsby seemed like a decent amount.

Initially, Brian Laws used me as a substitute in the early weeks at Grimsby Town. Neil Woods and Steve Livingstone were the two who occupied the strikers positions. Clive Mendonca was still injured. Also the Italian, Ivano Bonneti had recently signed. He had a fantastic pedigree having played for Juventus earlier in his career but was the wrong side of 30 by this time. He did have some quality though and stood out amongst the Grimsby players. Bonetti played either behind 1 front man or wide left. Eventually I got in the first team partnering Steve Livingstone up front. It coincided with a surge up the table where my form was excellent. Although the goals didn’t come as regularly as I would have liked my link up play was very good and the team suited my style at that time. That team was full of good footballers. When I say footballers I mean players who liked to get the ball down and play. Gary Childs, Jim Dobbin , Bonetti, Gary Croft, Paul Groves. They could all play. We played some great football that year and found ourselves within 1 away from being top of the table. If we had beat Charlton at home we could have gone top. It was a big deal at the time. There were some big clubs in that division at the time and we were really motoring up until the Charlton match.

Well, it wasnt meant to be and it signalled something of a downturn in fortunes in the league from then on…………….

Categories: Football
  1. Happy Mariner
    October 9, 2010 at 6:46 am

    A good read and I’m looking forward to Jamie’s view on the Laws Ivano incident.

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