2012 - 2013 : So Near : So Far


2012 - INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN : MATTIES GREEK ODYSSEY

The Chairman’s international campaigning vision was pushed into areas previously thought beyond the spheres of influence. International, and domestic, ventures were often led by Mattie Mighty Mariner. Initially, taking advantage of the Euro Crisis in Greece, The Chairman invited Mattie to Zante for a well earned rest whilst also taking the opportunity for strategic policy discussions.


Mattie on the beach at Vasilikos


International Projects Ambassador Mattie taking a low key refreshment break.

On his return from Zante, Mattie was very concerned to check on the recovery of The Dean. Following major restoration surgery, the main concern was the his availability for the forthcoming season campaign - the continuing influence of The Beast of Bar Hill needed clarification.

Mattie and The Innkeeper met with The Dean for exploratory discussions.

The Dean assured Mattie, that The Beast’s activities had been curtailed and her influence was ‘Flounder(ing)’. This was taken as ‘Brill’ news and thought might even excite a phlegmatic Chairman.

The Dean (forever wary), ‘thanked’ an ecstatic Beast for her ‘enduring support.’
The Dean (forever wary), ‘thanked’ an ecstatic Beast for her ‘enduring support.’

Following the uplifting news re.The Beast of Bar Hill and the resultant easing of constraints on The Dean of Fitness, Mattie considered the time right to commandeer The Innkeeper for 2 extraordinary manoeuvres, in line with The Chairman’s vision to expand the growing influence of The Campaign.


1) 2012 - MATTIES HEARTLANDS TRAWL

A morale boosting tour of Town’s domestic stronghold.

Following THE good news, Mattie with support from The Innkeeper, toured the Lincolnshire heartlands spreading The Campaign ahead of a new season whilst reassuring all, that The Dean was again fully involved.....hopefully.

Middle Rasen
Middle Rasen

Willys Willys
The Innkeeper & Mattie take in the sea air at Cleethorpes HQ, Willys

Marshchapel
Marshchapel

Grainthorpe
Mattie & the Innkeeper reflect on the Chairman's wartime colleagues & friends.

The Chairman remembers those far off distant days.
The Chairman remembers those far off distant days.

Mattie was joined by the Governor at the Vine Hotel, Skegness to discuss the progress being made.
At Hotel with the Governor

Mattie & the Governor Visit Batemans Brewery


Wainfleet
Mattie & the Governor arrive in Wainfleet & are welcomed by flocks of eager Mariner fans & Geese.

At the Brewery Mattie & the Governor continue to search for commercial opportunities for the Histon Mariners.

At Batemans
At Batemans

At the Bar At the Bar
At the Bar

On the way home Mattie continues to alleviate concerns of "the Beast's" involvement at various locations.

Friskney
Friskney

Fishtoft
Fishtoft

On the way home Mattie continues to alleviate concerns of "the Beast's" involvement at various locations.

Boston
Mattie & the Innkeeper reflect on another highly successful mission.

2) 2012 - INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN : MATTIES POLISH EXCURSION

In line with The Chairman’s International vision and following on from ‘The Great Baltic Adventure’, Mattie Mighty Mariner sought the assistance of The Innkeeper, to help forge a Mariner-Polish Pact.

Sheraton Hotel, Krakow
Sheraton Hotel, Krakow

Mattie arrives at hotel and is welcomed by the staff, who cannot believe Mattie has chosen their hotel.

Checking in at reception
Checking in at reception

The secret purpose of Mattie's visit was soon revealed. Rumours of Italian legend Del Piero moving to Liverpool encourage Mattie to scupper the deal. After negotiations with Mattie, Del Piero decided he could not play for any other team in England except GT FC. In order to avoid Liverpool's disappointment Del Piero moves to Australia.

Mattie in discussion with Delpiero.
Mattie in discussion with Del Piero.

Mattie tours the city to reassure Polish fans of an eventful fourth coming season.

Mattie tours the city.
Mattie tours the city.

Mattie tours the city. Mattie tours the city.
Mattie tours the city.

Mattie with driver Jurek tour the city of Krakow to spread the word.
Mattie with driver Jurek tour the city of Krakow to spread the word.

Clear evidence of the good will spread amongst the local population.
Clear evidence of the good will spread amongst the local population.

Mattie addresses a rally celebrating 30 years of the solidarity movement.
Mattie addresses a rally celebrating 30 years of the solidarity movement.

Such was the Fervour and excitement raised by Mattie the Polish constabulary had to escort him through the crowds.
Such was the Fervour and excitement raised by Mattie the Polish constabulary had to escort him through the crowds.

At the end of his Polish tour Mattie announces Krakow as the Polish HQ of the Histon Mariners!
At the end of his Polish tour Mattie announces Krakow as the Polish HQ of the Histon Mariners!

06.10.12 Grimsby Town v Dartford (0 – 2)

Grimsby Town v Dartford Ticket
Grimsby Town v Dartford Ticket

The journey north was largely uneventful – bladders remained un-emptied. The widening of the A46 was duly noted, obviously Mattie's Lincolnshire tour has raised expectations and the infrastructure is being installed in anticipation of the return of GTFC to their rightful status.

The staff at the Kingsway Hotel welcomed the Histon Mariners and likewise looked forward to a successful campaign.

At Willy's, Bill and Margaret gave a warm welcome but were surprised at debutant Gary being late on parade.

Tescoman made a special journey to meet Gary.
Likewise Tescoman, had heard of a new recruit and made a special journey to meet Gary.  However disappointment prevailed with Gary still absent.

After his fourth shower of the day, Gary eventually arrived at Willy's where the President and Chairman, basking in Cleethorpes sunshine introduced the debutant to Histon Mariners Associate Members.

……an old friend of the Histon Mariners welcomes Gary.
……an old friend of the Histon Mariners welcomes Gary.

Gary soon became visibly enthralled at the Cleethorpes experience. Phone calls from 'Deadly Debs' could not deter Gary from recalling his youth and Northern Soul Nights many decades ago in Cleethorpes…..!

Top landlady Julie from the Smugglers also came to meet Gary and tell him of the event she had organised for him that very night. OXO crisps all round!!!

The excitement around Cleethorpes because of the attendance of the Histon Mariners with new recruit Gary was now clearly gathering momentum. The days opposition, Dartford, themselves debutants at Blundell, took advantage of a unique opportunity for their supporters to visit the Histon Mariners at Willy's.

Dartford supporters Tony, Dave, Simon and Michael meet the Chairman
Dartford supporters Tony, Dave, Simon and Michael meet the Chairman and proclaim the Histon Mariners campaign an inspiration to all football supporters everywhere.

With excitement unabated the Histon Mariners arrival at Blundell soon revealed the extent of pre-season preparations. Mattie's determination to alleviate concerns over the Beast has been well documented both at home and abroad.

Also on arrival the commercial developments encouraged by the Histon Mariners was in much evidence.


Dave Smith was delighted to accept a cheque from the President and Chairman. It was here that the latest commercial development was announced.

Histon Mariners sponsorship of Defensive Legend Nathan Pond.

Chairman & President make the announcement with Dave Smith.
Chairman & President make the announcement with Dave Smith.

Nathan was believed to be over-awed by the development and foresaw the sponsorship as a turning point in his career.

With so much activity Mr Fenty was delighted to welcome President Maurice and debutant Gary (One minor concern RE: the emergence of 'Deadly Debs' was quickly dispelled).

Gary, Mr Fenty & President celebrate the occasion.

The continuing good news about the declining influence of "the Beast" and reassurances about Deadly Debs, certainly helped create a buzz round McMenemy's.

Here Greg Pearson, Dave Smith, The Dean and Gary and Andi Thanoj are clearly overjoyed at these developments.
Here Greg Pearson, Dave Smith, The Dean and Gary and Andi Thanoj are clearly overjoyed at these developments.

The previous weeks draw at Newport extended,
 a) Towns unbeaten away record to a club record of 12 consecutive undefeated away games,
     going back into last season.  The run was accompanied by a growing familiarity with
     with clean sheets. 
 b) Towns unbeaten run in all games in the current season to 10.
However home games against sides galvanised by a trip to Blundell Park, had often proven a difficult nut to crack.
The visit of Dartford, a club without the pedigree of a Luton or Wrexham, held for many people expectations that experienced Real Football People instinctively disregard.  Membership of a league is based on meritocracy, however perceptions are invariably more important than reality.

The mysterious connection between “Camp Hope” and “Camp Expectation” can easily become blurred.  Events constantly turn-up unexpected outcomes and whether those outcomes are perceived as part of an upward or downward trend, supporter fluidity between the two “Camps”  can be instant and frequent.
The game against Dartford had all the elements capable of bursting a bubble and in so doing encourage people to switch “Camps”.........and so it came too pass.

A poor Town Display. A two goal defeat. Next game, away at Alfreton. A chance to extend the record away form. The Campaign marches on

Rob Scott exclaimed that one minor slip should not detract from the progress being made.  Such a balanced outlook from the inimitable Shouty provided immediate context which some fans often take time to assimilate.

All off the field activities appeared to overshadow events on the field. Super Mariners recent run with regular clean sheets temporarily stalled. Rob Jones himself pointed out one minor slip cannot detract from the overall evolution of the Histon Mariners strategy nor detract from the recent form and results of the intrepid due's team.

On a positive note Nathan Pond continued his inspirational form and the Chairman confidently predicts the start of another great run of results starting at Alfreton on Tuesday. In a magnanimous gesture, given the recent results when he attends, the Chairman offered "I will not be with you next time to see how you get on".

The Chairmans concern is clearly evident
The Chairmans concern is clearly evident

Ray the Fish completely understood the Chairman's position but was insistent that his 'plaice' was in attendance. He is one of the 'rocks' of the cause. His presence certainly adds a little something different…!

Post match activities continued unabated. The welcome given to the Histon Mariners at the Imperial Club could not have been warmer. Though Andy did immediately point out the correlation of poor results and the attendance of the Chairman.

At the Imperial Club GTFC legend Dave Boylen spoke to the Innkeeper of Lawrie McMenemy's determination to meet the Histon Mariners at the 40th Anniversary evening on 16 November. The Innkeeper was obviously delighted and on relating the news to the President and Chairman was told that they would do their utmost to facilitate Lawrie's request.

Rachel leads imperial members in a toast to the Histon Mariners Project.
Rachel leads Imperial members in a toast to the Histon Mariners Project.

As ever, Linda was excited about the Histon Mariners and even brought daughter Ami to meet ‘enamoured’ Brummie.
Linda was excited about the Histon Mariners and even brought daughter Ami to meet the Youth Development Officer

Bob's continued amazement at the Histon Mariners project, coupled with his recent experience made him the perfect mentor to debutant Gary. During the evening an idea emerged that an Impington Subsection of the Histon Mariners based at the Railway Tavern could be a good idea. Given that Lovely Derek (see past sections) 'occasionally' partook of a lemonade or two there, together with Gary could facilitate Histon Mariners cause from the Impington base. With this in mind Gary was appointed Section Leader of a newly created Impington Branch. Obviously Lovely Derek would secretly oversee developments…!

Once the news emerged Imperial Club legend Crow Man congratulated Gary and confidently predicted victorious times ahead.
Once the news emerged Imperial Club legend Crow Man congratulated Gary and confidently predicted victorious times ahead.

The news spread fast, calls came in from near and far.

The Chairman assures "the Battleaxe" that The Dean's role will only be marginally extended.  The Battleaxe rests easy!
The Chairman assures "the Battleaxe" that The Dean's role will only be marginally extended. The Battleaxe rests easy!

By the time the Histon Mariners reached the award winning No2 Bar at Cleethorpes Station the news of the newly formed Impington Sub-Section with Gary as section leader, was on everybody's lips.

President Maurice accepts the congratulations from Victoria, Lewis and Brad.
President Maurice accepts the congratulations from Victoria Lewis and Brad.

>Chairman Neville thanks Carl for his support. Gary can be clearly seen in the background, not buying a drink.
Chairman Neville thanks Carl for his support. Gary can be clearly seen in the background, not buying a drink.

Gary had already professed immense admiration of The HM involvement In Cleethorpes but his visit to ‘No.2 Under The Clock’ elevated his experience beyond his wildest expectations.   Chairman Neville introduced Gary to his ‘new long-term friend’ Carl.  An immediate Northern Soul connection, witnessed the pair trawl a tsunami of memories from the depths of time.  Without doubt their advanced years embellished those far-off distant Northern Soul days and nights.  The ageing Soulies recounted, The Twisted Wheel in Manchester, all-nighters at the St.Ivo Centre near Cambridge and probably shared evenings at The Winter Gardens, Cleethorpes.
Gary and Carl, would maintain their ‘Tainted Love’ via a mutual commitment to The Campaign and a burgeoning exchange of the rarities so beloved of Ageing Soulies.

Brummie Bob was anxious to visit ‘Schooners’, where he had proved such a hit on his last visit. Having briefly left the Ageing Soulies to reminisce, the visit to Schooners was somewhat curtailed.
However, The Brummie prompted by the on-going episode of “All Our Yesterdays” at The No.2,
himself began to recount from Memory Lane.

   Bob declared, “I used to be a bit of a medallion-man.....Oh God, I wish I hadn’t said that.”
Evidence of Bob’s past fashion sense has many people in a state of eager anticipation.

As the evening wore on The Chairman sought to re-focus on the future. The Aged Soulie and Medallion Bob however appeared trapped in the canyons of more youthful adventures.
In ‘The Smugglers’, Gary surfing a wave of misplaced youthful exuberance, proceeded to demonstrate some of his best(?) Northern Soul moves when “Out On The Floor“

“Out On The Floor”, Gary was seen “Kung Foo Fighting. Clearly he was not quite the ‘Smooth Operator’ he was in 1978!

Recalling those far-off distant days of Mark lll Cortina's, Cleethorpes All-Nighters, Oxford Bags, Wigan and Ben Shermans, proved emotionally exhausting for Gary. Immediate recognition by The Dean of Fitness witnessed him embrace a Duty of Care and appropriately ushered Gary away for a late night kebab.

The Dean also infected by the mood of reminiscing , fondly recalled The Chairman taking command of the purchase of ‘The Beige Wedding Suit’ only 29 years previous for his union with The Beast!

The Dean recalled ‘The Beige Suit’ and 29 years of wedded bliss.

Beast of Bar Hill Update


The Histon Mariners made great efforts to publicise The Deans sterling efforts to alleviate the shadow cast by The Beast of Bar Hill over HM activities. As fearsome as her legendary persona may have been her activities appeared curtailed for the time being - ones guard should never be dropped!
The Dean of Fitness, as part of his Duty Of Care, had reassuringly counselled Gary on his concerns over Deadly Debs.


16.11.2012 40th ANNIVERSARY EVENING WITH LAWRIE McMENEMY

An Evening with Lawrie Mcmenemy
An Evening with Lawrie Mcmenemy

The Histon Mariners were delighted to support the supper evening with true legend Lawrie McMenemy.

On arrival at the Kingsway, Rachel was ecstatic when realising Mattie was in Cleethorpes for the weekend.
Rachel was ecstatic when realising Mattie was in Cleethorpes for the weekend.

She also told Mattie that Andy Carr – entertainer extraordinaire – was anxious to meet him at Blundell the next day.
Rachel could barely contain her excitement when she had to phone the Dean, who was late on parade – whilst allegedly completing his pre-match preparations in anticipation of a busy weekend ahead; we suspect the Beast was somehow involved.

At Willy's, the President, Chairman with Mattie, The Dean and Medallion Bob took the opportunity to discuss tactics for the weekend an re-hydrate with "energy drinks".
At Willy's, the President, Chairman with Mattie, The Dean and Medallion Bob took the opportunity to discuss tactics for the weekend an re-hydrate with "energy drinks".

Cleethorpes was buzzing, knowing the Histon Mariners were in town. At the Imperial Club Jane McPhee was so thrilled to meet Mattie she offered to keep him warm all evening……..!


Luke and Liz formed a welcoming committee
On arrival at Blundell Luke and Lisa were delighted to welcome Mattie and The Histon Mariner delegation.

The Chairman had long discussions with legend Matt Tees recalling battles of yesteryear. At one point the Chairman was seen to be pointing out to Matt Tees the benefits of dubbin' their boots and returning to the hallowed turf.
Sensibly Dave Boleyn pointed out the momentous performances dreamt of by Neville were perhaps best left in his dreams.
Lawrie McMenemy was particularly keen to meet up with the President and Mattie to offer thanks and discuss future plans with the Histon Mariners.
Lawrie McMenemy was particularly keen to meet up with the President and Mattie to offer thanks and discuss future plans with the Histon Mariners.

Mr McMenemy's interest in the world wide youth development programme was clearly evident. Ray "The Fish" was happy to discuss future plans and seek advice from lawrie on his youth development program.

Likewise, the revolutionary fitness regime of the Dean, which is having a profound effect on current performances, was recognised by Mr. McMenemy.

Legend Dave Worthington flew in from Barcelona to meet Mattie and discuss the potential of a Basque Branch, The Innkeeper was privy to discussions and we will hopefully hear more shortly.


The Innkeeper was asked by the President to officially thank Mr. McMenemy for his support and Lawrie himself paid tribute to the tireless efforts of Mattie.

A most memorable evening with so many legends and the continued development of the Histon Mariners surely bodes well for the future of GTFC.

BEAST OF BAR HILL UPDATE

Whilst the Histon Mariners were preparing for the Braintree game the Beast of Bar Hill aka the Battleaxe was seen causing 'economic' chaos in Milton Keynes, with sibling Emma. Left in relative peace the Histon Mariners could continue pre-match preparations and plan the day ahead.


17.11.12 Grimsby Town v Braintree

Grimsby Town v Braintree Ticket
Grimsby Town v Braintree Ticket


As Associate Match Sponsors, the day ahead was anticipated with added enthusiasm and The Kingsway Full English provided for the perfect start to the days campaigning. Two early morning incidents illustrated the variety and depth of influences on The Chairman’s considerations.
- First was an early morning congratulatory call from Ancient Histon Mariner Dick ‘The Trowel’ Tabor. The Trowel was an early sponsor of The Mighty Mariners. His continued affection was again demonstrated by his call inquiring about the previous evening and wishing good fortune against the beet noire, Braintree.
- Secondly when The Dean was late on parade it became apparent The Bar Hill Battle-Axe had been hounding the beleaguered Dean since shortly after 0600hrs. The Deans remarkable resilience was to be admired as he pronounced, with precision focus, the fitness programme for the day ahead.

Manoeuvres continued at a relentless pace although The Chairman did have to endure sporadic bouts of anxiety due to alterations to his pre-match routine. His resultant concerns for Towns performance were alleviated to a small extent by involving himself in The Innkeepers pre-match dilemma over which scarf to wear.
Routine was re-established at McMenemys where over the usual excellent fayre he enthralled whichever victim he could ensnare - on this occasion Codling JohnBoy - for an eternity about absolutely nothing.

One could only wonder who better for The Pup to learn so little from.
The ever jovial Chairman could not have been more accommodating!

Another evolving routine had been inspired by The Dean of Fitness and Restoration. His regular quietly authoritative advice was eagerly sought out by injured Mariners. On this occasion Joe Colbeck and Frankie Artus were the Mariners in search of The Deans wisdom.

New recruit Fred, The Dean, Joe Colebeck and Frankie Artus, Medallion Bob, Ray the fish and John Boy.
Ray the Fish Assistant Fred, The Dean himself, Joe Colbeck, Frankie Artus, Medallion Bob, The Fish with The Pup.

New recruit Fred as assistant to Ray the Fish was renowned locally for his electrifying pre-war performances for Excelsior F.C. Clearly wired into the local youth football scene, his knowledge and experience was expected to provide additional spark to The Campaign.

A crowd of 3722 were on hand to applaud the Histon Mariners as Associate Match Sponsors. Mattie presented President Maurice and Chairman Neville to a totally oblivious crowd.


The Chairman, Mighty and The President in harmony about the steady progress being made by Town.
The Chairman, Mattie and the President as match sponsors.
With shared hospitality interests, The Innkeeper and Mighty confer about future possibilities.
Mattie was delighted to meet up with Andy Carr.
The physical resemblance couldn’t help but raise further interest in shared heritage.
Histon Mariner sponsored Nathan Pond appeared enraptured to meet both the President and Chairman.

Meanwhile, The Innkeeper, familiar with the thoughts of Chairman Neville also listened to Mattie’s view from the dugout. Such collective wisdom would no doubt be of great interest to Messrs Hurst & Scott.


On a day of mild, nondescript almost featureless weather, a quietly prevalent confidence, expecting a routine 3 points produced a crowd in need of a severe bolt of energy to raise any inkling of atmosphere. The drift towards half-time sat comfortably in the stillness of a pleasant afternoon. Braintree remained encamped deep in their half, protecting their 18 dedicated supporters who had settled in spacious comfort in the Osmond Stand, fully prepared for a peaceful afternoon following their arduous journey north from Essex. Alas 2 minutes before half-time Histon Mariner sponsored Nathan Pond set up Ross Hannah to produce the 1 v 0 half-time score.

A brace of Andys, Cook and Thanoj, appeared slightly out of kilter by overtly battling away in an effort to raise the tempo. In the 52nd minute Skipper Disley scored a second to ensure that the day would probably not be one that would be talked about for years to come.
However on the hour Braintree made an effort, ventured south and a had a shot which roused a hint of noise that had a faint cockney accent. The Mighty Mariners managed to raise their commitment producing another Hannah goal on 65 minutes.
Shortly after, Shorty or Shouty or both fell into line by waking up substitutes Southwell, Pearson and Niven to go on to relieve Disley, Neilson and Cook presumably so they could enjoy a well deserved cup of tea.

Positives from the afternoon -
                          A clean sheet and 3 points
                          Andy Cook proving himself in the absence of the Hitman,
                          The curse of Braintree dispelled ?
                          Further movement between the ‘Camps of Hope and Expectation’,
                        AND  THE MIGHTY MARINERS RETURN TO THE TOP OF
                                  THE BLUE SQUARE BET PREMIER LEAGUE.

The Histon Mariners with Mattie in conjunction with joint Associate Match Sponsors Seachill, presented the combative Shaun Pearson with the Man of the Match.

Mattie was also privileged to meet Andy Carr (AKA as Mighty M). The striking resemblance is surely no coincidence. Shared genetic structures appear likely. Andy, Mattie and the Innkeeper discussed future plans ….watch this space!

Being top of the league undoubtedly fuelled the celebratory mood around Cleethorpes. It was not unfair to suggest that The Histon Mariners Campaign was becoming widely appreciated, nowhere more so than The New Imperial Club.

Mel, Matt (no relation), Johny Bollocks, A bashful President, A not so bashful Brummie and Wayne in celebratory Mode.

Musical renditions of the wide repertoire of melodic Fishy anthems regularly pierced the already electric atmosphere. “ We Support our Local Club (sic),” “We Are Top Of The League” alongside the obligatory chant of “FISH!”
Top chef, ‘Cafe Paul’, was particularly animated by the efforts of The Histon Mariner - though some cynics suggested his audibility was a consequence of his unflinching efforts to quench his thirst. The HM Logistics Director was seen in discussion with Cafe Paul about the The New Imperial Travelling Supporters Club venturing south for the Cambridge Utd. fixture early in the New Year. What would no doubt prove to be an excursion of unflinching dedication to duty was eagerly anticipated.

The Chairman was keen to visit Schooners as was The Medallion Man from Birmingham who recounted his past successes there. On arrival at Schooners The Chairman held prolonged discussions with barstaff about the differences and respective merits of pink and regular grapefruit juice, the type of glass that should be used and the shape, quantity and type of ice required. The Innkeeper, well versed in the points raised, intervened having a degree of sympathy for the barstaff and being fully aware of closing time a mere five and a half hours away!
When eventually settled in the excellent outside area of Schooners, the Chairman made a startling announcement......

“I think I’m happy now with the the way things are progressing!”
A contented Chairman, Connor Finnegan and Medallion Man Bob celebrated Town being ‘Perch(ed)’ on top of the league. Bob’s heightened enthusiasm brought forth the suggestion, that Gold medallions be presented to new recruits.....
....the validity of his suggestion was rebuffed in 2 words!
Connor was not so dismissive and presented himself as a potential trialist for Bobs scheme.

Connor was obviously enthused by the bubbling Brummie Bob and called his friends to take advantage of a photo opportunity. A ‘happy’ Chairman only added to the occasion. The President maintained a careful eye.


The upbeat spirts of The Chairman caused confusion. However some explanation was forthcoming when he announced his latest initiative - an invite he’d received for The Histon Mariners from Flight Commander Phil Harvey at The Royal Air Force Association Club.


Outside The Club, The Chairman’s happiness proved infectious as The Dean soon appreciated.
The Chairman's happiness proved infectious as the Dean soon appreciated.

The benefit of so much Ex-service experience within The HM had impressed and proved invaluable in The Chairman’s negotiations with the Club. President (North Thoresby Home Guard), The Chairman (SubMariner, North Atlantic), The Dean (Infantry Fitness Instructor, North African Campaign), Brummie Bob could divulge very little (Official Secrets Act) but wore his medallions with pride and the Innkeeper, Sixer in the 25th Willesden Cub pack.


The Chairman accepted the kind invitation from RAFA on behalf of The Campaign.
As an ex-serviceman the occasion brought on a wave of emotional memories.

An emotional Chairman, a composed Dean, the Innkeeper and President toast absent comrades with a glass of grapefruit (not pink).
Onto The Smugglers, where Landlady Julie once again displayed genuine excitement.
Julie was clearly caught up in the party atmosphere.
Jemma looked equally animated when listening to The Dean’s update from the Bar Hill Battleaxe.

As elsewhere the optimistic outlook prevailed. And The Histon Mariners were warmly embraced.

Stephen Fenwick, The Dean Zen Cook, a very jolly Neville and Rob Fenwick join in the celebrations.

Zen suggested the excitement had been so intense, a week off work might be necessary.

Rob introduced his mate Max from Bradley Mariners to President Maurice.
Cleethorpes Duncan was staggering (sic) on his reading of The Deans Fitness Programme, Graham, The Dean and H from ‘ull (aka Promotion Plaice) give the HM the thumbs up.

Such was the pace of celebrations at The Smugglers, the Innkeeper sneaked off to Willy’s for a moments peace and quiet consultation with fellow Innkeeper Bill Parkinson.


Inevitably the peace was short lived as Willy’s became the centre of celebrations. Interesting connections are a constantly evolving feature for Real Football Fans and the days campaigning had been a testament to that.
Inevitably the process never is never ending until the lose of play.

The Dean. Joe and Bob with Will and The President raise a final cheer for The Mighty Mariners.
Currently on loan at Highgate Mariners, Will Douglas originally from Cleethorpes was another exile constantly drawn to the ‘The Soul’ that has so influenced.
The Histon Mariners. No doubt such paths would cross again.

A terrifically successful days campaigning on all fronts. The Histon Mariner Campaign was certainly drawing interest from many and varied sources. No more was this illustrated the following weekend.


24.11.12 The Seals Visit Histon H.Q. - The Red Lion

It was inordinately rewarding for The Campaign, that Football People visited The Red Lion when the opportunity arose - on this occasion against “Our Other Team” Histon F.C.

Founded in 2010 after the demise of Chester City (1885-2010) they were originally placed in the N.W. Counties League. After a successful appeal to the F.A. they were moved to Division 1 North of the Northern Premier League which they won. Followed by winning The Northern League Premier Division 2011-12 and The Conference North 2012-13.

Followers of The Seals called into The Red Lion to express solidarity with The Campaign. With Town being fixture-less on the day, it was fortunate that The Brummie was on hand to help provide a warm welcome to the visitors.

Rob, Colin, Jon, The Brummie, Ian and The Colonel take refreshment at The Red Lion.
Aaron, Jon, The Chester Strangler and Howie discuss Real Football matters with The Gaffer and friend.
Mattie was on hand to add gravitas to the meeting.

Much gratitude was expressed to Bob, whose successful expansion of his West Midlands Division into the North West had continued without the utilisation of commemorative medallions.
The Histon Mariners expressed good wishes to the Real Football People of Chester in their various manoeuvres. The Chester Seals reciprocated such sentiments and implored The Mighty Mariners to put Wrexham ‘to the sword’ over the course of the season.

Chester City won 4 v 1 on the day, consolidating their top position of Division 6 (The Blue Square Conference North). The momentum being gathered by Chester made a meeting with The Mighty Mariners not beyond the imagination - hopefully back in the Football League where the two clubs had spent so much of their history.
In all a remarkable episode in the History of Chester City and a further vindication of The Histon Mariner Campaign.

Extraordinary Developments at The Red Lion (again!)
(Meet under the Hewitts sign)

Meeting under the Hewitts sign, The Chairman magnanimously bought ‘grapefruit juices’ for all. The main topic of conversation was the burgeoning successes of The Histon Mariners. It was the pace and scale of these events that encouraged the success-seeking Turncoat to approach The Chairman about re-joining The Campaign.
The all-embracing ethos encouraged by the inclusive Chair, consistently held a door open to friends old and new....

Reginald Stanley Gilbert ‘Turncoat’ Scott, discussed his flirtatious affiliation to The Mariners.
The inspirational inclusivity of The Chair was supported by the renowned bonhomie of long-term supporter of HM, Dick ‘The Trowel’ Tabor.

The return to the fold of The Turncoat was celebrated, for as long it was assumed, until someone else bought him a drink!


2012 - INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN : MATTIES NORTH ATLANTIC TRAWL.

In an extraordinary turn of events Mattie conducted a secret mission to northern shores. Only on his return can we reveal the nature of his trip.
Having commissioned the Trawler Boat the Ron Tiger and after hectic preparations, he was seen off by his collaborators.

Mattie is wished Bon Voyage by Angelique and Sarah who had helped prepare the forthcoming mission.
Mattie on board the Ron Tiger

On travels to the Faroe Islands and ultimately Iceland, Mattie was more than willing to 'work his passage'. Trawler men on the voyage were inspired by Mattie. Whilst aware of the Histon Mariners Campaign, an incredible insight into the extent of Matties commitment proved inspiring. Captain John Vincent was glowing in his assessment of Matties contribution to the voyage.

Mattie on the Deck
In the boiler room
Mattie on the Deck
In the boiler room

Shifting ice from the rigging
Shifting ice from the rigging

On his return to shore, Mattie gave a debriefing to The Chairman and The Dean over a cup of Earl Grey and toasted tea cakes at the Freeman’s Arms.  The Freeman’s was chosen because of its legendary status amongst Mariner fans.  The hostelry will always be associated with Mariner Legend Billy Cairns and known locally as Cairnsies.
Billy Cairns had 4 special claims to fame -
    i) 1946-54 played 221 games scoring 121 goals.
    ii)1951-54 played in  Mr. Shankly’s “ best team he ever managed,” scoring 31 goals 51-52
                     season,when Town finished 2nd in Division 3 North.
   iii) 16th Sept.1953.  Accrington Stanley 3 v 1 GTFC
        He became the oldest player to turn out for The Mariners @ 40yrs 324 days (2 days older
        than Peter Beagrie)
    iv) He played as a war-time guest for Liverpool in season 1940-41.

Towards the end of Matties visit, locals asked him to pose for photographic souvenirs to add to
Cairnsies legendary status.


The ultimate result of Matties Mission was the formation of a Northern Atlantic Branch of the Histon Mariners.

The worldwide Campaign continues


08.12.12 Grimsby Town 2 v 0 Tamworth

Grimsby Town v Tamworth Ticket

The Innkeeper sets off for Blundell with Mattie.
The Innkeeper and Mattie set off from The Red Lion. The dilemma Asti which scare to wear appeared to have received early consideration.

Note : The Deans unavailability was probably due to The Beasts activities.
Note : Deadly Debs (in league with The Beast?) had sent Gary Christmas shopping.
Note : The Chairman could not attend because “I’ve got my Christmas cards to do !!!”

It was acknowledged that the momentous task of contacting his extensive network of family, friends and associates would without doubt take up approximately 17 minutes of his time.

Note : On the following Monday, Mrs Brenda Chairman aka ‘The Pigeon’ announced, The Chairman’s match day absence had enabled him to get close to completing his Christmas preparations, which annually caused so much anxiety.
The enormity of his task was reflected by the size of his postage costs, £2.50 which equated to 5x2nd class stamps.
The Chairman’s workload is often exacerbated by him being a slave to perfection. The Pigeon had been dismissed from the Christmas Card task because of an alleged mistake 7 years previous, when one was sent to the wrong address. Now the job has to be done by The Chairman. It is of great reassurance to know the chance of a mistake being made has been eradicated.

Before the match John Boy was put through his paces by Ray the Fish in his capacity as (Youth Development Officer). Ray reported John Boy was making good progress.

Pre-kick-off ‘Fingerling’ JohnBoy was put through his ‘Plaices’. Ray declared him to be making ‘Brill’ progress.

                                        Town Stay Top Of The League.
Real Football fans remain forever suspicious of ‘turning points’, yet constantly seek them out. Debates about football minutiae effecting results and form, are the lifeblood of Real Football.

Fans continually recount old stories, distorted by selective memories and the relentless march of time. The competitive urge to find trivial football related facts, is a pastime recognised by every Real Football Fan. All these elements make up the psyche of a Real Football Supporter and feed a view of the world.
The match against Tamworth was illustrative of the mindset of supporters.

In all a similar to the last league match at Blundell against opposition with similar aspirations. The only real difference was it was colder. Comfortable without much excitement. At times patchy but overall functional.

A goal after 6 minutes from the Ginger Pirlo effectively sealed the destination of the 3 points. Hannah similar time into the second-half scored and confirmed another 3 points.
The most (the only) memorable moment, McKeown saving a non-penalty.

A job done with a smidgen of entertainment.
In the very recent past such statements would have been acceptable given the result. But now the balance of hope with expectation, for many fans had changed.
The same facts are viewed by some as ‘a change in the wheel of fortune’ and by others as ‘not performing at the level we should be’

The reality was :- Town were top (at the moment) - great.
                            Momentum is in the right direction. Real Football is not part of                             Premier Fantasy-Land with £££ to change things round.
                            Balancing patience with frustration - was the norm.

Real Football People take-in all the different interpretations of events with the the proverbial pinch of salt. There was still half a season to go. The half-empty glass could yet be further drained or topped up. The half-full glass could be poured away or topped up to over-flow. There was plenty of time for things to unravel or to improve. Things did not always go as expected.
BUT this might (might) just be the season.....

Post-match Frank Artus and Craig Disley sought out The Fish and The Pup.
Likewise Histon Mariner sponsored Nathan Pond, who it was hoped would extend his stay at Town.

All three Mighty Mariners were thankful for the continuing benefits of the much appreciated Dean of Fitness. But equally, as great admirers of The Chairman’s dedication they hoped his pre-Christmas stress levels would be eased by the 3 points and the return to the top of the league. On behalf of the squad , they passed on seasonal felicitations and Best Wishes for 2013..... .......which might just be THE year.

The Innkeeper and Mattie called into The New Imperial Club to alleviate the inevitable concerns arising from The Chairman’s absence. There was widespread incredulity about his dedication to perfect his Christmas planning. However the celebratory atmosphere was thankfully undiminished. And everyone looked forward to hearing how he dealt with organising 5 Christmas cards all on the same day.


21.12.12 Grimsby Town FC 1 V 0 Wrexham

Grimsby Town v Wrexham Ticket
Grimsby Town v Wrexham Ticket

Mattie's presence at Blundell for the key fixture v Wrexham was considered imperative. It was agreed his presence in and around Cleethorpes prior to the match would boost morale and raise awareness of the fixture to its proper status!

Obviously he stayed at the Kingsway Hotel – the long-time Cleethorpes base of the Histon Mariners.

Rachel was thrilled to see Mattie
As ever Rachel was thrilled to see Mattie and she immediately contacted Mighty M (aka Andy Carr) to tell him of Mattie's arrival.

Given the nature of the evening's mission, Mattie decided to visit Steels Corner House for pre-match sustenance as opposed to the usual and excellent McMenemy's.

The Innkeeper accompanied Mattie at Steels.

Crowds had flocked to Steels as news of Mattie's appearance spread.

Ian Stead in charge of Steels and a Mariner for over 25 years, announced Mattie's attendance and spoke of him probably being the most famous celebrity to visit Steels during his time.
Ian Stead in charge of Steels and a Mariner for over 25 years, announced Mattie's attendance and spoke of him probably being the most famous celebrity to visit Steels during his time.

Geraldine Shaw, at Steels for over 15 years, could not remember a more famous visitor.
Geraldine Shaw, at Steels for over 15 years, could not remember a more famous visitor.

Tracy Brown a relative new-comer was so taken with Mattie she wanted to get down with him.
Tracy Brown a relative new-comer was so taken with Mattie she wanted to get down with him.

Even Level 2 Chef Emily Asher called Mattie into the kitchen where Tracy’s excitement shows no sign of abatement.
Even Level 2 Chef Emily Asher called Mattie into the kitchen where Tracy’s excitement shows no sign of abatement.

Eventually after signing many autographs and spreading the Histon Mariners net, Mattie left Steels for Blundell.

Mattie's pre-match trawl had clearly raised fans awareness of the importance of the Wrexham fixture. The club shop paid particular thanks to Mattie following a bumper Xmas period.

Club shop stalwarts Moira, Kirsty and Laura were keen to meet Mattie.
Club shop stalwarts Moira, Kirsty and Laura were keen to meet Mattie. Kirsty, an avid reader of the Histon Mariners Website spoke of her friends delight at helping Mattie on his North Sea Trawl (see back).

A game between two sides with shared great traditions and lofty ambitions.
A game which at times facilitated a merging of hope with expectation.
A game which no side dominated. A game with some real quality.

When under pressure, particularly for about 25 minutes before half time, Nathan Pond Ian Miller displayed immense steel and authority, spreading confidence to team-mates and the crowd - no mean feat.
Offensively this was possibly the last appearance for both, Ross Hannah and Scott Neilson before returning to their parent clubs. It was unanimously hoped not - again an unusual sentiment.

The deadlock between the two high-flying teams was finally broken 15 minutes from time, when Hannah finished off the good work of skipper Disley and Aswad Thomas.

Town would be top over Christmas which if coupled with retaining Hannah and Neilson would provide The Chairman with a perfect justification to celebrate with ‘small amontillado’.

[ It soon came to pass that Scott Neilson decided that his wares were needed at Luton. It was unfortunate that his talents came to be appreciated whilst helping to fire The Mighty Mariners and the time was denied to finish the job started.
Such is football in the modern era. Being fully realistic if such eventualities, it was now with eager anticipation that Plan B from Shorty & Shouty was awaited. ]

John Boy declared himself Sophie's agent. She would rather suck a lemon.  The Innkeeper and Mattie keep the peace.
John Boy declared himself Sophie's agent. She would rather suck a lemon. The Innkeeper and Mattie keep the peace.

Ray the Fish and Mattie spread oil on troubled waters. John Boy and Sophie appear as one!
Ray the Fish and Mattie spread oil on troubled waters. John Boy and Sophie appear as one!

Afterwards Mattie called in at the Imperial Club to meet up with old friends. High spirits were clearly evident given GTFC ARE TOP OF THE LEAGUE.

Jay and Daz share a shandy with Mattie and exchange football stories.
Imperial Johny B. celebrates with Mattie. Glenn in support recognises the occasion as one of the highlights of his years supporting Town.
Having seen Town play at 91 league grounds, such a statement was a tremendous validation of The Histon Mariner Campaign.

On arrival back at the Kingsway, Top Night-porter Innis announced various incoming calls of congratulations to Mattie and the Innkeeper. In particular Histon Mariners illustrious Chairman Neville sent a congratulatory note to Mattie and the Innkeeper.

The Chairman declared he would be happy over Xmas.
The Chairman declared he would be happy over Xmas.

Mattie briefs the Innkeeper about future plans. Both feel a degree of festive spirit especially after the Chairman's congratulatory note.
Mattie briefs the Innkeeper about future plans. Both feel a degree of festive spirit especially after the Chairman's congratulatory note.

 Stop Press :

The Chairman had declared an intention to stay with The Dean over the Christmas holiday period. The football season was entering a critical phase. The presence of The Beast raised the question of The Deans wellbeing. As ever, The Chairman’s altruism, visionary planning was constantly looking ahead.


26.01.13 Cambridge United 0 v 0 Grimsby Town

The much eagerly awaited trip to The Fenlands of East Anglia by The Mighty Mariners was in doubt because of the weather until 08.30 on match-day. At The Red Lion, old Histon Mariner LegEnd had talked all week about the forthcoming clash. Dick, an ardent admirer of the tactical acumen of new Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez, had been willing to extol the benefits of his insightful observations. Even the sagacious Chairman had been keen to listen and absorb the nonsense espoused by ‘The Trowel’

The Chairman, Gaffer and friends were on hand to listen to Dick at his match-day breakfast symposium.

By virtue of his usual tactful and collaborative approach, The Chairman arranged for Dick to attend the match to enable him to expound his observations to anyone who could be bothered to listen. Unfortunately even The Chairman was unable to overcome the interference of The Bar Hill Battleaxe that resulted in The Dean’s absence.

Cambridge was awash with Mariners fans. The R Costings Abbey Stadium could easily be mistaken as if it were hosting a GTFC home fixture. Obviously Histon Mariners activity assisted a big match atmosphere and seemingly, the news of Dick Tabor attending had clearly broken.

Inside, Dick discussed with Mattie, Histon Mariners Strategy. Dick agreed he'd probably missed out on the rise and rise of the Mighty Mariners. Mattie reassured Dick that once one had experienced the magic of GTFC it stayed with you for ever.

Dick & Mattie continue discussions
Dick & Mattie continue discussions. The Chairman joins them as they all look up the league table to the top spot in the league.

Cambridge Managing Director Dave Doggett welcomed the opportunity to discuss with the Chairman the success and long term strategy of the Histon Mariners. Chairman Neville so inspirational and intrinsic to the strategy was delighted to help and encourage Dave and the future of CUFC. Impington Branch Secretary Gary provided further example and his own conversion to the Histon Mariner Strategy. Dick continued to be awe-struck and remains grateful to be so warmly welcomed back.

Gary’s continued commitment deserved acknowledgment. His brave match-day appearance belied the enormous pressure he was operating under. Many, many football supporters would recognise the pressures involved which many themselves had to confront.
Throughout the day, Deadly Deb checked up that Gary was keeping warm by wearing his mittens and done his scarf up correctly. She was particularly concerned that he had eating a properly balanced meal with only a moderate portion of ice-cream and not over-indulging on ‘cream-sodas’. Deadly’s concern was touching but the encroaching influence of the Bar Hill Battleaxe was considered a worry by many on their own future manoeuvres.

One of the most outstanding success stories of the Histon Mariners Campaign is the worldwide Youth Development Programme. Within the programme Youth 'Old Boy' John Boy was on hand to welcome Max from the Isle of Man.

Max insisted on bringing Nanna Jan to the game in order to meet the Histon Mariners. Nanna Jan accompanied by 7 decades Mariner Fan Roy Dowie who were all welcomed by the President to the Cambridge Game.

Obviously the players were aware of the attendance of the Histon Mariners and as always were keen and delighted to show their support of the campaign.

Frankie Artus, Dayle Southwell and Greg Pearson called to see John Boy and Manx Max
Frankie Artus, Dayle Southwell and Greg Pearson called to see John Boy and Manx Max. The players talked of their pleasure in seeing such young codlings growing in to fully fledged Mariner fans.

Mattie & Manx Max took Nanna Jan, Dad Glen and Roy up to the stand for the game.
Mattie  & Manx Max took Nanna Jan, Dad Glen and Roy up with the stand for the game.

The Innkeeper, President, Mattie and Gary welcome Glen also from the Isle of Man who is clearly overawed with the occasion.
The Innkeeper, President, Mattie and Gary welcome Glen also from the Isle of Man who is clearly overawed with the occasion.

Histon Mariners hospitality extended further to local celebrities, who as ardent Cambridge fans were honoured to be part of the Mariner Experience.

Medallion Bob and the Chairman exude a warm welcome to Old Cambridge Legends Dick Tumber and Gary Chapman, both supporters since the war.
Medallion Bob and the Chairman exude a warm welcome to Old Cambridge Leg Ends Dick Tumber and Gary Chapman, both supporters since the war.

It was particularly exciting to welcome back an old young friend to The Histon Mariner Campaign. The return of the Herculean Nathan Pond to Fleetwood, enabled The HM to negotiate sponsorship of the retuning Jamie Devitt. When previously at Blundell, Jamie had proved an exciting addition to the cause and was returning for unfinished business.

One can only wonder if the Innkeeper had sown seeds at this time which are now bearing fruit...
The Innkeeper with Jamie Devitt before the Lincoln game 20.02.2012.
From little acorns.......!

A very cold windy day against a big, physical team unbeaten in 10 games would be a test for Town.
A relatively scrappy affair saw The Mighty Mariners have a final 30 minutes of domination but fortune was not to favour the brave. Denied twice by the woodwork and a goal (not unreasonably) disallowed, allowed The U’s to pinch a point.
Was this the proverbial turning point ? Probably not. A point away from home would have been taken, if offered beforehand. Those Mariners disappointed with the result are locked in the process of constantly modifying their hope/expectation’ perspective. It could have been a bit better, it could have been a lot worse.

A big plus for The Mighty Mariners was the second coming of Jamie Devitt who looked as though he’d never been away. And Marcus Marshall, after a difficult few days being used as a trading commodity between Bury and Luton, provided balance on the opposite wing.
The potential of Town’s wingers was a source of justifiable optimism.
Shorty & Shouty’s Plan B appeared to have taken ‘us shape.’ If Brodie could click into gear his added goal threat could be the icing on the cake.

After the match local Cambridge Celebrities, ‘Gary the Tent’ and ‘Dick the Cab’ were enthused by ‘Bob the Brummie’ about The Campaign. Discussions were overheard about a possible collaboration in Cleethorpes - a further endorsement of Real Football Supporters.

‘Ray the Fish’ checked the League positions. The Chairman ingratiated himself to the Cambridge Notables.

Gary put aside the concerns of a higher authority to ensure food supplies to ‘The Trowel’ and expressed gratitude for his valued attendance.

Brummie Bob and The Innkeeper welcomed ‘The Trowels’ suggestion of a Cherry Hinton Mariners Branch.
Ray ‘the’ Fish provided solace to a weary JohnBoy.

Back at Histon HQ, attention turned to the next venture against Alfreton @ Blundell 2 Feb 2013. An emotional Dick thanked everyone for their generosity and bonhomie.
President Maurice – under the Hewitts sign – urged everyone to keep up the good fight and remain focused on the months ahead.

John Boy with Coleen the Fish are clearly pleased to be able to hear such pearls of wisdom from the President.
John Boy with Coleen the Fish are clearly pleased to be able to hear such pearls of wisdom from the President.

 Stop Press :

- The Chairman informed a very interested audience, Mrs Chairman aka The Pigeon was
   encouraging his use of anti-wrinkle cream !
- Deadly Debs phoned Gary after the game ‘to ask the result’ - an ulterior motives are
   suspected.   The concerns about curtailment of future manoeuvres remained paramount.
- No more had been heard of The Dean.  It was rumoured that he’d been sent to Weight
   Watchers !
- The Beast of Bar Hill had made a visit to The Red Lion ‘incognito’.  Whilst there were no
   witnesses, the ‘alleged’ source of the intimidating graffiti (shown below) had to be taken
   seriously.
   The potential threat to future manoeuvres and the well-being of The Dean was to be
   closely monitored.  The Chairman would deploy his diplomatic skills were appropriate.
   The additional emergence of Deadly Debs fell into the same problematic arena.

Continuous vigilance must be maintained.
Continuous vigilance must be maintained.


02.02.13 Grimsby Town 4 v 2 Alfreton Town

Grimsby Town v Alfreton Ticket
Grimsby Town v Alfreton Town Ticket

Given the Dean's leave of absence from the Cambridge game, the Chairman and Logistics Director planned an audacious coup on the way to Blundell. However cover was soon exposed and the Battleaxe made her views well known.

Thankfully the Dean escaped and joined the Chairman and Logistics Director on manoeuvres.

At the Kingsway Hotel, The Chairman soon relaxed and announced the arrival of the Histon Mariners to anyone who would listen.
The Kingsway Hotel, The Chairman soon relaxed and announced the arrival of the Histon Mariners to anyone who would listen.

At Willy's the Dean keeps the Battleaxe abreast of developments.
At Willy's the Dean keeps the Battleaxe abreast of developments.

Concerns had been expressed on the journey north about the non-appearance of The President. Having extricated The Dean from Camp Bar Hill, the ongoing influence of The Beast of Bar Hill was the topic the marred pre-match preparations at Willy’s. It was at this time that puzzle of the absent President was solved. It transpired that the First Lady of Histon had commandeered Maurice for family liaison duties in Market Rasen!!
However The First Lady allowed The President to call into Willy’s to explain the priority issues?

The Innkeeper remonstrated with Yvonne who appeared content with events.

After the fleeting visitation of Histon’s First Couple, The Chairman’s well monitored pre-match anxieties appeared heightened. He declared, the growing influence of The Bar Hill Beast was a concern for Real Football Fans everywhere. Many, many supporters would be grateful for the involvement of The Chairman.

A bumper crowd was anticipated to watch the top side in the Conference procure another 3 points in the relentless march back to league status.

Outside Blundell, The Chairman and The Dean were delighted to welcome supporters and particularly lifetime supporter Leeson Pearce on his 81st birthday.
Inside Blundell, The Innkeeper with his unique talent as ‘mine-host’, welcomed all to McMenemy’s.

The successful evolution of The Youth Development Programme was clearly demonstrated by the performance of fledgling JohnBoy. His development was demonstrably well rounded, acquiring a wide interest in many areas of life and also gambling.

JohnBoy displayed intense interest in sweepstake tickets.
The Chairman and Dean were keen to monitor JohnBoys approach.
JohnBoy’s enthusiasm to help smolt Sophie clearly proved infectious. It was thought his mind was elsewhere.....
Dave Smith encouraged a smile from JohnBoy, just.
Mattie proved an inspiration to Sophie.
John Fenty expressed admiration for Ray the Fish and his Youth Programme.
He also expressed his understanding of The Dean’s trials & tribulations back in Bar Hill.

One particularly successful element of The Histon Mariner Campaign has been The Dean’s Fitness an Restoration Programme - despite the ongoing pressures from higher authorities. Many supporters and players have benefited. Alongside the squads appreciation for The Dean’s efforts is the growing awareness of The Fish’s Youth Programme.

Simon Ford, Dayle Southwell, Frankie Artus and Greg Pearson join forces to meet up with The Fish and the school of Stu (also a Toffee!), Pete and Vicky with the 2 Pups.
Sophie encouraged Toffee-Mariner Stu and Pete in support of The Mariners. JohnBoy appeared pre-occupied with his ‘sweepstake tickets’ and other matters!

A freezing cold and very windy day looked to have had some bearing on team selection. Brawn rather than brains, Brodie in for top scorer scorer Hannah. Ex.Mariner Phil Barnes in goal for Alfreton.
A less than auspicious start for Town saw The Reds take the lead from the penalty spot - given away by a clumsy Brodie challenge.
Kicking towards The Pontoon into a very difficult wind made ‘decent football’ difficult and probably justified the team selected.
However redemption for Brodie when he ‘won’ a penalty. It was quite obvious that Brodie assumed he would take it - nothing wrong with stepping-up. However the Skipper thought otherwise, grappled the ball back from the ‘enthusiastic’ Brodie and handed it to Histon Mariner sponsored Jamie Devitt who converted after 41 mins.
On the stroke of half-time further redemption for Brodie who scored to give Town a 2 v 1 lead at half-time. It was hoped the Brodie centric half would settle him, allowing him to concentrate his individual ability in the cause of the team.
Playing with the wind produced a marginally better Town performance.
Cook wearing something between a bandage and bandana scored after 58 minutes after good work from Brodie, which it was hoped would facilitate the half-time hopes. But an unnecessary booking for Brodie after 66 minutes preceded his sharp exit to make way for new signing Lenell John-Lewis (The obvious comments would be deferred for another day)
The Reds pulled one back (71mins). 10 minutes from time a header from debutant John-Lewis was blocked by the keeper but Town’s Capt. Reliable was on hand to ensure 3 more points.
An understandably dis-jointed pragmatic performance which ultimately re-iterated a realistic choice for supporters :
         a) A very pragmatic functional performance in terrible conditions -
             3 points, top of the league and a glass half full.
         b) A typical low quality Conference game, no effort at “free-flowing football,”
             3 points, top of the league and a glass half empty

After the game the Chairman and the Dean of Fitness take a breather, share an orange cordial and wallow in the glory of being LEAGUE LEADERS.
After the game the Chairman and the Dean of Fitness take a breather, share an orange cordial and wallow in the glory of being LEAGUE LEADERS.

Eager to meet the Histon Mariners was Sam from Goole who brought along Judith.
Eager to meet the Histon Mariners was Sam from Goole who brought along Judith. Sam a very useful recruit to the Youth Development Programme is also editor of Martin's work as the video king of Blundell Park.

Activity at McMenemy's was befitting of a team TOP OF THE LEAGUE AND 3 POINTS CLEAR but the Chairman, relentless in the Mariners cause was insistent in pushing onto the Imperial Club.

Chairman Neville and the Dean discuss future plans with Glen & Jason.
Chairman Neville and the Dean discuss future plans with Glen & Jason.
Wayne, John, Andy (well known at the Red Lion) and Ben are obviously delighted with the Mariners performance and excited at the presence of the Histon Mariners.
Wayne, John, Andy (well known at the Red Lion) and Ben are obviously delighted with the Mariners performance and excited at the presence of the Histon Mariners.
Jason and John were at one with The Chairmen that their ‘half-full glasses’ needed refilling.
Jason and John were at one with The Chairmen that their ‘half-full glasses’ needed refilling.

A brief visit to the No2 bar and Schooners gave the Histon Mariners a chance to catch their breath. At Schooners, the Chairman, Dean and Innkeeper were able to reflect on proceedings.

Schooners Landlady Nicola, expressed her admiration to The Dean and an unusually excited Chairman.
Schooners Landlady Nicola, expressed her admiration to The Dean and an unusually excited Chairman.

As the evening drew on Cleethorpes was awash with celebrating Mariners fans who were especially excited at the presence of the Histon Mariners.

At The Notts, The Innkeeper ‘reluctantly’ addressed the assembled crowd and took the opportunity to give an instantly forgettable rendition of “ We Are The Champions.
At The Notts, The Innkeeper ‘reluctantly’ addressed the assembled crowd and took the opportunity to give an instantly forgettable rendition of “ We Are The Champions.

Not surprisingly the Smugglers was inundated with Mariners fans and Landlady Julie was as glad as ever to see the Chairman who would mingle with the crowds.

Oxo Crisps All Round

The Chairman, a master of strategy is always a centre of attraction at the Smugglers, whether giving a display on the pool tables or simply encouraging fans with Histon Mariners news.

Finally at the Kingsway a warm welcome, as ever for the Chairman came from top Night Porter, Innis and Deputy Manager, Simon.

All at the Kingsway certainly show their appreciation to Neville for his vision and hard work. Likewise Histon Mariners are delighted with Cleethorpes HQ 'The Kingsway Hotel'. Breakfast on Sundays are aways an essential element of the Histon Mariners weekends, providing our Chairman with the sustenance enabling him to get to Histon HQ for opening time.


19.02.13 Braintree 2 V 0 Grimsby Town

Braintree V Grimsby Town Ticket
Braintree V Grimsby Town Ticket

The memories of the only previous Town visit to The Amlin Stadium had scarred all B&W attendees for life. The steady improvement since that night had encouraged more Mariners to enter “Camp Expectation” than “Camp Hope”, though many were unable to decide week by week.

The Chairman was unavailable for selection because, “ domestic duties necessitated an early night !!! ” After the 3 v 0 semi-final victory v Dartford on the previous Saturday, The Chairman’s great wisdom implored that minds concentrated on the job in hand and forgot about ‘Wembley Showboating’

‘The Fish’ and The Innkeeper proved determined to put past experiences at Braintree to bed and set forth from The Red Lion with a balanced ‘Hope-Expectation mindset. What would no doubt prove critical would be The Innkeepers choice of scarf!

‘The Fish’, met up with Ian, Gareth and Group Leader Roy in The Orange Tree. All declared a sense of deja vu.
Ian and Gareth had half empty glasses. Ray and Roy had half full glasses. Such was the divide amongst Mariners

Ray the Fish with Ian, Gareth & Ray. All sensed a feeling of Déjà vu.
Ray the Fish with Ian, Gareth & Ray. All sensed a feeling of Déjà vu

Ultimately the evening had a remarkable ...feeling of deja vu... – Poor performance, Bad result, Questionable burger.
Ultimately the evening had a remarkable ...feeling of deja vu.... – Poor performance, Bad result, Questionable burger.

As the fog descended, the temperature dropped dramatically, GTFC dropped from the top spot (Presumably & hopefully temporarily) & memories rushed back of the silent & surreal journey back to Histon as last year.

Congratulations to Braintree on beating the Mighty Mariners. Someone suggested that having been beaten 5 - 0 last year & only 2 - 0 this year, it proves how much the Mighty Mariners have improved…!!

Onwards & Upwards

UTMM


09.03.13 GTFC 1 v 3 Kidderminster Harriers

A depleted squad reported for duty. Various justifications for absence were put forward including love and romance (the Chairman), aged in-laws (the President), a need to get Easter Cards written (the Chairman again) and the heavy foot of a partner (Gary).

The Deans sterling efforts continued in defiance of Management. The Innkeeper accompanied The Dean on manoeuvres. The importance of sticking to established routine, were possible, was paramount. A degree of flexibility was permissible. An absent Chairman relaxed the precise 0817 departure time (marginally). The Clean Air Act came into force virtue of an absence of 7 cancer sticks and an absent President eliminated the need to check on the Greenfield Roundabout at Balderton.
However The Dean provided the customary 2 bags of sweets - one had to be Fruit Pastilles - and The Innkeeper was soon in turmoil over which was the day’s lucky scarf.

Nothing was more established than the onset of proceedings at Willy’s. And as time marched on, it was no surprise to see Mariners gather in the hope of meeting up with the Histon Mariners.

Legendary MineHost, Bill is always on hand to welcome The Histon Mariners to Willy’s.
Mathew and Katy organised a special Mother’s Day treat for mum Sarah by meeting up with the HM. Dad John was taken along for the ride.

Ceremonial Ale Taster Jeremy Bailey, for Wellington in Shropshire, took long-term associate Boston Bill to Willy’s to sample the fayre on offer, to meet up with The Histon Mariners and experience the gathering momentum of The Campaign.

Boston Bill appeared genuinely enthused when introduced by Jeremy to The Dean.

McMenemy’s consistently great offerings is one of the key elements in the Histon Mariner excursion to N.E.Lincs. As ever injured squad members enthusiastically welcomed the advice and support from The Dean of Fitness & Restoration.


                  Derek Niven, Mr.&Mrs.Fish, The Dean and Dayle Southwell
                              and JohnBoy with a touch of ‘Wembleyitus.

A crowd of 4629 confirmed an increased volume in many more glasses. Big crowds and disappointment have tended to come together like Egg & Bacon in the recent Mariner annals. Another bad weather day - constant drizzle cast an early shadow over the days proceedings, which ultimately the result did little to alleviate.
At half-time Town’s 2 shots had been well saved. The Harriers 2 shots both produced goals. 0 v 2 at half-time inevitably meant hope exceeded expectation - glasses everywhere were draining.
An Ian Miller goal after 50 minutes did little to change the balance of hope & expectation. Jamie Devitt was introduced shortly after producing a flicker of hope. A further Kiddy goal sealed all.

Post-match The Fish and The Dean compared notes and coordinated plans for Wembley the following week.

Regulars at The New Imperial Club did not appear surprised when ‘Joe Pasquale’ appeared with the hope of meeting the HM. Joe could not have been more complimentary. Cafe Paul was obviously awe-stuck when meeting one of his heroes.

Imperial John, Joe P., Cafe Paul and The Dean continue to proclaim ‘glasses to be half-full’.
Cafe Paul’s hero Joe P.

The Imperial was buzzing with anticipation of Wembley. Michelle, Joe P. John, Mel and Matt consult with The Dean on plans. Joe P. talked of joining the Histon Mariners to boost his ratings.


At The ‘Smugglers’ Landlady Julie was delighted to welcome the HM but was reduced to tears on hearing of the Chairman’s absence.
The Innkeeper and Dean whilst reflecting on The Chairs predicament, were also reduced to tears...of laughter.
But managed to raise a glass to ‘absent friends’.

Back at The Kingsway Top, Night Porter Innis and Restaurant Manager Mariner Simon, when told of The Chairmans predicament, offered unstinting support in between fits of uncontrollable laughter.



RED LION WEMBLEY PREPARATIONS

Extensive refurbishment at The Red Lion was put in place ready for the Wembley visit. Redecoration in GTFC colours provided an environment appropriate for the Wembley weekend.

The Dean, Innkeeper, Medallion Bob, Codling James, Steve the Fence and the President celebrate accordingly.

The President and Mattie share many old memories. (Ed. It was later revealed that Mattie informed the president of a forth coming secret mission. The President was sworn to secrecy but a full report is now available below!)



The Lady President Yvonne joins the group with junior codling Alfie, here seen with the president under the Hewitts sign.


2013 - INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN : VIETNAM

The International Campaign, the inspirational vision of Chairman Neville, was to enter an exciting new phase in Indo-China. Mattie had organised and requested The Innkeeper to accompany him in perusing The Campaigns Objectives.


Staff at the Hanoi base were jubilant at this arrival.


As always, locals were entranced by Mattie’s charisma. Youngsters in particular were keen to become part of the Histon Mariner worldwide youth development programme.



Mattie with a mind to a future film career, checking the location for several Bond shoots.

Given youth development as a major strand of Matties agenda, it was inspiring that Grimsby fanatic Chung made special efforts to meet Mattie.


Chung had heard of the Histon Mariners and revelled in stories of Bill Shankly, Matt Tees, Dave Boylen and Neville Ashby. His knowledge was staggering and he insisted on taking Mattie to meet his 86 year old grandmother, a Mariners fanatic for decades and source of his knowledge.

Other boys in the village were truly inspired and when word got out of Mattie being in the village, the children were uncontrollable.


A trip to the Mekong Delta before Mattie’s heavy schedule in Ho Chi Minh City surprised everyone. During the dark days of the Vietnam war it was discovered that news of the Mighty Mariners often provided relief and inspiration.

Stories of the Delta and the inspiration of the Mariners was recounted to Mattie by Veteran Duy

On the flight to Ho Chi Minh City, Mattie and The Innkeeper prepared reports for The Chairman

The fanaticism of the locals was quite extraordinary. Most heart-warming was the desire of many parents to have their children associated with the Histon Mariners Youth Development Programme.







Other worldwide visitors to Vietnam recognised Mattie and were equally keen to associate.

Mattie is invited to the Czech Republic
Mattie is invited to the Czech Republic

Mattie’s new Pilipino friend means a venture is sure to be planned.
Matties new best friend pleaded with him to visit the Philippines, in order to grow the already vibrant Grimsby Town fanbase.
Awareness of Reg The Turncoat’s application for residency brought forth a plea for more reliable organisation.

In Ho Chi Minh City, local constabulary were well prepared and happy to deal with the traffic chaos caused by Matties visit.

Such was the fervour caused by his presence Ho Chi Minh himself wanted an audience with Mattie, who took the Logistics Director with him.

Ho Chi Min was aware of Mattie’s Russian Campaign during his Great Baltic adventure. Ho Chi Min told Mattie, he too was a friend of Yuri Gagarin.

The outstanding reception received by Mattie proves the success of the venture. The long term success of the Histon Mariners could not be in better hands.

A truly exceptional devotion to the cause could not hide the fact that Logistics Director would miss The Mighty Mariners, take on Wrexham at Wembley. Understandably Mattie had had to keep logistical arrangements very low key, in order to minimise the inevitable hysteria. It later became evident that The President and Chairman had been aware of the situation and felt The Logistics Director could be spared in view of the importance of the long-term implications of the Indo-China tour.


WEMBLEY - THE FA CARLSBERG TROPHY

24.03.13 GTFC 1 v 1 Wrexham

(4 v 5 penalties)

As the astonishing news of the Logistics Director’s absence was fully digested, the Histon Mariners proceeded to Wembley under the guidance of the President and Chairman. Unsurprisingly the Bar Hill Battleaxe could not let this auspicious occasion pass without putting her oar in.

The Histon Mariners braved the Artic-like conditions to London and on arrival sought out a suitable venue for a “hot chocolate”. Immediately, Mariners fans were incredulous at the absence of Mattie and the Logistics Director.

Mariners fanatic John, representing the Imperial Club, discusses absent friends with the Chairman.
Mariners fanatic John, representing the Imperial Club, discusses absent friends with the Chairman...John looked understandably shocked.

Meanwhile Ray The Fish took control of Cleethorpes Mariners Branch manoeuvres.

Hannah (Checking John Boy is warm enough and wear apropriate headgear), Vickey, Ray "the Fish",Jay & John boy
John Boy, Jay, Vickey, Sohie & Ray "The Fish"

Once at Wembley the Histon and Cleethorpes Mariners looked immediately at home as they embraced the invigorating fresh air.

John Boy
Sophie began to show early leadership potential

Mattie joins Ray "The Fish" and 2 Codlings.
Anenthralled Jay can hardly contain his excitement.


Old soldiers never die


Stu, Lou & Hannah revel at being part of the Histon Mariners campaign.

2 Codlings dream of better times.

A bitterly cold day. Many travelling supporters faced major problems on both road and rail. The delays and freezing weather will be the overriding and lasting memory of the day in future years.

A bitterly cold day. Many travelling supporters faced major problems on both road and rail. The delays and freezing weather will be the overriding and lasting memory of the day in future years.

Andy Cook’s 70 minute goal from Towns best( only ?) move of the game of a fairly sterile affair raised hope. Wrexham’s penalty 10 minutes later effectively inflicted extra-time on both sets of frozen supporters.
Frankie Artus and Joe Colbeck had been reasonable. And it was bloody cold.

The arrival of substitute Richard Brodie after 88 minutes, created an opportunity for him to take centre-stage and create legendary status.
Extra-time came and went, McKeown the Man Of The Half Hour. And it was getting colder.

Penalties - as ever a lottery. Sam Hatton hit the post, Brodie blasted just over, by 147.7 feet !!! Joe Colbeck scored. The Red Dragons scored 4.
Game over. It might have helped if Brodie looked as if he cared.
Doom and gloom, the weather was felt to worsen.

A prevalent questioning of Brodie’s performance followed on the many delayed long journeys home. The weather remained extremely cold.
From this point on Town fans unanimously added weight to the ‘Non-League’ prevailing view of ‘the Marmite Man’.

Plus it had been bloody cold...

Meanwhile....

Mattie and the Logistics Director reflect on the Wembley game and admire the brave efforts of others in slightly colder circumstances.

It was wondered by some if ‘Matties Great Baltic Adventure’ was linked to the days Baltic conditions.


25-3-2013 (The following day) Richard Brodie was released by The Mighty Mariners....!!!

A much more significant announcement on 16-4-2013 was that former Town Manager Bill Shankly was to be commemorated as one of ‘10 great Britons’ on a Royal Mail postage stamp. As a great inspiration for Real Football People and Campaigning groups like ‘The Histon Mariners’ and ‘The Spirit of Shankly’ this should be considered just recognition in the 100th year since his birth.

The Chairman of the HM has only since the announcement was made, revealed that Royal Mail had been in contact with him about their intentions in the preceding months.

On return from Vietnam, The Innkeeper met with The Chairman and Dean at La Mimosa in Cambridge. A review of the International Campaign, the Wembley match and form going into the Play-Offs were matters high on the agenda.
Over a splendid English Afternoon Tea (Darjeeling of course), the decline in Towns form during Matties absence and the return to form on his return, was duly noted.
An update on The Beast of Bar Hill and the effects of The Chairs anti-wrinkle cream ensured the meeting ended in a most positive manner.


The fluctuation of form and its association with Matties absence was long-debated. After excruciatingly tedious analysis, the Chairman talked of the difficulty in balancing long-term objectives with the immediate issues. He also mentioned how bloody cold the trip to Wembley had been but found the day easier to endure knowing of the Logistic Director and Matties well-being!


30.03.13 GTFC 0 v 0 AFC Barrow

The Match-day GTFC Magazine recorded the 39th birthday of Ian Fitzgerald, (page 39) and recognised he had attended every game over the season. The infamous Chesterfield Mariner (aka Teflon Man) unsurprisingly was pictured with his glass half-empty!


20.04.13 GTFC 3 v 0 Newport County AFC

A much altered squad assembled for the days campaigning. The President was required by the First Lady of Histon for ceremonial duties in Cottenham related to the Youth Development Programme. The Dean, it was suspected was under duress courtesy of ‘The Beast’. Webmaster Kevin and long term associate Walter proved enthusiastic debutants.

The Innkeeper was late on parade at The Red Lion and consequently bore the brunt of The Chairman’s ‘eloquent tongue’ on the journey north. The established leaving time of 0817 was delayed by a potentially catastrophic 9 minutes to 0826. With the consumption of the regulation 7 cancer sticks at the correct points, the routine inspection of the Greenfields roundabout at Balderston and the debate about ‘which’ was the lucky scarf, normal service was almost resumed, until at Grantham the Chairman realised “there’s no fruit pastilles!”

The Chairman and Innkeeper were first on parade at Willy’s - having recovered 8 of the original 9 lost minutes. Regular campaigner, Medallion Bob had nursed nervous couple Kevin and Walter through their journey and indulged them in their 68 minute costume change and preparation at ‘The Kingsway Hotel’

At Willy’s, Medallion Bob welcomes the Webmaster & Walter to the Mariners cause.

In glorious sunshine, sharing a Dandelion & Burdock, the Chairman takes time to discuss the philosophy and ethos of the Histon Mariners with Walter and Kev the Web.

Knowing the routine of the Histon Mariners, GTFC legend Dave Boylen takes time from his rigorous fitness regime to call in at Willy’s. He particularly wanted to thank Mattie and the Innkeeper for their efforts in Indo China.

Already incredulous with the glorious sunshine, the hospitality of the Cleethorpes basecamp The Kingsway and Cleethorpes Operations HQ Willy’s, Walter and Kev the Web wondered if it could get better. They were not to be disappointed. At Blundell and in McMenemy’s both realised the magnitude of the GTFC Project.

A ‘happy(?) Chair proudly ensured a thirsty Webmaster and a bewitched Walter were well catered for.

Whilst the Chairman kept his eye, as ever on developments elsewhere, Walter is seen concentrating on the plate in front of him and Mattie joins Kev at the table.

As ever members of the GTFC first team squad were anxious to welcome and thank the Histon Mariners.

Lenell John-Lewis, Jamie McKeown and Simon Ford were pleased to Welcome Kev the Web and Walter and renew old acquaintances with Bob Hine.

A bright but very windy day with a Play-off place assured but playing to determine the opposition.
The Exile shuffled their pack much more than Town. With the key objective already attained the match did lack intensity. Jamie Devitt had his best since returning to Blundell, scoring with a great free-kick after 18 minutes.
Thanoj after 24 minutes virtually secured the victory. It gave great pleasure to all bar 73 of the 4555 attendees, to see Hitman Hearn in his second appearance of the season score just before half-time. It could only be hoped his injury nightmares were fully behind him, because a fully fit Hearn would undoubtedly shorten the odds on play-off success.
3 v 0 at half-time. 3 v 0 at full-time probably says enough of the second half. Ian Miller and Tom Naylor in such circumstances impressed. Histon Mariner sponsored Jamie Devitt could claim to be Man of the Match.

Post-match celebration followed a familiar routine. However, it has to be said at the Imperial Club questions were asked of the Innkeeper as to his absence from Wembley.

The Innkeeper is quizzed by Mariners fanatic John.
The Innkeeper is quizzed by Mariners fanatic John.

The Innkeeper explains to John and Mel about the Long term project and the importance of the Indo China Campaign.

Also at the Imperial, Baz and Andy Murray (40 love) were overjoyed to meet Medallion Bob and Kev the Web. A long time follower of the Histon Mariners, Andy achieved a life ambition to share a Cherry-Cola with the Histon Mariners.

Schooners offered some quiet reflection on the day’s events and initial preparation for the play offs.

Walter & Bob Hine listen intently to the Chairman’s thoughts

At The Nottingham House, The Chairman demonstrated yet again his wonderfully empathetic nature. He had been delighted with The Innkeepers devotion to The Campaign but was equally concerned with the heavy workload taken on and the effect on The Mariners form leading up to and including Wembley.
With an announcement imminent re. the launch of a ‘German Offensive’, The Chair proposed The Innkeeper could delegate some of his workload to Distribution Expert, Walter. A ‘meaty’ role was to be considered, in an effort to beef-up the campaign.
...another master-stroke from Chairman Neville.

At The Smugglers, Kingsway lynchpin and Mariners fanatic Steve called in to see the Histon Mariners.

Bob, Steve, The Chairman & newly appointed Walter.
Bob, Simon, The Chairman & newly appointed Walter.

The Histon Mariners wish to thank Simon for all his help and support. With his commitment to the cause, The Kingsway provides a most agreeable base in Cleethorpes.

 Stop Press :

Further evidence of the growing reputation and influence of the Cambridgeshire based Histon Mariners and following on from Matties highly influential North Atlantic Trawl, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had announced a visit to The Grimsby Fishing Heritage Centre.
Alongside The Royal Mail recognition of former Town Manager Mr. Shankly, such events must be viewed as a magnificent vindication of The Campaign.
It was the Chairman’s determination that ensured yet another initiative....


2013 - INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN : GERMANY

After Bayern Munich hammered Barcelona and Dortmund thrashed Real Madrid, Mighty Mariner, Mattie took the opportunity to visit and strengthen Grimsby-German relations.

At his Stuttgart base the Royal Hotel, staff as ever were delighted and excited about Mattie’s stay.

Andrea, Franzi and Madeline welcome Mattie.
Andrea, Franzi and Madeline welcome Mattie.

Immediately to work at the Dinkelacker-Schwaben Bräu Schwarze Brewery, Mattie met up with old friends for light refreshment.


Having a commercial relationship with Batemans Brewery Mattie was given a brief tour of the Stuttgart Brewery.
Cheered on and made welcome by the Drays.
Cheered on and made welcome by the Drays.
Watered and fed at Brauereigaststatte Dinkelacker by Stefan & Maria
Watered and fed at Brauereigaststatte Dinkelacker by Stefan & Maria

The potential for future commercial projects were clearly evident to all concerned.

local celebrities were clearly enamoured.
local celebrities were clearly enamoured.

Leading lights from the Brewing and Hospitality Sectors were clearly captivated by Mattie and the reception he’d received.
“Luke (Blue Monkey), Chris (Steamin’ Billy), Andrew Reed Esq. (Batemans but also recognised as N.W. Wainfleet 1976 Disco Dancing Champion), Rhys Lawrence (leather aficionados) and Craig (Kater 4) were happy to share a light salad lunch and cream soda with Mattie at Schweine-Museum, Schacthof.”


Whilst there, owner Erika (in the Guinness Book of Records as World’s No. 1 Pig Memorabilia Collector) was insistent on meeting Mattie.

The Innkeeper, Erika and Mattie share an Elderflower Water.
The Innkeeper, Erika and Mattie share an Elderflower Water.

The commercial instincts of Mattie continue to astound everyone. As well as Drinkelacker-Schwaben Brau Schwartz, Mattie had also planned to visit global giant Mercedes.


The Mercedes-Benz group were delighted to have Mattie drive an old London Bus, built in Stuttgart for their own publicity.


Staff at Mercedes were awestruck by Mattie’s visit.

Brigitta, Lea & Cora were so excited they insisted the whole Department meet Mattie for a photo.
Brigitta, Lea & Cora were so excited they insisted the whole Department meet Mattie for a photo.
Brigitta (English intruder Craig from Kater 4, Loughborough!), Cora Nicole, Jessy, Franzi, Lea, David, Soren & Siggi all embrace Mattie, whilst awaiting news of the play-off’s.
Brigitta (English intruder Craig from Kater 4, Loughborough!), Cora Nicole, Jessy, Franzi, Lea, David, Soren & Siggi all embrace Mattie, Whilst awaiting the 2nd leg of play-off’s.

The Histon Mariners world-wide campaign continues to be spearheaded by Mattie. His ever-growing legion of female admirers was typified at the airport when leaving.

An exhilarated German Hen Party claimed meeting Mattie was a dream come true.
It was hoped the brides head was not totally turned by Mattie!

A wonderfully successful mission that no doubt would yield significant benefits in the future but again The Chairman raised the concern that as Mattie and The Innkeeper left Stansted, Newport took a 1st-leg lead. The question therefore, was whether their absence at such key moments should be discouraged in the future.


PLAY OFF SEMI FINAL - 2nd LEG


28.04.2013 Newport County 1 (2) v (0) 0 GTFC

                    Mattie watched proceedings with his Newport associates.

                 Not this year. Not quite enough. We live to fight another day.

Newport having overcome the dark era of their exiled years, provide a great example of the spirit and soul of Real Football People. Whilst fierce opponents on the day, ultimately a club like Newport share a kindred spirit with The Mighty Mariners. Town would look forward to meeting them again in the future at a higher level.

A largely successful season that fell just short. Without doubt an improvement on 2011-12.
The balance-sheet of Shorty & Shouty’s recruitment policy had a healthy positive surplus.

The desire for consistency was paramount. Real Football People like to believe in a project, a work in progress. The balance of hope and expectation would continue to shift ‘to-and-fro’. But once the familiar disappointment of another near miss had subsided the talk would shift to next season.

For The Histon Mariners the glass was half-full ......next season just might be THE season.


In Shorty and Shouty We Trust.

UTMM