2017 - 2018 : A Jolley Good Ending....Just!

The Histon Mariner Campaign for Real Football continues unabated amidst the turbulent waves experienced last season. As calmer waters appeared on the horizon towards the end of last season, the full glare of a brighter future became readily apparent. A full pre-season preparation amidst the general optimism and summer sunshine bares testament to the soothing oils dispersed by Russel Slade Wilko & their team.

As ever the Histon Mariners were relentless in their overall objectives and involvement with other Mariners everywhere. Early meetings with close allies, the Chesterfield Mariners, spread fertile soil in anticipation of the fruitful season ahead.

Enroute to Madrid, on a scouting mission, his lordship expressed concern about fellow Chesterfield Mariner, Gareth. Having reached 40 it would appear his focus had become a little blurred. His lordship will do his utmost to oversee Gareth's concentration on his navigation skills in his role as Chesterfield Logistics Officer.

A very summery Lord Roy with the Innkeeper at Histon HQ.
A very summery Lord Roy with the Innkeeper at Histon HQ.

His Lordship and Lady Barbara display great concern for the middle-aged Gareth.
His Lordship and Lady Barbara display great concern for the middle-aged Gareth.

7.7.2017 - GTFC Youth Academy Golf Day

The Logistics Director took great trouble in taking a group of disparate individuals and moulding them into a coherent fighting force in order to further promote the Histon Mariner campaign in support of the GTFC Youth Academy Golf Day.

Whilst Messrs Allsop and Dickson were returning, Daniel Victor Grainger and newly selected Skipper Leroy were excited debutants.

Preparations were meticulously planned with considerable care taken over dietary requirements reflecting a surprising degree of professionalism. At regular intervals, squad veteran Dickson was seen to display his commitment to the evident professionalism.

A steam engine does require fuel - often a surprising amount.!

Team Captain Leroy displays real leadership qualities - checking on team members adherence.

Whilst the Fab Four proceeded deftly around the course, squad member Sean and the Logistics Director took the opportunity to access the impact of the Histon Mariners Campaign around the Grimsby Dock Area. At the Freemans Arms, Sean listened intently to local hopes and aspirations for the new season, alongside much gratitude for the continuing involvement of the Histon Mariners.

Over a refreshing ginger beer, Sean declared the Histon Mariners Campaign as 'Mustard'!

Meanwhile the Logistics Director was welcomed by Russel Slade and Paul Wilkinson. Discussions about the forthcoming campaign were full of optimism whilst retaining an acute sense of realism. The Histon Mariners are delighted and excited with the plans afoot and delighted to be sponsors of Russell

Logistics Director, Russel Slade & Paul WIlkinson.

A tremendous effort by the Fab Four under the astute leadership of Leroy, saw an equal third finish.

Mr Allsop, a svelte like Daniel Victor Grainger, team engine-room Mr Dickson with Captain Leroy in victorious mode and celebratory pies.

Post award celebrations knew no limits. Resident Chef took the opportunity to discuss a successful day and the role played by the special diet.

Whilst Mr Dickson continued to 'stoke the boiler', the Captain discussed with an amused Leroy post-match celebration plans.

To obvious amusement and surprise Daniel Victor Grainger recalled memories of former glories when svelte-like and mobile, he was widely recognised as a legendary dancefloor performer - he hoped to prove a point.

With expectations raised and disbelief a plenty the evening was ventured into with wide-eyed interest.

At the Smugglers, Daniel Victor reaffirmed his intentions

Whilst at Willy's, Steve Fenty, a disbelieving Sean and an incredulous Mr D display an intense thirst brought on by bewildered anticipation

Onto the Kingsway Club where the Skipper forewarned legendary ska performers of the imminent arrival of D.V.

On arrival Daniel Victor announces his intentions to the entire squad......

... and to his followers on Social Media

An unbelievable agile performer of skills and dexterity followed:-

Everyone was spellbound. Cynics were disarmed. Sean remained unmoved.

Steve Fenty thanked the Logistics Director and Mr A. for facilitating D.V's Cleethorpes debut and an occasion to remember.

Back at the Royal Humber Hotel in the afterglow of the evening, Mr Allsop reflects whilst Mr Dickson reviews the viral response to one of the all-time great demonstrations of dance-floor manoeuvres.

The following morning amidst great joy, the Engine Room unsurprisingly needed stoking. A slave to the success of the dietary programme, Mr D. declares his long-terms commitment.

With D.V. recuperating during the Lions stalemate, Leroy continued to accept plaudits from local celebrities and long standing associates of the Histon Mariners

The return to Histon HQ passed quickly, probably more so because of the realisation of what had occurred. Whilst obviously momentous, not surprisingly the toll taken some was far worse than others

The engine Room rests before further re-stoking

P.S. It was later revealed that Sean, in a far-off distant era, was capable of moves at least on a par with Daniel Victor. It seems inconceivable that on a future occasion the Histon Mariners may be able to facilitate a duet of Sean and D.V. ....."that would be mustard"!!!


05.08.17 Chesterfield 1 v 3 GTFC

The starting point for the 2017 season

Chersterfield(A) Ticket

The B&W army continue to impress the Real Football World with its loyalty, commitment and essentially good humour. The opening demonstration of their attributes at relegated Chesterfield confirm that the season is upon us - optimism is contained with realistic boundaries. Histon Mariner sponsored Russell Slade leads a supportive & unified army - the outlook is fishy, the outlook is B&W.Chesterfield F.C. was forced to abandon its public sector roots by the F.A. and F.L. in 1920. Initial members of the newly formed Division 3 in 1958, the same season a future World Cup Winner, Gordon Banks (possibly England's greatest ever goalkeeper) made his home debut . The usual shenanigans saw point deductions, financial irregularities & administration and the hastily formed Chesterfield Football Supporters Society, save the day in the early 2000's - see www.gameofthepeople.com.

At the Market Tavern, TM eventually arrives late on parade (maybe he'd been given directions by Chesterfield Mariner Logistics Officer) for final pre-season analysis.

Undercover Agent Tim is led confidently by Jnr Mariner Rebekah
Undercover Agent Tim is led confidently by Jnr Mariner Rebekah
Sandra and Alison - Salford Mariners - complete their pre-season dietary programme
As ever the Lordship reaches out to opposition fans to spread 'the net'. Chesterfield fan looks spellbound with Lord Roy's insight.

With no limit to his Lordships diplomacy, he pours soothing oils on Son-in-law Joe's mental turmoil over his closet support for the mighty Mariners.

Lord Roy with Mr & Mrs Harrison

A commonly held disbelief was the general consensus amongst the major Bookies of towns' hopes for the season. Likewise press predictions are somewhat surprisingly less flattering. Not often are so many proved wrong but everyone agreed this could well be a rare occasion when the allegedly well informed experts attract significant quantities of egg to their faces.

At the Proact Stadium the B&W Army - over 2600 - appeared in fine-fettle.

Ever the bemused elderly lady looked remarkably relaxed alongside the ever vigilant Sgt Dodd's
Sean and 'Phil the Serrel' in particular look relieved the season is underway
The 'Old Gits' appeared to be in tip top Condition. With Judith Chalmers to the fore.
.as do the New Imperial Vanguard Party - whose preparations for the new season were readily apparent
Lord Roy displayed his remarkable stamina in spreading his unique insight.

Dave Smiths First Lieutenant Sam considered the season well prepared for and thanked the Histon Mariners for their continued efforts.

The team put out by Russell Slade was as expected & immediately the back four of Zac Mills, Clarke, Collins and Paul Dixon looked solid, compact & organised. Putting bodies on line reflects a degree of commitment, perhaps not there last season. Siriki Dembele has pace that is going to cause many of the opposing teams problems. Scott Vernon as ever proved a willing work horse. James McKeown look confident & assured - Russell Slade belief in him being well rewarded.

Zac Mills was unlucky to receive a 2nd yellow card given the persistent, petulant shown by the opposing No. 9. However an impressive 3rd victory was deserved & bodes well.


An impressive debut. The No. 3 shirt continues..

Post- match analysis at the White Swan provided a degree of satisfaction and contentment all round.

Becky, TM and Doncaster representative Paul concur with the contained level of optimism.
Even Gareth appeared to be a little reserved to the surprise of Salford Mariner Allison.

The standing of the Histon Mariners has constantly risen over the duration of the campaign. Evidence continues to confirm this.

Lady Barbara introduces her sister Jane to the Histon Mariners. Becky helps to contain Gareth's excitement.

A most satisfying start on a pleasant day with tremendous bonhomie holds out realistic expectations for a most satisfying season, a view given additional gravitas by many Mariner LegEnds.


12.08.17 GTFC 0 v 2 Coventry City

Coventry (H) - Ticket

Leading from the front, the President took the Histon Mariners on an early detour. Having left Histon HQ the Red Lion, what can only be described as a fevered pitch of excitement, the President got lost in the adjoining village of Oakington. Though a pleasant detour, with business ahead, the Histon Mariners soon pressed on to Cleethorpes.

A warm welcome at the start of the home campaign at Cleethorpes H.Q. the Kingsway, proceeded a swift return to business.

Coventry City fans converged on Willy's, knowing the Histon Mariners hold pre-match preparations at the said venue over a comforting Latte. The obvious disappointment over last season's relegation presented the opportunity to embrace the Histon Mariners campaign for Real Football was a conspicuous trait amongst the Sky Blues. Whilst lamenting the demise - largely considered the result of mis-management of disinterested owners - of this once stable top-division regular, the reconnection with real football people helped clarify focus.

The president welcomes Josh, Matt, CXhristian and Scott
Christian & Matt discuss with Mariner Ian "the fish" McLean, the season ahead

Onto the excellent Notts where the warmth of the start of the new home campaign was omni - present.

Manageress Ann wishes the President a successful season & many memorable visits ahead to the most hospitable Notts

Likewise a bemused Calvin, Dale, Dougie & Will reconnect with the Histon Mariners

However the onslaught of the campaign never stops. An unrelenting President continued to engage with all & sundry. Sky Blue Dayrel from the associated Merchants Inn, Rugby couldn't miss the opportunity to confer with President Maurice, exchange information & stories - proof of the camaraderie of Real Football.

Pre-match preparations were brought to a successful conclusion at Blundell but not before several key meetings with characters from across the spectrum of the campaign. A working lunch of solid & liquid refreshment was partaken at McMenemys with huge portions of insightful analysis.

A thoughtful McMike plus an enthralled Louth Dan listen to Purley Mariner Tony

Histon Mariners extended a warm welcome to guest Adrian Alson a long standing Coventry fan. Extremely disillusioned with the ownership of Sky theBlues, the Histon Mariners sought to ease the pain with a trip to Blundell, where the hospitality of McMenemys & optimism of the Histon Mariners would help a tentative re-connection with Real Football.

A great highlight of Adrian's visit to Blundell was his meeting with hero from the past, the mulletless Dave Smith.

Adrian witnessed many of Dave's 177games for Coventry & doubtless some of his 18 goals. Whether or not the 3rd round visit to Sutton Utd was one of those games we must find out...!

Prior to kick-off Mariner stalwart and Restaurant Manager from the Kingsway Hotel Simon, was obviously grateful to be on hand to take part in a localised production of “Last of the Summer Wine.” There would be no doubt the benefit gained from listening to the reminiscing ramblings of the President and very old team-mates Steve and Mike would make him much more knowledgable but unlikely any wiser!

The game itself, against Coventry City was always likely to be one of the harder of the season - but a most welcome challenge. A fairly even first half drew thoughts of a 0vO at half time. An almost inexplicable slip in concentration allowed an alert Coventry to take a lead mid-way through the second half. It must be said after which the mighty Mariners were second best. A second goal secured a 2v0 victory for Coventry. Very disappointing after the opening game at Chesterfield. A fairly impotent mid-field against a busy Coventry team generally thought to be the root of Towns problems.

However in these very early days, expectations remain realistically optimistic.

Another most encouraging display from Siriki Demble - we suspect a very regular statement of fact this season. And the man of the match provided some satisfaction.


Post-match analysis was unsurprisingly a little mooted though such feelings are hard to subdue at the New Imperial Club.

An enthusiastic Brian shares a sarsaparilla with the President.

Such associations renew the vigour of the campaign & puts results into context.

In Russell we trust


P.S The Dean of Fitness is currently undergoing a truly extensive fitness regime. We trust he will emerge in even better shape to boost the campaign.

P.P.S The Histon Mariners appreciate the work of Samuel B. Townsend the U.S investor of Sarsaparilla & his contribution to the Histon Mariners campaign.

19.08.17 Stevenage 3 v 1 GTFC

Stevenage (A) - Ticket
Mattie Mighty Mariner welcomed Steve Fenty & Lindsey. To Histon H.Q, the Red Lion. The B&W Army was clearly destined for another show of support at a venue many believe to be a potential banana skin

Yet again the campaign net is spread and is reflected in the squad selected to attend Stevenage. The President is joined by the Logistics Director, aspiring Mariner James & closet Mariner Mark The Trim who after his debut at Cleethorpes v Luton last season acknowledges a seed sown. Equally it is not hard to envisage in the near future, Pater S.G Esq. will be looking forward to aspirant James tales of future Histon Mariner episodes.

With Sarsaparilla at the ready preparations were complete.

Stevenage as part of the post-war Abercrombie Plan, had the first purpose built traffic free shopping zone in Britain. Stevenage F.C. (formally Stevenage Borough) were founded in 1976. A story very reflective of the 'Southern Switch'. See www.gameofthepeople.com.

On the journey south, 'The Trim' recalled his visit to Cleethorpes v Luton and suggested greater balance may have been provided by Cllr Cyril Carrington. The Trim fondly recalled the Councillors subtle analysis & diplomacy throughout.

Excitement at the Lamax Stadium was somewhat dampened by a very zealous & oppressive stewarding of the B&W Army. Whilst it was understandable that smaller grounds only deal with bigger match days occasionally, it would not be unreasonable to expect a better state of preparation - later, stories emerged to suggest even more evidence of over zealous stewarding.

Pre-match preparations also had to deal with the exciting news that Hasland WMC Ltd - CIU Affiliated - had elected Lord Roy of Chesterfield Mariners fame, as President. It is a wonder to everyone, how many Official roles this Parish Councillor of Grasmere can carry. Once his portrait is complete & hanging alongside Her Majesty in the club, it is hoped the Histon Mariners will get the opportunity to visit & indulge in the conviviality of such a renowned institution.

Hasland WMC Ltd President - Lord Roy
Before Kick-off Moira & Lisa - pretty in pink appear less apprehensive than McMike.

Perhaps McMike foresaw what can only be described A bad day at the office. It is hard to find any redeeming features from this games. It is probable the ball went over the opposing goal-line @ 0v0. Undoubtedly a blatant penalty was denied @ 0v2. But a lack of presence & cohesion in midfield was clearly evident. The name Sean McAllister was frequently mentioned. However a win will immediately restore spirits. It is early days & we suggest Russell has not finished finalising his squad.

Whatever the disappointments all-round on the day, the small vocal minority do not reflect the demeanour of the B&W Army, who continue to march onwards and upwards.

It would be futile to name a man of the match, though Mitch Rose put in a commendable shift.

Reuben displays the fighting spirit of the B&W Army in support of his Dad.

The journey back to Histon H.Q. though disappointed was realistic. The Trim declared it a 'one-off'; aspirant James remains enthusiastic & ready to report to Pater S.G and the Presidents consistent leadership prevails.


P.S Hopefully further information will be forthcoming from Hampton Streets No. 1 Nightspot. A tantalising display from the Club President at the Northern Soul Night, would be an occasion to behold...

23.09.17 Newport Co. 1 v 0 GTFC

Newport (A) - Ticket

Originally Newport and Monmouth County AFC, bankrupt in Feb. 1989, expulsion from the league for failing to fulfil their fixtures under (surprisingly) foreign owner American Jerry Sherman. Reformed June 1989 & several years ploughing lower divisions in exile in Gloucestershire. Back to Newport in 1994 & finally Newport County Supporters Trust took over ownership October 2015.

There is much to admire about Newport, illustrating the realities & experiences of 'proper' football supporters. Flying the flag for football as it should be played. The Histon Mariners are totally in accord with the sentiments of the above site & will continue to reflect similar sentiments. See www.gameofthepeople.com

However the Mighty Mariners visit to Rodney Parade will display no compassion in the battle for 3 points.

Histon Mariners attendance has recently been sporadic but a full & as ever enlightening pre-match analysis provided much needed catch up, insightful analysis & the joy of Chesterfield Mariner Logistics Manager devouring & proclaiming the traditional pre-match pizza at the admirable Tiny Rebel Newport Centre.

Tiny Rebel
A finely balanced line up - Rebekah Awol - led from the rear, by recently decommissioned agent 006.5, Tim, proceeded to march onto Rodney Parade.
Enroute his Lordship sought a quiet reflective moment to engage whatever assistance to the cause he could muster.

Having made contact with a higher authority, his Lordship was awarded concessionary status on entering the ground. Despite his valiant declarations that such an award was a little premature, "Me thinks he does protest too much!"

Agent 006.5 displayed due diligence, as his Lordship, following his Damascus moment, sought a conspicuously absent TM, with whom he could share both Revelations and location of the pies.

The ensuing 90 minutes did little to satisfy the hunger of the B&W Army. We are a work in progress, we do miss a couple of key players, we are a collection of recently acquired parts, there does appear to be commitment but it is tough to see a developing pattern. A 1 v 0 defeat left us in 13th plaice (sic) - nearer the play offs than relegation - at time when all cylinders are not quite in tune. JAMES MCKEOWN was busy & mostly effective and was probably :

Histon Mariners Man of the Match : Luke Summerfield

Who came on for the second half & put in a shift whilst Diallang Jaiyesimi came on & injected some energy. Inevitably a certain Padraig A. separated the two teams. All in all we keep the faith & march on.

Lord Roy reflects on the days Revelations, whilst TM awaits news from Shrewsbury via Gareth

The briefest of post-match analysis & refreshment added little to the overall impression but inevitably re-affirmed the faith.

The oldest pub in Newport Ye Olde Murenger House (1530)

Two home games and an expedition to the Valiants at Vale Park, Burslem, will surely add a further few stitches to a rich tapestry. We live in hope (& expectation) that the evolving picture will become increasingly focused


07.10.17 Portvale 1 v 2 GTFC

Port Vale (A) - Ticket

The Valiants, 105 years of existence without playing in the top tier - a record. Located in the valley of canal ports & currently struggling. Vale would hope not to beat their record lowest finish of 88th & new Manager, Neil Aspin, faces the Mighty Mariners in his first game. We hope not to witness 'New Manager Syndrome'

On arrival at Longport Railway Station. There was little evidence of a major sporting extravaganza taking place.

Avoidonmg the crowds at Longport Station

The walk from the station to suitable pre-match preparation venues - eventually Burlsem - actually revealed little evidence of life! Eventually all fell into place in excellent pre-match venues.

At the Titanic owned Bulls Head, intricate enlightened discussions were in full flow between the Histon Mariners & representatives of Northampton, Louth and Cheadle Hulme Mariners.

Northampton Gareth, Louth Chris and Cheadle Hulme Stuart in eager anticipation.
Likewise at the Vale Stadium the B&W Army was certainly raising expectation levels.
The well-known Double Act of Loz & Wayne were prepared as ever to 'Dance The Night Away'
The Wallace and Gromit of the New Imperial Club, Sean and the antique 'Philip Serrel' appeared refreshed an ready for action
Imperial Club Linda & a younger version Amiappear exceptionally refreshed..!

Chesterfield Mariners provide a constant presence - Becky, without an absent Gareth - on alternative manoeuvres at Port Madoc! - Charlotte (clearly anxious at being separated from Chesterfield Joe) TM & reverent Lordship.

Becky, ,Charlotte, TM, Lord Roy

A first half witnessed the New Manager Syndrome, as the Valiants threw all and sundry at the Mighty Mariners. Town kept a foothold in the game reaching the interval one goal down.

Lord Roy & TM look on with decades of experience in a state of serious contemplation.

The second 45 minutes witnessed the proverbial game of two halves. From the back a resolute Danny Collins & an inform Ben Davies, whilst holding firm urged Town forward. A much improved Luke Summerfield orchestrated a Town revival & 2 goals virtue of Sam Jones & Sikiri Dembele. Whilst it is tremendous to witness the development of Sikiri, more and more is expected but it is imperative not to raise expectations to unrealistic proportions.


Afterwards the Mighty Mariners shared their appreciation for the support of the travelling army.

Town players salute the B&W Army

Afterwards a satisfied Sgt Dodd & not so bemused elderly lady continue as regular members of the B&W Army.

Sgt Dodds & not so bemused elderly lady

Post-match analysis was reconvened at the excellent Bulls Head. Cheadle Hulme Mariners & Histon Mariners met up with Real Football Supports, further cementing associations everywhere.

Wycombe Wanderers fan Sally & F.C. United fan Phil were delighted to meet up with the Histon Mariners.

Phil clearly displays a soft spot for the Mighty Mariners, whilst Sally left the closet regaling tails as a Wycombe Wanderers Cheer Girl!

Leaving Burslem, the walk to Longport proved no more enlightening than the earlier walk from the station. At the station Cheadle Hulme Stuart could not resist the opportunity to record his visit to Longport, as there were no other witnesses.


P.S Reports of High Terrorist Alert at Liverpool coach station next day have since emerged.

Histon Mariner Logistics Director was apparently shocked to find his bag left at the station whilst procuring refreshments, being surrounded by armed officers, on his return.

Not popular with H.M Security forces although applauded by amused on lookers, it is believed his departure from Merseyside was greatly appreciated.

21.10.17 Morecombe 0 v 0 GTFC

Morecambe (A) - Ticket

Only in 1889 did legislation formally recognise the existence of Morecombe - 10 years after Grimsby Pelham's initial drink at the Wellington Arms September 1878 and 10 years before a renamed Town moved to Blundell. More recognised for its association with Alan Bennett, Eric 'Morecombe' & eulogised in Bill Bryson's 'Notes From A Small Island' than its football club which reached Division 5 (the conference) in 1996 & finally the 4th Division (League 2) in 2007.

However it is heartening to see a Northern success story during a time when the imbalance towards the south marched in virtually unabated. See www.gameofthepeople.com.

The Shrimps have had some stability on the pitch since 2005 via 2 Managers, Sammy Mcllroy & current incumbent Jim Bentley, against the backcloth of the all too familiar shenanigans off the pitch. The switch from Christie Park to the Globe Arena in 2010 was a positive sign of progress.

On the day warnings of the imminent arrival of Hurricane Brian, failed to deter the B&W Army's usual commitment and saw close to 500 at the Globe Arena.

'Old Soldiers Never Die 'Cheadle Hulme Stuart with Judith Chalmers as lead guide for the 'Old Gits'
Equally committed old school troops Sgt Dodd & an ebullient elderly lady

It is difficult to write about anything other than the weather for the 90 minutes duration. Increasingly an 'inclement' wet and windy afternoon descended upon the B&W faithful. AFC Flyde (approx. 25 miles away) had their game abandoned - such thoughts were prevalent. Initially resolute in defence but as the 'game' wore on increasingly a lottery. One defeat in 9 - encouraging. Couple of good saves from Macca - reassuring. Another good performance from a finally appreciated :


As expected a resolute Chesterfield/Portmadoc Gareth and an intense York Paul were ably backed by a reverential Lordship - clearly concerned as to the whereabouts of TM.

Gareth, Lord Roy & Donny Paul

Extraordinarily slow first half-time service ensured a drenched Histon Mariner - as rain cascaded down the overhanging roof of the said port of call. A pie that would have benefited from a drenching in order to soften the sheet of corrugated iron that covered the rather poor pie filling.

As ever love & romance travelled well from Cleethorpes to the west coast with a further episode in Blackpool to follow after the game..! The McMenemys, Lisa and Mike also reported on the continuing progress of "Sowf" Londoner Becks (see Coventry 12/08 displaying safe hands at Millwall.

Lisa & Mike


11.11.17 Exeter City 2 v 0 GTFC

Exeter City (A) - Ticket

A club which is a partner of Brazilian club Flumunense because they were the first English team to play a national team from Brazil, actually in Brazil in 1914.

A club owned by the Exeter Supporters Club since 2003

A club that had 5 years of experience of Division 5 (the Conference) who have progressed and stabilized (!) albeit with the help of Cup draws against Liverpool and Manchester Utd, but a club that can boast (?) having had Uri Geller as Director and Michael Jackson as Honorary Director

The second consecutive trip to Devon - easier from Histon than Grimsby.

John Tondeur greets the Histon Mariners at St James - no question of commitment here.

A particularly hospitable welcome was extended by the Famous Exeter City Real Ale & Cider Emporium, with top quality refreshments including half decent pasties. Hosts Neil and Chris made a special effort to welcome the newly created grandfather & a supportive chauffeur, TM

Neil, Chris, Lord Roy, TM

GRR(IMSBY) possibly named with Leicestershire C.C. in mind arrived safely but early - obviously ignoring directions given by Chesterfield Mariner Logistics Manager.

His Lordship contemplates the nature of the hereditary peerage

Tour Manager Dave - Judith Chalmers, Mike - Chippenham Marnier and Paul - long suffering, welcome welcomes the Histon Mariners & new squad member GRR with a warming 'green tea'

Dave, Mike, Paul

Pre-match predictions saw TM confidently talk of 2 goals [in retrospect a knowledgeable TM was proved correct'ish' given his failure to explain the distribution of the said goals]

TM making a correct score prediction

Not the most memorable day on the pitch - after so much positivity off the pitch. At a time when Real Football Fans continually fail to understand the Wengeresque policy of continuous rotation, RS could be applauded for regular selections. There might be criticism of those he selects but given a reasonable performance the previous week a final test at a high-riding outfit would appear to be a good test. However the injection of Mills, Matt & in particular Jaiyesimi provided a thin thread of hope to be to be grasped. A time has come.

Exeter played with the confidence of an automatic promotion hopeful, the Mighty Mariners did not.

For providing some energy, some hope (however slight).....


With a lot of frustration quite tangible & understandable, the negativity is unhelpful though criticism cannot be curtailed. Real supporters in the world of Real Football at least try to remain upbeat.

Andy (Derby Mariner) Tim & Dan with Matt (Nottingham Mariner) appear 'relatively' positive, whilst remaining realistic.

The home fixture v. Carlisle may well reflect the prevailing concern but the Histon Mariners plan a major effort to promote the campaign.


19.11.17 GTFC 0 v 1 Carlisle Utd

Carlisle Utd (H) - Ticket

A significant tour de force from the Histon Mariners & associates had been planned to show support for the Mighty Mariners & the cause for Real Football.

At the Cleethorpes H.Q. the Kingsway Hotel, Stuart from Cheadle Hulme Mariners was on hand to welcome Histon Mariners President, Maurice, the Dean of Fitness & East Anglian Development Officer, Brian.

General instructions for the day ahead were given by the President initially at Willy's, followed by specific details given to the various Officers at the Notts.

Stuart gives an enthralling account of account of Wainfleet activities. The Dean takes the opportunity for a quick nap & the East Anglian Development Officer appears to be elsewhere
The President in fine form liaises with an attentive Stuart, Chairman of the Wainfleet Mariners
Airdrie Mariner, Will & 'close friend' Doug appear in good humour despite the absence of Histon Mariners Chairman

At Blundell, Russel Slade was delighted to welcome & thank the Histon Mariners for their continued support. Here the Wainfleet Chairman is held up by the Youth Development Officer Ray, as Russel presents a memento of the day

Youth Development Officer formerly known as Ray The Fish battled through the pain barrier having sustained a career threatening injury sustained in his new career of Walking Football. The mid-field dynamo has assured us the injury is short term & we look forward to future revelations.

Whilst Chesterfield Becky attends to the needs of G.R.R., his Lordship attempts to counteract the influence of Chesterfield Joe. Charlotte appears receptive - despite an absence of extensions.

Lord Roy & Aunty Charlotte

4 Changes to the line-up were generally welcomed. The first half half was without doubt better than recent fare and Carlisle were certainly better than Crawley and Cambridge. But for the woodwork, a lively Jaiyesimi would have scored as would Danny Collins but for the goalkeeper. At half time an improvement was generally agreed upon.

Half time analysis from the Chairman of Wainfleet Mariners provides the perfect opportunity for Brian to grab 40 winks.

The second half began in a similar vein but after conceding the Mighty Mariners appeared to lose an edge - whilst the effort was apparent, confidence appeared low.

The late appearance of Jamie Osbourne provides encouragement, whilst still a little rusty. The full-back pairing of Zac Mills & Ben Davies was certainly more energetic & in a similar vein Luke Summerfield continues to justify the regular praise given.

But for his efforts and directness.... DAILING JAIYESIMI was awarded HISTON MARINER MAN OF THE MATCH.

General approval is obviously not apparent but the discernible improvement provides hope. With some tough fixtures on the horizon a realistic assessment will be possible. It is a work in progress and Swindon will prove the extent of improvement.

Youth protégé John Bay, anxious to attain full status, adjusted his hair in readiness for fiancée Chloe.

Town are not in the crisis as a frustrated but vocal minority believe

Now an accomplished strummer - Greensleaves is a speciality - his close association with Dragonfly Embroidery may well provide material for future development.

The President reassures East Anglian Development Officer of the long term objectives Brian appears more attentive than previously

Debriefing whilst a relatively sedate affair remained positive & optimistic.

McMenamy Mike retains the faith As Brian relays the President's message.
Also at the Smugglers, Promotion Plaice Howard of Cleethorpes Mariners a very excited Duncan Toast the efforts of the Histon Mariners.

A final recap at the Kingsway brought proceedings to a satisfying conclusion. An exhausted Wainfleet Chairman can only be thanked for joining the Histon Mariners. His insightful analysis & energetic input is warmly appreciated.


26.11.17 Barnet 0 v 2 GTFC

Barnet (A) - Ticket

Like a particular club in NE Lincs., Barnet do not play in their named location, instead they play in Edgware. Their badge eludes to their origins as the 'Hillman' & the 'Battle of Barnet 1471', where Northern families from either side of the Pennines squabbled.

The first televised football match by the BBC was Barnet v Wealdestone in October 1946.

Barnet's first match in the Football League (1991) was a 4 v 7 defeat to Crewe.

On the day a resurgent Town would hopefully provide new Barnet Manager - former Scottish National Team Asst. Manager Mark McGee with a troublesome home debut.

In-depth pre-match analysis had been planned. A small carefully selected group, comprising Histon Mariners Logistics Director, Chesterfield Archive & Historic Records Officer TM, with Lord Roy in the chair met at the Ye Olde Swiss Cottage NM3.

Swiss Cottage
A refreshed Lord Roy checks with Management back on his estate

A most satisfying pre-match preparation, with the day hopefully confirming the upward momentum from the last 1 ½ games.

TM & his Lordship lament the absence of missing Chesterfield Committee members, which we believe was due to parental responsibilities, rather than incomplete & vague travel arrangements.

A perceived upturn in fortunes appeared to materialise with a good response from the B&W Army (approx. 700) marching in unison.

Town stalwart Moira greets Chesterfield Archivist, TM.
Inside the Hive, Lord Roy & Doncaster Paul herald the occasion

Lining up as for Swindon, Town took an early lead via Jamille Matt. A proper old fashioned direct header from a corner. The Mighty Mariners were completely on top by virtue of a resurgent level of confidence. Whilst Barnet looked poor, this should not detract from the quality of Towns performance. A revitalised B&W Army provided full backing throughout the 90 minutes.

Resurgent confidence on the pitch & voluminous unity from the terraces are not mutually independent. Themes highlighted over the last game or so continued. Zac Mills & Ben Davies are proving an excellent pairing & helped spread reassurance to our battle scared centre backs - Clarke and Collins. Mitch Rose is beginning to blossom alongside player of the season (so far) Luke Summerfield.

Sikiri and DJ provide a genuine threat with pace which all provides a springboard for Sam Jones & Matt Jamille.

As to James McKeown, this must rank as one of his least active games in a town shirt.

A second goal from Sam Jones was largely the result of an outrageous drag back by Sikiri. Had such a piece of skill been performed by a Premier League pre-Madonna, it would be played again and againfor never ending analysis. Had Town won by a greater margin it would not have been an unfair reflection of their superiority.

Difficult to pick a M.o.M. but for his rebirth & overall effort and goal....

Histon Mariners Man of the Match : JAMILLE MATT

The intensity of concentration reflects a comotosed state of disbelief at the Dembele drag back..
...Likewise the old gits, with 1st Lieutenant Stuart, checking on the truth of what he'd just seen.

Afterwards a most satisfying victory & resurgent belief ensured a jubilant B&W Army.

For once the camera was turned on Anne, amidst celebrations, with H.M Logistics Director
Imperial John agrees the future is B&W

The unity as evidenced at Barnet, should illustrate the positive efforts of such an occasion. It is clear that frustration has recently risen to the surface, but far from a disaster, the future is hopeful. There is a long & medium term objectives and the Histon Mariners will continue to pursue the desired goal for the benefit of Town and real football everywhere


16.12.17 Notts C 0 v 0 GTFC

Notts County (A) - Ticket

County, approaching 5000 football league games since November 1962. Juventus modelled their black & white shirts on County's & invited them to play a game to mark the opening of their new stadium in 2011 (resulted in 1 v 1 draw).

A financial/ownership story this century to serve as a warning to all clubs about the dangers of contemporary football club management. Whatever the truth, the story deserves the attention of all Real Football Supporters.

  • 2003 crippling debts necessitated great efforts of local businessmen & supporters to save the club from extinction.
  • 2003 Ray Trew becomes Director of a well-known team in Lincoln he left in 2006, terminating his Companies Sponsorships.
  • July 2009 reports of Middle East investment (Munto Finance) led to the sale of the Supporters Trust 60% shareholders stake. Persuaded by convicted fraudster Russell King, Sven Goran Ericson appointed Director of Football.
  • October 2009 all approved by the Leagues 'fit and proper persons regulations'
  • December 2009 Peter Trembling buys club for nominal fee.
  • February 2010 2 winding up orders from HMRC. Ray Trew buys club for £1.00 with £7m liabilities.
  • July 2010 Trew took control of Nottingham Rugby Club. Relinquished control September 2011.
  • Ray Trew Management appointments - February 2010 Steve Cotterill
  • May 2010 Craig Short
  • October 2010 Paul Ince
  • April 2011 Martin Allen
  • February 2012 Keith Curle
  • February 2013 Chris Kiwonya
  • November 2013 Shaun Derry
  • March 2015 Richard Moniz
  • January 2016 James Fullerton
  • March 2016 John Sheridan
  • Jan 2017 Alan Smith

13 Managers in less than 8 years ..!!!

  • January 2017 Alan Hardy takes over County from Ray Trew and appoints current Manager Kevin Nolan in January 2017.

On match day Chesterfield Mariners conducted a full preview of forthcoming fixtures which would largely determine the nature of the season ahead. TM & Chesterfield Logistics Manager conduct pre-match analysis at Ye Trip. However both were very concerned at the exclusion of Joanne from a well-known television programme inspired by a former Premier League Chairman.

TM & Gareth

Suitably refreshed at the Canal House TM & his Lordship appear enthralled by Tales from a Distant Railway.

TM, Lord Roy

New father, Gareth sides with his Lordship over the great baking dilemma. It can be revealed that his Lordship had made chocolate brownies to satisfy all concerned given that Lady Barbara was not quite up to the task of creating her legendary rice crispy cakes.

Gareth & Lord Roy

The B&W Army had travelled well & expectations whilst being optimistic were contained within parameters of reason.

An attempted disguise by Andy cannot hide the Derbyshire mullet.
Guitar strumming John Bay puts down his phone for a brief Sojourn to pose with Walking Football LegEnd "The Fish".
As ever a fully prepared Elderly Lady & Sgt Dodd are warmly greeted by Derby Mariner Tim.

A thoroughly competent performance by the Mighty Mariners raised feelings of progress within the B&W Army.

By the end of 90 minutes, County wanted the final whistle more than Town. Joint leader of the Division, County made little impression on a very solid back four. The Clark- Collins partnership increasing spreads confidence with Mills& Davies performing admirably at full-back. Of course more clinical finishing would push Town up the league but as a work in progress, discernible improvements are being made.


With Ben Davies a close second.

Post-match analysis at the VAT & Fiddle alongside Notts County fans was exactly what Real Football Fans desire.

VAT & Fiddle

The unwanted antics from a few within the B&W Army are most unwelcome & have no place within the brief of Real Football Supporters.


23.12.17 The Hatters 2 v 0 The Mariners

Luton Town (A) - Ticket

The first fully professional club in the South of England but recent history follows a familiar path illustrating the precariousness of lower league stability.

After considerable success in the 1980's - 90's including first division football, a League Cup Win & League Cup runners up place, the seemingly inevitable rock witnessed a broken ship.

A controversial sale in 2003 to John Gurney & an alleged consortium. The talk was of turning Luton into a club of the stature of Manchester Utd, of turning the proposed new ground site into a Formula One Racing Track by the same man who had previously planned to move Bedford Rugby Club to either Kent or Coventry.!!!"Champagne dreams with Coca Cola pockets"

Luton were left in a shambles, faced 2 relegations, the latter when in administration and a 10 Point deduction. A 30 point deduction the following season & a 5 year stay in the Conference.

"Be careful for what you wish for"

Pre- match preparations was at the renowned home of Hatters Fans, The Bricklayer.

Landlady of 32 years, Alison was delighted to welcome Histon Mariners Logistics Director.
Equally Luton fans, Hitchin Mike, Stroud Hatter Mick and Bill of Frampton on Severn Hatter discuss with Mariner Bill the campaign for Real Football. Totally in accord with the bonhomie of opposing fans in an ideal environment share a pre-match Darjeeling.

Sharing the success of Real Football the B&W Army mix with Hatters in mutual celebration.

Vida and Gareth, Chairman of Northampton Mariners
Keith & Jan from Caistor Mariners with warming hot chocolates.
Mariners Mandy & Jan take a break from analysis with Hitchin Hatter Mike.
Meanwhile Chesterfield Mariners never far away but still with many other matters to the fore.

His Lordship was equally mindful of events elsewhere. The Hasland WMC & Institute Ltd is anticipating a high turn out to witness a dance floor extravaganza from his Lordship. In an outstanding effort to keep hydrated ready for his display & ever mindful of the task ahead he predicts two goals but feels unsure how they will be distributed.

Agent 006 ½ checks on orders with trainee Rebekah

NB The absence of pictorial evidence of TM only serves to emphasize the multidimensional application of Polytetrafluoroethylene the synthetic fluropolymer of tetrafluoroethylene!

The commitment of the 'Old Gits' continues to be an example to the entire B&W Army. Dave 'Chalmers' with first Lieutenant Stuart take time off from their pantomime duties in conjunction with a Couple of Ugly Sisters .

Jason providing the balance of youth with the experienced Purley Mariner Chairman,, Tony and McMenamy Mike.

Phones to the ready, all three show great diligence in following developments elsewhere - or reporting in for duty as told to do so..

Yes Luton were probably the best side faced this season.

Yes they deserved to win. But Town were never anything like over-run. Certainly until the first goal, hopes remained high. Luton have overrun many sides this season - that never looked likely. However the need for more clinical finishing & improvement in the final third was no surprise to the B&W Army.

Again the Clarke-Collins central axis competed and never looked in real danger. Had the Luton No. 3 been red-carded, as was probably deserved, for the challenges on Sikiri, no doubt a different game would have ensued. Such fine lines is the name of the game. The January transfer window will prove interesting. Jamille Matt again gave 100% but


In Russel we trust!


The Chairman of the Histon Mariners continues to work for the campaign and sends his inimitable greetings to all.

30.12.17 GTFC 0 v 3 Accrington Stanley

Whilst realism necessarily perpetrates the B&W Army's general outlook it is usually difficult to completely dampen the natural enthusiasm of real football supporters. The glass is naturally half full but at times of struggle a vocal minority will encourage the perception of a glass half empty.

Airdrie Mariner Will, having been dealt the Airdrie & Cleethorpes cards remains continually up beat, here flanked by 'close' friends Doug and Adam.

The debut appearance of GRR was against Mansfield. Like other Mariner fans she as clearly excited by the prospect of a second game so soon - though cynics might suggest it was the tales from a distant railway that determined her demeanour. Given her poorly developed orienteering skills, we suspect Senior Manager Becky played a significant part in her attendance.

Gareth, GRR, Becky
His Lordship, in contact with Burkes Peerage, Though appearing slightly perturbed, declares himself satisfied with proceedings.
Sgt. Dodd - a legendary orienteering Professional who could mentor Chesterfield Logistics Manager - with a very content elderly lady.

In McMenemys though injured, Jamie McKeown with legend Dave Boylen welcomed the Histon Mariners, wishing them good fortune in 2018.

Once recovered from injury we would expect Jamie with 352 appearances to exceed Dave's 384 - such a feat would cement Jamie in the true legend hierarchy.

The resultant can only be described as disappointing. There can be no excuses & at such times fortune favours the brave. Awarding a


appears almost beyond reproach at this difficult time. Whilst not good, it is not the complete disaster portrayed by some. Confidence needs reigniting, a January influx may help & luck needs to shine on Blundell. Onwards & upwards - the Mighty Mariners will come through. In the world of Real Football - money Is not the simple answer.

Post-match analysis was understandably muted.

Imperial Daz searches various helplines for answers - to no avail.

The B&W Army marches on & the Histon Mariners will continue The Campaign relentlessly.


20.01.18 Colchester 1 v 1 GTFC

Despite the oldest recorded town in Britain as the Roman Capital (& for being 200 miles from Anglesey...), The Seagulls were only elected to the Football League in 1950. With 2 years in Division 5 (1990 - 92) and 2 years in Division 2 (2006-09) the other 64 years have been in Divisions 3 &4.

The usual dubious ownership in the late 1980's left the club with ground problems (following Bradford v and Heysell) that proved difficult to rectify. Layer Road was eventually replaced by the Western Homes Community Stadium.

NB This was the result of a 30 year feasibility and location consultation with Colchester Borough Council and only after the Deputy PM, John Prescott interviewed in the clubs favour...

The first fixture (4th August 2008) v Atletico Bilbao saw a certain Scott Vern score the first goal for Colchester at the new ground (an equalizing penalty)

Colchester the home of Humpty Dumpty, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Old King Cole plus a top micro-brewery at Wakes Colne, set the scene for pre-match preparations at the Victoria Freehouse.

It cannot be denied, the feel good factor is hardly prevalent at present - more half empty glasses than half full.

However, the Histon Mariners are mindful of the problem at clubs such as Blackpool and Leyton Orient but also of Charlton Athletic where the Supporters Trust (C.A.S.T) are in joint efforts with the Coalition Against Roland Duchatelet (C.A.R.D) in an effort to find a way forward for the club from its current lower than expected status.

In the world of Real Football, managing expectations and dreams of fans is a difficult balance to maintain.

At the Victoria Inn Freehouse, the Logistics Director of the Histon Mariners held most pleasant conversations with Seagull fans. Andy who like so many is a former 1st Division fan, following Ipswich. Disillusioned his fix of Real Football is now at The Western Homes Stadium

President, Andy

There was total unanimity that realistic aspirations are a fundamental bedrock of clubs like the Seagulls and Mariners. Whilst accepting Division 4 status, having dreams to rise is the lifeblood of the Real Football Supporter. The chance of experiencing those dreams is the essence of Real Football Talk.

Meanwhile Lord Roy & TM bemoan the absence of the baby sitting Gareth & are equally enthralled by Pontefract Mariner, Eddie.

Lord Roy, Fogden, TM
The B&W Army continue to drink from the half empty glass - here his Lordship concurs with New Imperial Richie.
Derby Mariners Andy, Tim and Dan with an unusual solo appearance from Louth Mariner..

A very disconcerting report of a Rock & Blues Extravaganza at Skegness was being attended by the Old Gits. This extra ordinary event left only one Old Git in attendance at Colchester.

Billy No Mates valiantly carries the flag On behalf of the Old Gits

A changed formation - a change of fortune? Town certainly started off on the front foot and ultimately dominated the first half. Matt and Vernam provided food for thought alas Matt's hamstring ended that hope. However a first goal for Vernam bodes well and Town who no doubt deserved a half-time lead and probably deserved more. A general consensus at half time agreed little evidence of "Hoofball"...! Obviously Colchester came back after half-time but the Mighty Mariners rode the storm and came back into it as the half wore on. Vernam forcing a good save from a great effort at the end. Summerfield Continues to drive things forward and Osbourn's pace at the back proved useful. Dixon had probably his best game since the opener at Chesterfield.




30.01.18 Yeovil 3 v 0 GTFC

Yeovil Town known as The Glovers, reflects a historical link to the tanning and gloving industries since 1347. Yeovil a surprise German target during WW2 as a centre for helicopter and defence equipment. Membership of the 2nd Division (aka The Championship) 2014-15 was a significant effort by the Glovers. Huish Park the home of Yeovil since 1990 replaced the infamous former site with its 8 foot slope from side to side.

Yeovil a 370 mile round trip on Tuesday night in January....

Histon Mariners linked up with Sutton Mariner Jack to alleviate the strain of a challenging journey. Joined by East End Mariner Rob and Statistician Michael, this well balanced blend of youthful exuberance and advanced senility certainly made the journey seem less arduous and at times 'enlightening'. An interesting tour of Somerset countryside eventually found The Arrow, where the briefest aperitif lubricated pre-match planning. This not so Fab Four, boosted the B&W Army up to 129.

East End Rob, Jack & Statistician Michael in a state of eager anticipation. NB - East End Rob was allegedly Lord Roy's fag at school...

Such information cannot be confirmed or denied at this stage.

A sending off after 6 minutes was a fair indication of the likely fare to be served. A goal against after a further 5 minutes conjured up thoughts as to why? The answer is that in times of adversity, Real Football Supporters consolidate and look onwards and upwards. Such occasions are the essence of Real Football. Such occasions accentuate the hopeful eventual highs. The difficulty of an hour's battle with 10 men, was compounded by a second dismissal - probably unlucky - saw the inevitable 0 v 3 defeat, was going to make the long journey home very long indeed, despite the best efforts of Michael The Stat. Virtually impossible to name a man of the match. Karleigh Osbourne added to the defence above and beyond his debating skills (before his sending off) and Luke Summerfield, his debating partner, battled throughout. At the final whistle the Mighty Mariners apologetically applauded the travelling army, clearly displaying a level of care that connected with those still there.

As always positives do emerge, and Old Git 'Billy' found a mate in Stuart

At the Hammersmith transit point (0040hrs), East End Mariner Rob prepared to find milk as instructed by Senior Management. Home by 0215 was not as bad as expected despite the result. The company of the aforementioned comrades helped elevate a testing 370 miles of potential boredom and 0 v 3 result.


03.02.18 GTFC 1 v 1 Cheltenham

A pre-match meeting with John Shepherd from Mid Cheshire Cricket Club Davenham at the Notts, illustrates the embracing nature of the Histon Mariners Campaign.

Mariner exile John was on a mission on three fronts - a) Support and unity at Blundel b) on behalf of the Davenham C.C Beer Festival - to be satisfied at Axeholme Brewery and c) to establish the association with the Histon Mariners.

Histon Mariners were also on a mission to establish a format for the visit to Cambridge (17.02.18) with Terry Rodrum of the Mariners Trust. Whilst in the Trust Bar a rare quorum of the 'Old Gits' was in residence. Their alternative tours have left 'Billy' with no/few mates - the Histon Mariners will continue to offer support for a 'lonely Billy'.

Lord Roy of Chesterfield Mariners reported all was on track (incl. cask ale at Hasland's top night spot!) and formal meetings were arranged at forthcoming trips to Crawley and Carlisle.

Tony Ford provided inspiration to McMike & Grimsby Mariner Gaz, who was also looking forward to preparations at Cambridge

Obviously a difficult day at Blundel, where frustrated Mariners aired legitimate concerns. But the Campaign for Real Football has to embrace the ups and downs of our game & clubs. Of course frustration manifests itself in emotional outbursts but the underlying belief & commitment will rise and establish the order of the day.

On the pitch, some encouragement, an early goal from Simeon Jackson, certainly helped ease the pressure. The consequences of the unfortunate injury to Danny Collins enabled Reece Hall-Johnson to make an impressive debut. Again Vernam plus Mallik Wilks made good progress and bodes well for the future. Inevitably Cheltenham responded in their usual inimitable style to force an even divide of the spoils. Whilst not totally at ease, the end of the disappointing run must begin somewhere - each long journey starts with a small step. For his enforced switch to centre-back after Danny Collins substitution, Zac Mills pips....

Histon Mariners Man of the Match : Charles Vernam


10.02.18 Crawley Town 3 v 0 GTFC

Crawley (A) - Match Ticket

The name Crawley evolved from the Saxon Crow's Leah - a crow infested clearing in a wood! But the town's major period of development was post WW2.

The football club formed in 1896 became firmly established with a new ground at Town Mead in 1949 in line with the town's development. Continued town development led to a further Borough Council owned new ground in 1997 - the Broadfield Stadium now infamously renamed the Checkatrade Stadium.

  • 2004 on entering Division 5 saw the onset of an all too familiar off-field stay of dubious and at best mismanaged events.
  • 2005 went full time, escaped relegation, were deducted 3 points (irregular payments) and entered administration.
  • 2006 announced that liquidation was imminent through a last minute arrangement saved the day but incurred a 10 point deduction. Owners Chas and Azwar Majeed incurred the wrath of the fanswith Azwar being jailed for tax fraud relating to various other businesses.
  • 2007-08 Victor Marley led a new regime that appointed Steve Evans...and incurred another 6 point deduction.
  • 2008 Prospect Estate Holdings Ltd took control, which led to a £300,000 transfer expenditure by the enigmatic Steve Evans (which included Richard Brodie...)
  • 2010 High Court action against Crawley taken by HMRC proved unsuccessful and led to the Council leasing the club the new ground.


The highs and lows of Real Football are all too apparent. However, old stalwarts march on.

Media personalities were at Crawley Station to welcome the Histon Mariners.

Top photographer Anne and Radio Humberside 'celeb', Mr Tondeur 'optimistic' and on parade

Pre-match preparations were planned at the rather pleasant White Hart.

Chesterfield Mariners, Logistics Manager and rail enthusiast Gareth on duty by kind permission of Senior Management, welcomes the Histon Mariners.
Steve Fenty, Scott, Lindsey and Terry were also on hand to contribute to proceedings.

The campaign marches on and with the Mighty Mariners due to visit Cumbria at the beginning of March, Carlisle Dave was on hand to invite the Histon Mariners to the Lord Howard in Carlisle to cement a fruitful association.

NB - Is it a mask or the real thing?
The same question emerged as Chesterfield Logistics Manager confirms arrangements with Carlisle Dave.
Carlisle Dave was delighted to encounter a significant Cumbrian landowner & was enthralled to hear of the success of Thwaites 'Wainwright' (a significant Cumbrian associate of this Lordship) at the renowned Hasland WMC.

Forty Five minutes of holding the upper-hand was undone by an added time Crawley penalty. Absence of luck, absence of confidence and an absence of ability to make 'it count', meant half-time was the familiar mood of despondency.

A second half which failed to match the first half performance saw the Mighty Mariners surcome to two further goals.That Crawley named their goalkeeper as Man of The Match provided little comfort. Ben Killip for Town, continues to grow in confidence and cannot take any blame. Sam Kelly's second half introduction and resultant performance belied much of the former negative reviews of him. But painting a gloss provides a thin veneer. Realism must accompany optimism.

Histon Mariners Man of the Match - Ehoes Crawley's decision :

and names BEN KILLIP

As ever positives must be found & 'Billy' having found a mate at Yeovil found another at Crawley

Post-match analysis was understandably brief. His Lordship despairs, TM tries to hide, Gareth subdues his anger and Crawley representative checks the result.


17.02.18 Cambridge Utd 3 v 1 Grimsby Town

Bronze age origins and a City since 1951. Cambridge is obviously associated with the world renowned University & recent explosive growth of technological research and development. It is the birth place of Pink Floyd, Tom Robinson, Katrina & The Waves and Olivia Newton-John.

It is also the birthplace of the rules of Association Football. In 1863 representatives of students from various schools, who each had their own set of rules, formed an Association & codified the Rules of our game.

CUFC elected to the Football League in 1970 reaching Division 2 in 1978 until its decline in the 1980's, flirting with bankruptcy. A resurgence, resulting in a play-off defeat to enter the Premier League in 1992 was followed by decline to Division 5 for the second time in 2005, again flirting with bankruptcy. Return to the Football League in 2014.

An invigorated B&W Army was expected following the departures of RS. Expectations were renewed. Significant support decended on Impington where they were welcomed by the Histon Mariners at the Railway Vue. President Maurice assisted by trainee Mariner James were on hand with the Logistics Director to conduct pre-match preparations.

Rambo and Pete were clearly overcome with emotion
Grant and Simon provided balance and experience
Caister Dave, Ian and Mick adopting the senior roles of Athos, Parthos & Aramis, share a Dandelion & Burdock amidst a tranquil 5 minutes without..
..the 'youthful' D'Artagan aka E. Halton Mariner Paul
Out on manoeuvres CUFC officials were delighted To welcome the Histon Mariners
An optimistic Elderly Lady with Sgt. Dodd, whilst concentrating on proceedings, were also keen to organise an evening of cultural entertainment & education at the renowned Hasland WMC.
A rose between 2 thorns saw the familiar & well balanced combination of Purley Mariner Tony with McMenamy Mike comfortable in their roles as bookends
An over cheerful & ever present 'Billy' with 'Old Soldier ...reported the rumoured possible appearance of Judith Chalmers who allegedly will be taking a break in order to appear at Carlisle..?
Agent 006.5 was keeping a low profile but Regimental Mascot Rebekah in training to follow suit, demonstrated some skills as an undercover agent but as yet in need of fine tuning

The match followed a well worn path experienced in recent encounters. The Mighty Mariners opened well & were the better - of 2 poor sides - for the opening 15 minutes. The opponents first attack produced the first goal - the worst was feared. Whilst it can only be admitted, the desired quality is rarely in evidence, it is also a truism that fortune favours the brave. Currently confidence is at an all time low & as such bravery does not exist. 2 further goals & a JJ Hooper penalty finished proceedings. Getting out of this trough appears impossible at this point but those apparently steep slopes will be transcended: it will be the brave that lead the way. Looking for positives at such a point is difficult. But amongst such gloom & despondency, Zac Mills continues to battle, Reece Hall-Johnson commanded some respect in his first full start and JJ Hooper showed as much as he has all season. McKeown was welcomed back & could not be blamed.

Soon a small step will be taken on a great journey & the Histon Mariners will be present to witness the dawn of a new era.

Histon Mariners Man of the Match : REECE HALL-JOHNSON


03.03.18 Carlisle Utd 2 v 0 GTFC

Carlisle Utd (A) - Match Ticket

Carlisle in existence before the Romans fortified the town on their imperial boarder against the 'fearsome' picts. As a border town, locals took affairs into their own hands as the Border Reivers in almost splendid isolation for several hundred years. Rapid 19th century growth from the railways, engineering and armanents ultimately led to Nationalisation of local breweries and public houses until 1971. Now home to Carrs' Biscuits, Cumberland sausages an Eddie Stobart.

Carlisle Utd founded in 1904 when Shaddongate F.C. changed its name. They have played at Brunton Park since 1909 but unsurprisingly have had plans for a new ground in Kingmoor Park for over a decade. They entered the football league in 1928. Played in the 1st Division 1974-75. Division 5 in 2004 and since the demise of Workington F.C. in 1977 are the only league club in Cumbria. Formidable names from the past include Peter Beardsley and Mariner legend Dave Boylen's friend Stan Bowles. Past managers include Harry Gregg, Bob Stokoe and Nigel Pearson. But the overwhelming connection with GTFC is a shared former manager, Mr Shankly was at Carlisle 1949-51, at GTFC 1951-54 from where he went to Workington F.C. 1954-55. After his spell at Huddersfield his apprenticeship was complete. In1959 he arrived at Anfield...!!!

Meeting at Wigan en-route, the Histon Mariners and Chesterfield Mariners proceeded to march forward with considerable gusto. Despite the inclement weather across Britain, it must be documented that from Cambridge (via Birkenhead) to Carlisle, very little, if any evidence of the report chaos was witnessed by the Histon Mariners. On arrival at Carlisle, Lord Roy of Chesterfield proceeded to enlighten fellow travellers with his astute analysis of the Carlisle Retail Sector. A wonderful pre-match venue - the Howard Arms had been prearranged with Crawley Dave and Cumbrian exile at the White Hart in early February.

The famous double act from Chesterfield were anxious to get proceedings rolling
The Ticket Manager and his Lordship wasted No time and set about an earnest and full Analysis of the effects of Brexit on the UK Retail Sector

His Lordship continued his analysis with a talk on his association with Harrods. In an attempt to minimise his connections, he claimed to have had only one visit to the said store - his Son-in-law suggested it may well have been when his Lordship set his account up. Chesterfield Logistics Manager gave an enthralling presentation on being isolated in Keswick due to the alleged weather conditions; the potential difficulties in getting home after the game prior to setting off tomorrow for the Athletics extravaganza in Birmingham.

Long suffering Becky & GRR look enthralled with Gareth's monologue.
As do The Tour Manager, his Lordship & Salford Mariner Ali

So a bemused and befuddled was the Logistics Director of the Histon Mariners that he declared Grimsby to Cleethorpes a hard journey!

Lenghy discussion about a potential fraudulent insurance claim, centred around carpet damage in Keswick. Whereby an over active heater attempted to re-adjust to its correct upright position from an incorrect flat position...

Renewed optimism was evident given the arrival of Mr Jolley, so much so that Gareth declared himself content with the appointment of and "up and coming Manager .....so far!"

A most fruitful and evolving association with Carlisle supporters provided encouragement for the Campaign for Real Football. The Cumbrian version of Last of The Summer Wine, drew breath (just) when Litchfield-Cumbrian 'Ernest Hemmingway' joined long-term associates Crawley Big Dave and Dorking Cumbrian 'Bill Gates' (aka to his friend(s) as Howard) to welcome the Histon Mariners.

The venture North to Carlisle provided a surprise discovery that made the expedition so worthwhile. After listening to Howard it can be confirmed that Music Hall is not dead! It is alive & well in the Howard Arms virtue to Howard.

Equally Crawley Dave's brother, Ray and Dartford-Cumbrian Mike (also Chairman of the London Branch of Carlisle Exiles) welcome the Histon Mariners over a vanilla latte. They too were entranced (despite their previous experiences) by Music Hall virtuoso, Howard.

A memorable visit to the Howard Arms - supplemented by proper food - in total accord with the Histon Mariners Campaign saw Innkeeper Stuart & Histon Mariner Logistics Director confirm a hopeful reunion next year.

Meanwhile his Lordship continued to discuss the future of the UK Retail Sector with hereditary hier GRRace

Teflon Man & Salford Mariner waited outside the Howard Arms for his Lordship to finish his presentation, and took the opportunity to rehearse Ali's soon to be released melodic lambasting of the Premier Pantomime.

Inside Brunton Park the formidable gathering of the B&W Army was evident for all to see.

Tony, Billy & Judith
To everyone's delight Billy reunited with the nomadic Judith Chalmers, The Histon Mariners 'Trust' the two old soldiers will perform together in the campaign ahead.
Salford Ali gave a further rendition of the forthcoming production. Ticket Manager Ian as ever provides an assured & balanced view whilst Gareth considers various logistical options after the game.

The coronation of Michael Jolley officially planned for Monday following. He took his place in the stand to begin his assessment. We await with eager anticipation.

On the pitch it can only be described as same again albeit with slight improvement. However conceding after 2 minutes adds considerable gradient to a mountain already difficult to transverse. Though far from plentiful, The Mighty Mariners did have chances, none more so than when Jamille Matt managed to nudge the ball from Mitch Rose's toe & a certain tap in. Small margins ....!!! Hall -Johnson soon on for the injured Dixon again showed flashes & a trip to McKeowan Wunderland when a penalty was saved provided a few highlights on a chilly afternoon.


A productive day off the pitch & preparation for a new era on the pitch provided sufficient fuel for the Histon Mariner Campaign For Real Football.

In Michael Jolley we trust! (even Gareth, for now.!)


17.03.18 Lincoln City 3 v 1 GTFC

Lincoln (A) - OAP! Match Ticket

Record attendance 23,146 v GTFC March 1949

The first club managed by Graham Taylor (1972-77)

The first club to be automatically relegated to Division 5 in 1986-87 and promoted at first attempt but relegated again to 2010-11.

Not been higher than Division 3 2001-2 when Alan Buckley was sacked. And certainly resurgent under our Braintree nemesis.

On arrival for the early kick off, the weather turned & set the pattern for rest of the visit - intermittent blizzards & sunshine!!

The Still on Saltergate provided exceedingly good value refreshment, indulged in by the Histon Mariners.

Landlord John & Landlady Emma were on hand to welcome the Histon Mariners Logistics Director

John, formally Over Mariner, ran the Exhibition in Over, Cambs, and a neighbour and associate of the then Landlord of the Grimsby pub in Histon. The Still provided a most suitable pre-match venue, which we trust will be frequented again next season. Local Lincoln fans were also clear evidence of the continued good health of Real Football.

RAF Veteran George (with Blue roots in Glasgow) And Alan were clearly excited about the resurgent Imps & welcomed the Histon Mariners.

Sincil Bank witnessed a resurgent (though concerned) B&W Army (1696) get behind Mr Jolley's efforts to reinvigorate the Mighty Mariners

A rather chilly Elderly Lady - has to be reprimanded for a confused Match Day Outfit alongside a despairing Sgt. Dodd. NB - An equally concerned Lordship in the background.
Chesterfield Logistics Manager& New Imperial Richie in a state of eager anticipation
A very subdued Sophie (presumably temporary) with Granny Colleen brave the cold for the cause..
..whilst Walking Football Legend, Ray, looks on in amazement
Lisa barely recognisable under umpteen layers is well chaperoned by a brace of offspring

There is little doubt the Mighty Mariners started relatively brightly. Afterwards Imp Fans agreed the opening 20-25 minutes saw town as the better side - having hit the woodwork twice..small margins!! However once again conceding a goal appeared to spell the end. 3 goals in under 10 minutes epitomised the 2017-18 season. Vague hope after a Davies penalty, just before half time led to a second half of hope rather than expectation. Town rarely threatened, likewise Lincoln in the second half. The glass remains half full. Fox looks to have settled quickly. Clifton continues to justify his place. Macca is Macca & McSheffrey appears likely to be up to speed imminently. Wilkes, Jackson & Summerfield should return shortly & will provide options


P.S. A late report about a unfortunate John Tondeour, confirms his losing battle with a 3" wall. We trust his broken bones mend well & look forward to a convivial orange juice & full expose of the aforesaid manoeuvre.

24.03.18 Coventry City 4 v 0 GTFC

Coventry City (A) - with increasingly regular OAP! notation.. Match Ticket

Coventry was the first twinned city. Seeking to demonstrate support for the Red Army during the Battle of Stalingrad (now Volgograd). Subsequently twinning with Dresden serves to emphasize the profile of Coventry during WW2.

70 - 80's saw Coventry as the home of Two Tone.

Singers FC (1898), joining the Football League 1919. Highfield Road became the first all seater stadium 1981. The Ricoh opened 2005 but the rent dispute 2013-14 saw them play at Northampton Town. 2007 narrowly avoided administration which 'eventually' came in 2013. Owners S.I.S.U. appointed Otium Entertainment Group (registered by ex-Sky Blue Directors) to operate affairs. Of those 3 Directors, one a Portuguese resident with connections to Southampton F.C., UK Charity - Kids and Sport and Security & Investigatory Services. Another with a list of 'graduate' certificates, a 'reputation' for social media wizardry, who sought to introduce 'Text A Sub' whereby fans could vote for substitutions during a game..!! Both whom sent Coventry to Northampton for the season. 2016 equally displaced fans Charlton Athletic joined Coventry fans for a joint demonstration which hit national headlines.

Be careful what you wish for...

There are lots of links between the Sky Blues & The Mighty Mariners, 3 of which Tommy Widdrington, Dave Smith and Gerry McSheffrey will resonant on this day.

Onwards & upwards the B&W Army (878) marched onto the Ricoh.

Welcome to Coventry

Chesterfield and Histon Mariners concurred that Byatts Brewery would provide a suitable venue for pre-match refreshment. An excellent choice was quickly confirmed. The Voice of Reason made valiant efforts to step into the shoes of Chesterfield Logistics Manager - otherwise occupied at an alternative operation in support of Senior Management. Equally missed was that most natural of geographers, currently on integration exercises in Chesterfield. Byatts proved an equally suitable venue for Shropshire Official Ale Taster, Jeremy Baily ably assisted by Jane whose arrival from California demonstrated a remarkable commitment to duty.

Mr & Mrs Baily, Lord Roy

A most philanthropic gesture by his Lordship to distribute refreshment to the masses, clearly excited an enthralled host, Dave.

Histon Mariner Logistics Director commiserates with Dave
Agent 006.5 trainee Rebekah fell short in her usual attempts to adopt undercover status
Senior Manager, Marianne dutifully kept a close eye on her efforts whilst also keeping a watchful eye on the exploits of Hereford F.C.
Nottingham Mariner Wilson was keen to further Real Football Connections
Equally Buck Mariner, Andy was happy to rub shoulders with Chesterfield Mariners hierarchy

Inside the Ricoh..

New Imperial Antique Legend looks to the skies for inspiration
Whilst Doncaster Paul witnesses the Managers last gasp efforts to be fully prepared for the battle ahead.

Team selection saw significant changes, largely to the delight of the B&W Army. And for 38 minutes optimism was justifiably on the rise. The Mighty Mariners appeared to have better shape but almost on cue the Sky Blues took the lead. At half time, in a distinct departure from recent games, all was not necessarily lost - some hope still prevailed.

Glasses appeared half full

McAllister (at last) appeared settled and Woolford assisted well. Collins as Captain led from the back with admirable support from Zac Mills. However a depressingly familiar second half saw the Sky Blues progress towards a comfortable victory. Some hope can certainly be taken from the first half, but it's a 90+ minute game. It is no coincidence that the tiring of recently promoted players saw the loss of shape and goals. With essential minutes under those players belts, the likes of Wilks, McAllister, Fox and McSheffrey can find hope with the additional return of Summerfield & Jackson.


Post-match de-briefing at the Litton Tree was intense.

The tone of proceedings were illustrated by the evident uplift when news broke of the Hatters victory over recently restored M. Allen Esq.

Derby Dan attempts to console his Lordship
As well as concern with Town, Derby Tim remained focussed, whilst Dan contemplates the whereabouts of Bearded Escort Craig..

Onwards and Upwards


Unusual absentees, Sgt Dodd and a caring Elderly Lady were conspicuously missed. We hope the precautionary measures taken today will prove sufficient & a reinvigorated duo will resume duties shortly.

30.03.18 GTFC 0 v 0 Stevenage

Stevenage (H) - Match Ticket

A difficult and much delayed journey north. Crowds flocking to Blundell created a backlog of traffic at the Carholme Roundabout making the time taken from Lincoln to Cleethorpes at 2 ½ hours. The resulting curtailed pre-match preparations did not prevent checking Stuart B's favourite women's clothes shop for his late appearance. Close confidante Tina, confirmed his appearance at a far off distant ski slope.

'Stating No fool like an old fool'

Despite this set back, The Notts as ever hosted a quick fire co-ordination of manoeuvres. Will Douglas from Axholme Brewery outlined the move to Cleethorpes & future plans, the momentum of which we hope spills over to Blundel.

Local Mariner Andy Murray greets Will, toasting the good fortune of Town and Axholme with a refreshing Earl Grey

The B&W Army essentially responded to the needs of the moment though a degree of apprehension was clearly evident.

At McMenemys the Legendary Leeson attempted to reassure a nervous McMike in the pre-match build up
Equally The Fish spreads his experienced net to an attentive Sophie & the hard working John Boy.
Dedicated fan Sophie seeks to keep cool whilst explaining the complexities of the situation to John Boy

Again small steps were taken in the right direction and the Mighty Mariners created 2/3 good chances which confidence would have converted. Selection is not helped by key injuries, as Histon Mariner sponsored Michael Jolley searches for his best team. Destiny is still in the hands of the Mighty Mariners. Summerfield made an energetic return & tries to cajole others. Danny Collins again provides leadership from the rear & was assisted by Nathan Clark. But that Towns best 2 players were the full backs is probably indicative of the current situation.


(with Zac Mills a close second)

Geordie Gaz reflects on developments in splendid isolation

At the Smugglers intensive analysis helped put the current situation into perspective.

McMike details the 'Word of Wisdom' From Leeson to The Fish & Colleen
Colleen (rather hopefully) tries to console a distraught Ian 'Postman Pat'
Simon from Histon Mariner Cleethorpes base The Kingsway, attempts to make sense of developments


In Michael Jolley We Trust

(***) Histon Mariners held intensive talks with the well-known double act "Lowther & Tondeur" at the Notts. Details of JT's confrontation with a 3" wall were "accurately" presented without the expected embellishment....

We wish the said victim a successful recovery.

07.04.18 GTFC 1 v 0 Chesterfield

Chesterfield (H) - Match Ticket

Meeting at Wigan en-route, the Histon Mariners and Chesterfield Mariners proceeded to march forward with considerable gusto. Despite the inclement weather across Britain, it must be documented that from Cambridge (via Birkenhead) to Carlisle, very little, if any evidence of the report chaos was witnessed by the Histon Mariners. On arrival at Carlisle, Lord Roy of Chesterfield proceeded to enlighten fellow travellers with his astute analysis of the Carlisle Retail Sector. A wonderful pre-match venue - the Howard Arms had been prearranged with Crawley Dave and Cumbrian exile at the White Hart in early February.

Peterborough Sports Legend, Cranie appreciates the fact that Histon Mariner Logistics Director has no allegiance to CUFC!

Peterborough Sports beat Clee Town 2 v 1 and brought around a third of the total gate of 185 - a magnificent effort.

Pre-match preparations "aided by Aiden" & Dale at the Notts
In a Trust Bar at Blundel the ex-landlords Association ensures Billy is not in splendid isolation
However, Billy (aka Paul) meets up with 'old friend' Judith Chalmers, temporarily on domestic shores
Last of the Summer Wine trio Dave, Mike and Ken - long term associates of the Histon Mariners - hold court in The Trust Bar amidst colourful accounts of days of yesteryear. Footballing stories are retold in abundance & recall the Histon Mariner Chairman, Maurice, going from season to season without breaking sweat.
Deadly duo Charlotte & Rebecca were able to concentrate on proceedings, as stately Grandparent, declares himself satisfied with the latest entry into Burkes Peerage.
Prior to kick off Alan Buckley & Trust Board Representative Jon Wood, thank the Histon Mariners for their continued support during a difficult season.

No one would have expected a game to remember in the annals of classics. However, small steps of improvement were discernible. These steps would appear to be the result of confidence. The entire team appear to fall into this synopsis but none more than Mitch Rose & JJ Hooper. A nervous Blundell (with equally nervous 1500 visiting supporters) would gladly accept a scrappy 1 v 0 victory, given the importance of its consequences. Again full backs Reece Hall-Johnson and Andrew Fox stood out & probably are earning the right to be at BP next season. The late penalty that separated the teams was a fair decision (from a clearly superior Ref. of Premier Experience, Robert Madeley) and Mitch Rose - with renewed confidence - stood up to the plate. Jubilant scenes - clear release of tension from 20 + games of frustration.


Never in Doubt.........!

The obviously relieved post-match analysis, reflected the mood of Cleethorpes.

At the New Imperial Club, Antique Philip, Christian & Sean appear relaxed
In the Notts Steve F & Terry Indulge in a celebratory fruit smoothie
At the Smugglers, Kingsway Simon looks forward to forthcoming fixtures with an attentive Walking Football Legend
Simon predicts 1 more victory needed with 'afishanerdo' (sic!) Promotion Plaice
McMike wallows in the success of the day & declares himself in agreement with Simon
At Willys McMike continues his analysis with Postman Pat

In Michael Jolley we trust!


14.04.18 GTFC 2 v 2 Barnet

Barnet (H) - Match Ticket

The Histon Mariners again displayed great determination when diverted from the A1(N) for a 40 mile detour around Rutland Waters. However given equal delays on the journeys north against Stevenage & Chesterfield - perhaps the omens were good...


Despite such delays, pre-match preparations began at Willy's where Sutton Mariner & movie mogul Jack Spring met with Chesterfield Logistics Manager. It would be difficult to guess whether a horror or comedy script would be the more likely outcome. However the odds are on a travel documentary, along the lines of Magical Mystery Tour.
Long standing associates of the Histon Mariners & residents of the Upper Findus, Ian McLean & Brian Fisher renew connections and reminisce past glories.
At the Notts, young protégée of Will basks in the euphoria of match day in Cleethorpes. Callum younger brother of Will, resident of an old steel town in South Yorkshire whilst being lambasted as a Blue Nose glory hunter, would appear to have been captivated. Close friend Doug keeps a fatherly eye on Callum.

Sunshine at Blundell - clear signs of spring weather. The shoots of new growth, since the arrival of Michael Jolley, are in evidence & measured optimism now accompanies hope.

Becky seeks to assure Grrace whose concern with Auntie Charlottes Chesterfield connections is self-evident.
Billy no more, as Ex Landlord 'Paul' is applauded by Town Legend James McKeown for his outstanding Durability this season.
'Billy's' association with such Town Legends, has helped the 'Old Gits' reaffirm their association. The Histon Mariners look forward to meeting up with Paul, Pete and their sidekicks at the County Ground Swindon, next week.

Prior to kick off squad members not involved with the days game took time to thank the Histon Mariners for their support this season

James Berret & Jack Keeble with Histon Mariners Logistics Director

A terrific start when Danny Collins put Town ahead after 6 minutes, confirmed real renewed confidence. Town were certainly the better team going in a goal ahead at half time. However the inability to capitalise on several good chances provided some concern. It was inevitable that Mad Dog would revitalise the Bee's at half time, and so it proved at 1v2 down with 10 minutes remaining, a test of renewed vigour was on hand. An immediate positive response, saw Harry Clifton push forward and get a penalty which 'ice-man' Rose once again converted. Even in the remaining minutes, Town could have conceivably scored and had another penalty virtue of Gary McSheffrey. 2v2 - by no means perfect but, the green shoots of recovery continue to sprout, destiny is still in Towns hands , the glass is still half full - we hope there is enough time.

Histon Mariners Man of the Match for his first half display

& nerves of ice : Mitch Rose


Post-match analysis was still up beat without the ecstasy of last week.

"The Voice of reason" Sean agrees with antique 'Philip' "it' still in our hands"

In Michael Jolley we trust!


21.04.18 Swindon Town 0 v 1 GTFC

Swindon (A) - Match Ticket

Originally Saxon "Swine Hill" which evolved into Swindon. Isambard Brunel's headquarters for repair and maintenance of GWR locomotives. The 1840's signalled the growth towards the town we know today. The GWR philanthropic 'cradle to the grave scheme' was later used as a blue print for the NHS. The associated development of the Mechanics Institute transformed many working class lives by boosting literacy & education opportunities.

Swindon AFC founded in 1879 became The Spartans 1880 and Swindon Town 1883. They have played at the County Ground since 1896. League Cup winners 1969 against pre-Wenger Arsenal and Premier League Members for one season 1992-93. The County Ground was used as POW camp during WW2. Unsurprisingly - the all too familiar financial problems have plagued the clubs recent history. Administration twice & battles against winding-up orders from HMRC - it still has to pay £100,000 pa. 2006-7 necessitated finding £500,000 to pay players back wages. Now officially owned by Lee Power - previous involvement with Cambridge United, Rushden & Diamonds & also Waterford FC...!!

Onto Wiltshire with a half full glass. For the 3rd consecutive game the Histon Mariners experienced travel delays in excess of an hour. Having previously sat for over an hour at the Carholme Roundabout (v Chesterfield) , Having been diverted around Rutland Water for over an hour (v Barnet) today half an hour delay at Slough & 45 minutes at Reading - the frustration was alleviated by the thoughts of " Good things come in threes"....


The Histon Mariners were guided into dock by directions from his Lordship, though rather perversely ensured accuracy by asking Chesterfield Mariner Logistics Manager to double check. (it was later confirmed that the train delays not being freight conspired, could not be laid at the door of Gareth). On the arrival at designated venue the Glue Pot.

The Glue Pot
The Voice of Reason demonstrates to Birthday "Boy" Paul & Bristol Mariner Ferrari Phil (formally Louth) the problem of a half empty glass.

Here is not the plaice to reveal the age attained by Paul but we congratulate him on acquiring his Senior Railcard & hope his badminton days are far from finished.

Swindon Town fanatic Paul was anxious to meet up with the Histon Mariners & discussed his disappointment that The Robbins had failed to attain promotion. His commitment in already purchasing a season ticket for 2018-19 demonstrates Real Football Supporters attitude & hopes to meet with the Mighty Mariners next season.

Robin Paul shares knee stories with Histon Mariners Logistics Director.
TM shares details of his Lordships current freezer policy. His Lordships modesty knows no bounds.
TM surveys the menu at The County Ground as his Lordship comes to terms with coins of the realm - not normally used to carrying cash.

A rejuvenated Sgt Dodd - a thorn between two roses - welcomes all with sister June and an appropriately turned out elderly lady - unlike at Sincil Bank! June originally from Nottingham but now based in Paxton, Cambridgeshire was delighted to link up with the Histon Mariners and thus strengthening the southern base.

June, Sgt Dodd & an elderly lady!
Inside, Paul was amazed that the Travelling Judith was in attendance.
Chairman of Market Raison Mariners, Big Andy, unsurprisingly with a glass half full.

The gradual improvement, displayed since Michael Jolley arrived continued. Without doubt, togetherness, confidence & shape are on an upward curve. Such factors are those that Michael can influence in these early days. Town were undoubtedly the better side for 20-25 minutes - a scenario not unfamiliar this season but the Mighty Mariners are not so fragile now. The back four were solid - especially centre backs Collins and Clarke, in front of Macca who when called upon, excelled. A competitive midfield at last exists. Harry Clifton has arrived & Iceman Mitch Rose & Martin Woolford are invigorated under Jolley. Harry Cardwells endeavours earned the crucial penalty - the Iceman converted again.

Chairman of Market Raison Mariners, Big Andy, unsurprisingly with a glass half full.

The second half witnessed a battling performance that 2 months ago was probably at best unlikely. Swindon never seriously threatened, and the Mighty Mariners could have gone further ahead. Alas the 3 points were taken - the glass is two thirds full..!

Histon Mariners Man of the Match : HARRY CLIFTON

Old Gits, Stuart, Paul "young" Dave & Pete acknowledge a vital victory
For such an important game post-match analysis was brief but exhilarating
Essex Mariner, Ed & well connected Litchfield Mariner Gary can only marvel at the oral diatribes emanating from Histon & Chesterfield,

The Logistics Director from Histon looks forward to giving a full report to senior member Gary's family, Mr Lowther at the Notts as a future adventure.

In Michael Jolley we trust!


28.04.18 GTFC 2 v 1 Notts County

Notts County(H) - Match Ticket

The President of the Histon Mariners with his Health and Wellbeing Officer took the opportunity to divert on the journey to Blundell with a brief de-tour thought Yorkshire. Perhaps their reason for doing so maybe revealed at a later date. But with a new season on the horizon their commitment is laudable. Meanwhile the Director of Fitness & Restoration Projects, Journeyed north with the Logistics Director & used the time to update on the fitness reports for relevant individuals - given their unfortunate late cty-offs for such a vital game.

At Willy's The President of the Histon Mariners was anxious to listen to an update from the Restoration Director.
Onto the Notts where the 'Old gits' took advantage of the availability of the Restoration Director in the hope of using his skill and experience - however he was never a miracle worker.

Inevitably, as the last game of the season, many different parties were keen to acknowledge the work of the Histon Mariners over the season. Michael Jolley in particular was anxious to invigorate his Cambridge connections with the Histon Mariners..

Michael with Dave Smith acknowledge the work of the Health & Wellbeing Officer President of the Histon Mariners
The Restoration Director & Ray The Fish congratulate Michael on the impact made by him since his arrival in March.
Histon Mariner sponsored Zac Mills & Jack Keeble welcome the Histon Mariners to Blundel.
Steve Fenty and the President held preliminary talks re. next season
And Old footballing colleagues of the President could not miss the occasion to reminisce 'the good old days'.

Steve recounts the President, unwillingness to head the ball, in fear of messing his hair & the amount of work he had to do, to put the ball on a plate for the President - the President's memory differed. His efforts to recount his memories appeared to bemuse an attentive Mike.

The Health & Wellbeing Officer finalised his pre-match preparation with a light lunch and mineral water

The performances since the arrival of Michael Jolley have undoubtedly and discernibly improved game by game. The glass has slowly filled & today the Momentum continued. An outstanding opening period, saw the Mighty Mariners take the lead though worryingly fail to capitalize on multiple opportunities to make the game safe. However a couple of months ago such chances were not being created - those small steps of progression were becoming significant strides. All eleven players were committed, contributing & raising the general level of expectations. A competent back four, a competitive midfield & renewed & hardworking front two are phrases that couldn't be used, never mind linked together a few weeks ago. An equaliser in the 90th minute likewise could have signalled a collapse half a dozen games ago but today the Mighty Mariners continued to march on and produced the spark for massive celebrations. Jamille Matt's winning leader ensured a full glass and unimaginable scenes on Michael Jolley's arrival. The trip to VGR will be a celebrations.


Post-match analysis was inevitably excitable & jubilant.

The invigorated Health and Wellbeing Officer captured the mood, whilst The President already had his mind on next season.

Several of the players sought out the President to express their appreciation of his efforts.

Andrew Fox with Maurice
Ben Davies with Maurice

As ever the New Imperial was raucous & excitable with older heads providing the balance of experience.

Sean, Daz & Carl recuperate with a pot of tea
The President presents antique 'Phil' with a unique exhibit for valuation

At the No. 2 bar, the celebrations continued unabated.

Narrow boat enthusiast Chris March with Histon Mariners alongside a disbelieving James 'Trigger' Neil raise the roof on their new association
Health and Wellbeing Officer, Brian shares the benefits of his all-embracing philosophy with Chris, with the hope that his connections at the Grimsby Institute would further spread the word
The Health and Wellbeing Officer, interrupts his busy schedule, & provides us all with a fine example of the benefits of love and romance

At the Smugglers -

Restoration Director placates a disappointed Julie on announcing the enforced absence of the Histon Mariners Chairman, though providing hope for the future
Likewise Colleen The Fish expresses her regret at the enforced absence of the Chairman.
Eventually when all were reconciled with their disappointment a toast was proposed to absent friends
The extraordinary sequence of events & the unbelievable & unrelenting performance of the Health & Wellbeing Officer induced a well-earned period of respite

Onwards and upwards with a final game against VGR. The Histon Mariners look forward to celebrations but are already in preparations for next season

At the ever welcoming Kingsway

well known impresario, Innis appreciates the impact of Brian in his new role

The glass is now overflowing!

In Michael Jolley we trust!


- P.S. It has been rumoured - courtesy of his lordship - that Chesterfield Logistics Manager has now suggested that he is very happy with the 'New Manager' & is now prepared to look forward with a modicum of optimism to the future..

05.05.18 Village Green Rovers 0 v 3 GTFC

Forest Green Rovers (A) - Match Ticket

Nailsworth population less than 6000 (smaller than Histon) the smallest settlement to house a Football League team. Established in 1889 becoming Forrest Green Rovers in 1898. After a lifetime in lower leagues, 1997-98 saw them secure Conference status. 2010 saw Dale Vince become a major shareholder and 3 months later Chairman. February 2011 saw the players banned from eating read meat & the onslaught of the Chairman's "green agenda".

The final manoeuvre of the 2017-18 season coincided with the record high May Bank holiday temperatures. Pre-match preparations were crucial. Initially held at the Ale House in Stroud. At said venue his Lordship took the opportunity to rest and recuperate following his meeting with J.C. (Labour Party Leader). Accompanied by Gareth - who was not quite believing - the two managed to navigate to The Ale house meeting up with Chesterfield Tour Manager.

The Ale House - Stroud.
The Tour Manager undertakes due diligence in the preparation for the arrival of his Lordship
Gareth explains the extraordinary meeting of his Lordship & comrade J.C. to a disbelieving T.M.

Proud daughters applaud the efforts of his Lordship and his one nation approach, whilst each having their own burdens to carry.

Proud daughters

We trust Charlotte will assist Chesterfield Joe's acclimatisation with Division 5. We applaud Becky's level headed approach towards ongoing logistical puzzles & insurance dilemmas

At the New Lawn Arena the B&W Army gathered in the away marquee, which given the exceptional weather, proved a perfect preparation area for an end of season party.

Undercover Agent 006.5 continues to train protégé Rebekah with varied success.

A bemused elderly lady revisits the ground where awareness of her condition was originally diagnosed.

Now reappearing in her new roles as carer
With an ever grateful Sgt. Dodd

His Lordship continues to recount his surprise liaison with long-term allie, Rob now based in J.C. territory.

Hos Lordhip & Mr Moss

The Michael Jolley effect continues to reveal itself. The upwards curve took a sharp turn last week which continued at the New Lawn Ground. Of course those with half full glasses will declare an end of season fixture with nothing to play for. But Town's glass now over floweth. The transformation in individual performances invigorated by a clearly renewed team - spirit & confidence has been particularly noticeable in Martyn Woolford & J.J Hooper - both in new positions since Jolley arrived. The consistency of Andrew Fox, Danny Collins and Luke Summerfield has provided the bedrock that has helped realize the potential of Harry Clifton and Reece Hall-Johnson. And as ever there is James McKeown who it is hoped re-signs for a couple of years. It would have been impossible for most of the season to imagine HISTON MARINER MAN OF THE MATCH J.J Hooper whose third goal of the day (!) renders a goal of the season award a forgone conclusion.

Afterwards the Histon Mariners Logistics Director was given a logistics demonstration of military precision.

Exiting the New Lawn Stadium is an agreed near impossibility. With a Stroud train connection at 17.43 to destination Bristol one hour after the final whistle, progress after one hour was less than one mile on the Park & Ride bus. Accompanied by Sgt Dodd and a calm elderly lady. Option 2 was discussed.

Histon Mariners Logistics Manager suggested a lift to a taxi rank in Stroud could get to a connecting train from Cheltenham. En-route careful analysis revealed the connecting train was at Gloucester at 18.41. In a state of dis-array, a calm elderly lady suggested a lift to Gloucester was feasible.

Sgt Dodd in a state of complete calm, reflecting his trained background continued onwards with a visit to his own barracks for the evening. At 18.35 traffic congestion in Gloucester, saw Sgt Dodd suggesting alighting from the said vehicle & continue on foot around the corner to the station. The corner turned, the station was then approximately ½ a mile away. Limping on with knees of dubious condition at the best, saw arrival at the station at 18.43. A shrill whistle saw the rail guard hurry the Logistics Director board the 2 minute late train.

A lesson the Histon Mariner Logistics Director will remember for a long time. Grateful to the military precision of Sgt Dodd & the calmness of the elderly lady, saw Bristol arrived at on time and a peaceful evening to reflect on a magnificent end to the season with a reviving cup of tea.

In Michael Jolley we trust!


Up The Mariners! 

Thanks to css zen garden for the layout.