2018 - 2019 : Jolley Frustrating. Jolly Japes.

End of season/pre-season formalities began on a glorious sunny day in the rolling grounds of Hasland Mansions.
Lord of the Manor showed laudable solidarity with his fiefdom by turning down his invitation to Windsor in order to take charge of the reigns of day-to-day affairs and in so doing allow the staff time off to celebrate the Royal Wedding. His remarkably humble approach to estate management was clearly evident via his occasional flourish with the secateurs, albeit under the careful guidance of Senior Management.

Histon Mariner Logistics Director and Chesterfield Tour Manager (TM) were granted access to the grounds, took advantage of such a privilege and duly laid plans for the rather leisurely, slowly (very slowly) evolving I.T. Policy.

Meanwhile His Lordship continued unabated in demonstrating his commitment to the ancient ways of Noblesse Obligee. No task appeared too menial, as demonstrated when proceeding to clean the spilt beetroot from one of his fleet, for which he was allegedly responsible.

To complete his determination to acknowledge and reward staff together with those involved in the days I.T. Conference, His Lordship arranged a celebration of the Royal Day with a soirée in his Village Hall in Hasland.

From his seat of power a keen eye is cast over proceedings.
TM partakes refreshment after his exhausting efforts during the day.
TM passes on the villagers appreciation Cheers to Lady Barbara, an even higher authority.

The ABBA Tribute Band proved a roaring success, with a rendition of ‘MONEY, MONEY, MONEY’, ringing in His Lordship’s ears he was able at last to ease-off. Because of his unyielding duties, Lord Roy had few opportunities to enhance his reputation gained as a Northern Soul dancing aficionado even when the appropriate “DANCING QUEEN” was played.

To have witnessed his efforts over the whole day was truly an honor and fully justified a celebratory nightcap and the gratitude of all and sundry, to the Squire of Hasland.

06.07.18 Grimsby Town Annual Golf-Day.

Arranged largely by Steve Fenty for the Youth Development Fund. For the 3rd Year the Histon Mariners entered a carefully assembled foursome, this year under the natural born to lead and astute Captain, Steve ‘Sloppy’ Allsop.

Messrs. Tim, Allsop, Pearson and Dickson justify the use of a wide angled lens.
Captain Allsop accesses the course and considers tactics .......
.......Mr.Dickson checks on the time of dinner.

Whilst the 4 stooges set about the course, first lieutenant Sean continued to display his 24/7 work ethic.This ethic instilled by years of diligent learning from a true Master, manifested itself in an audacious marketing exercise on behalf of his Mentor.
Accompanied by Histon Mariner Logistics Director on an exploratory venture, the opportunity was taken to visit long established associate Mariner, Will Douglas.

The development by The Axholme Brewery (WWW.axholmebrewing.co.uk) of Dock Beers (WWW.dockbeers.com) is an exciting development in King Edward Street Grimsby, the visit was the first of what is likely to be a fairly regular visitation.

Sean was ever more appreciative of the Histon Mariner Campaign.

A rather pedestrian performance on the Golf Course resulted in a 7th plaice finish but did little to deter Mr. Dickson reviewing possible improvements in next years preparations.
It is believed A.D. considered Tim’s secret stash of chocolate bars - “in case of emergencies” - a very forward looking strategy but could be improved upon by replacing chocolate with pasties.

At The Smugglers, Mr. Dickson reviews catering arrangements with an enthralled Tim, a not so enthralled Captain and a restless Mr.Pearson who appears even less so and desperate to perform.

Soon the restless Mr. Pearson unexpectedly proved an admirable replacement for last years virtuosos performer, Mr. Daniel Grainger, a dancing sensation at The Kingsway Club. Mr. Pearson proved to the vocal gods what Mr.G did for the dancing gods last year.

Mr. Pearson soon whipped his audience into a frenzy and had them eating out of his hand.......
.....as Mr.Dickson left to search for pies, Sloppy stare in disbelief as Tim and Sean enthuse at Mr.P’s performance.
As the crowd erupt, Sean announces to anxious fans, just one more number from an exhausted Mr.P.
Simon Kingsway and wife Karen thank the Histon Mariners for unveiling another performer destined to become a local hero.

Even when proceedings appeared to drawing to an end, the snowball affect of Mr.P’s outstanding debut was evident.

Fellow entertainers flock to meet Mr.P. which provides Mr.Dickson an opportunity to order a pizza.
Mr.P. and fellow performer are clear favourites to replace the Chuckle Brothers......
......a possibility not lost on Sean and Tim !!!

04.08.18 GTFC 1 v 4 Forest Green

GTFC v Forrest Green Ticket
GTFC v Forest Green Ticket

Oh Dear !!!

At the, outset of a wonderful summers-day, on the first day of a new season, hopes, expectations, desires and dreams are understandably at their zenith.
How quickly the return to normality — the absence of Willy’s at the pre-match conference was perhaps a sign of things to come.

Before kick-off, friends and associates of the Histon Mariners joined together to wish the Campaign well over the season ahead.

Grace, resplendent in new kit, experiencing a first day with Mum. Even Dad looked vaguely optimistic.
Grandad soon provides a Lordly sense of realism, with youthful exuberance abundant.
Jon Wood, welcomes the Histon Mariners on behalf of Town’s Board and passes on best wishes to an absent Chairman.
Town Legends Dave Boleyn and Dave Worthington give the thumbs-up to the Histon Mariner Campaign.
Pete Roberts and Dan listen to travel monologues from The Trusts resident foreign correspondent.

Town at one up, the belief on and off the pitch seemed a given - last seasons run in appeared to be continuing, even a Mitch Rose penalty seemed a neat connection Conceding 4 (four !) goals had a profound effect on expectations.
The first after only 6 minutes of the second half. 15 minutes later the most bizarre own goal that will be seen all season (and hopefully the last of the all grey kit worn by by James McKeown !!!)
The third and fourth in a 10 spell 5 minutes from the final whistle, left Blundel shell-shocked.
We can only assume a blip — perhaps a good reminder of the long trawl ahead, a re-focus and some transfer business still to be conducted.

Histon Mariners Man of the Match : MIGHTY MARINER

Post-match, in the Smugglers, the faith remained. Whilst Antique Steve ponders “The Long and Winding Road” ahead, Sean toasts a restart, next week at Macclesfield.

Smugglers Landlady Extraordinaire, Julie, looks anxious yet overjoyed at the thought of another season and welcomes the support of Mrs.Fish.

The disappointment of the opening day is soon put into context as Kingsway Simon provides joyous and enthusiastic support.

The Jolley Era must be viewed long term. Already long term injuries (Whitehouse and Cardwell) have disrupted plans, resulting in likely later than desired forays into the loan market.
The road ahead with a new and essentially young squad is going to one of considerable ups and downs, before a degree of consistency is achieved.

“COME TOGETHER” for Jolley times ahead.

11.08.18 Macclesfield Town 0 v 2 GTFC

Macclesfield Town v GTFC Ticket
Macclesfield Town v GTFC Ticket

Macclesfield was voted in The Times 2004, the least cultured town in Britain, based on its lack of amenities — rather unfairly!

The football club b.1876 by virtue of a merger of the Olympic Cricket Club and the 8th. Cheshire Rifle Volunteers.
First escaped from Division 5 in 1997 after a false dawn in 1995 and after relegation in 2012, returned to the 4th. Division in 2018.

Macclesfield is the home of Joy Division and elements of New Order. Blues Godfather, John Mayall also originated here, citing “Blues From Laurel Canyon” rather than “Blues From Moss Rose”.
Macclesfield born sporting legends include Peter Crouch and Jonathan Agnew plus Mariner legend, Chris Nichol.
Recent players for both sides include Martin Gritton, Conner Jennings, Jack Mackreth and Luke Summerfield.

The Histon Mariner journey north found acceptable resting spots before meeting up for a full and proper pre-match preparation at The Mack.

Lord Roy is on hand to welcome his subjects aboard.

Such was the dedication of the Chesterfield Mariners, that the previous day witnessed a full training session at which Lord Roy spoke publicly about future arrangements and bridge building with other supporter groups. His leadership qualities came to the fore being underpinned by a an open mindedness rooted in successive generations of ‘good stock’.
The success of the day provided inspiration for all, plentiful and sustaining refreshments and a dowry that builds a bridge between The Mighty Mariners and The Spirites - an act of generosity made a little easier by Mad Dogs inability to “inspire the Spirites”.
Evidence as to the success of the day will no doubt be revealed in future harvests.

Inside The Mack, little attention is paid to the ramblings of a slightly fatigued Lord.
York Mariner Dave, is briefed by His Lordship and is updated by I.T. Guru Tefman.
Doncaster Paul listens intently to an illuminating diatribe from Gareth the Engine.
Cleethorpes Terence in full support of the Histon Mariner Campaign.

Inside Moss Rose the regularity of the B&W Army never fails to impress. The troops were keen to celebrate a restart to the season, declaring it “GOOD DAY SUNSHINE”.

A brace of joyous Roberts.
Former star Andy with Histon Mariner sponsored future star Henry Moore.

Last Week Chalk, This Week Cheese !
A competent, disciplined, resilient performance was enthusiastically welcomed. Alex Whitmore appears to be growing into a no-nonsense commanding presence at the back. John Welsh has clearly played at a higher level but will need legs around him - we will have to wait to see if this can be accommodated.
Last week an early contender for ‘bizarre own goal of the season’, this week a ‘possible goal of the season’ from Jordon Cook, gave Town a deserved lead. If the goal is not goal of the season, the winner will be truly exceptional.
The Hess brings a controlled and competitive edge which was very much called upon in the second half as Macclesfield fought to re-establish parity.
“SUBSTITUTE” Charles Vernam sealed a deserved victory with a tenacious solo effort.
A terrific response to the opening day Blues - “I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER”.

Histon Mariners Man of the Match : JORDON COOK

25.08.18 Windsor 4 v 3 Royal Wooton Bassett Town

The Campaign for Real Football continues on several fronts unabated. The Histon Mariners paid a most agreeable visit to Stags Meadow, the former home of Windsor & Eton F.C., now the home of Windsor F.C. since formation in 2011.

Down 3 v 0 at half-time, Windsor eventually won 4 v 3 against Royal Wooton Bassett Town.
A young Daniel Roberts (no relation!!) impressed up front for Windsor. Hospitable refreshment facilities and contact with Real Football People (RFP) gave great credence to the Histon Mariner Campaign.

18.08.18 GTFC 1 v 1 Lincoln City

21.08.18 M.K.Dons 1 v 1 GTFC

M.K.Dons v GTFC Ticket
M.K.Dons v GTFC Ticket

A “TICKET TO RIDE” from Cambridge, renewed optimism, glorious weather, sustaining hospitality and a good result, reiterated why we so much wish to associate with Real Football.
With Real Football origins rooted in old-world bastions such as Preston, Nottingham and Stoke, it not easy in this context to associate Milton Keynes with the thread of tradition that flows through our veins —— without raising the thorny matter of a certain London postcode south of the Thames.....
An absent Chesterton Mariner, Tefman, adhered to these principles and accordingly punished The Dons by deflating their pie sales.

Having arrived at a rather dry station, local intelligence suggested rest and recuperation would be best facilitated at nearby village, Fenty Stratford.

Superbly located on a lock on the Grand Union Canal, the Red Lion provided a most refreshing traditional lemonade.

But the real star venue discovered - and noted for future visits - was The Chequers, tap-room of Vale Brewery.

Excellent vitals and fruit-smoothies, sustaining the belief that an army marches on a satisfied stomach. The good vibe continued into Stadium MK.

A mournful Lord Roy laments he principled absentee and also failed to appreciate “Tales From A Travel Guru”.
Imperial John, Northampton Mariner Gareth and a contented Geordie Daz anticipate further progress.
Sutton MarinerJack shares a flat white with new recruit Beckenham Mariner, Zac.

An outstanding first-half, leaving those thinking of the opening-day fixture, bemused.
This time not only organization and shape but a display to substantiate rising expectations.
Whitmore looks more at home with every game. The Hess with his competitive edge looked to have the legs to complement the experience of Welsh and Woolford but for how long?
Jordon Cook again gave the Mighty Mariners the lead and is hopefully laying the foundations for a fruitful season.
Such was the extent of Towns performance that a two or three goal lead could not have been considered flattering.
However as in the previous week, to play so well and fail to capitalize is a concern, Inevitably opposition will come out for the second half determined to make amends. Sure enough it took The Dons only 30 seconds to restore parity.
Backs to the wall resolution secured a deserved point and whilst the overall performance encouraged many positives, the concern exists about a failure to capitalize when on top.

Histon Mariners Man of the Match : ALEX WHITMORE

Such a performance always shortens the journey home. Doncaster Paul ensured the departure of Histon Mariner Logistics Director who eventually joined Putney Mariner Sean and Wimbledon Mariner Dan for a contented post-match analysis.

The B&W Army marches on, its “GETTING BETTER” all (some of) the time.


25.08.18 Newport County 1 v 0 GTFC

01.09.18 GTFC 0 v 1 Yeovil Town

A very enlightening journey north with old (very old) associates of the Histon Mariners culminated at Cleethorpes bass-camp The Kingsway.

As ever Willy’s would host the first port of call, much to the pleasure of returning patrons Messrs Balham and Hall (B&H).

A rather shy, allusive Chairman chairs a pre-match meeting. As ever the Histon Mariners enthuse at his charming and erudite analysis.
Before departing Innkeeper Bill thanks the Logistic Director for his on-going efforts.
En-route to the Notts., Mariners Will and ‘close associate’ Doug welcome the return visit of Girton Mariners, B&H.

Tea and cakes at the Notts presented all concerned to catch breath after an exhilarating start to the day. It can not be empathized sufficiently, the gratitude of the Histon Mariners that Mr.Hall had taken time between his multitude of foreign excursions to contribute to the Campaign - though evidently he now regards Cleethorpes as one of his many exotic excursions.
Mr. Hall looks on in utter amazement at the road ahead, whilst Mr. Balham struggles to contain his excitement.

The Girton Mariners were visibly moved at the welcome their return to Cleethorpes invoked.

Michael Jolley and Dave Smith immediately sought out, to welcome Girton Mariners B&H.
The Girton Mariners were astounded that their Girton associate Mr.Tabor, now had a look-a-like following in Cleethorpes.
N.B. Evidence of successful past efforts, (see previous chapter)
As kick-off approached, Mr.B. studies form.
Concerned at a forthcoming short-term absence, Leeson looks for a steady hand on the tiller. Histon Logistics Director welcomes his guidance.

Whilst not exciting, the Mighty Mariners appeared largely untroubled by The Glovers. Starting off as the brighter team, though still struggling to find the piece of creativity that breaks deadlock.
Overall a stalemate first half was superseded by a second whence Town conceded the only goal from a re-organised Yeovil to which Town essentially didn’t adjust. No complaints about the result of a rather low key affair.
Fundamentally the game re-iterated “a new team, a team in transition”.

A Tale Or Two Elliot’s — one appears to be a major long term absentee, sorely missed - Whitehouse. The other subsequently arrived short of match fitness, but when up to speed looking like the player of considerable creative alent surely needed - Embleton.
It is patently obvious Town need goals - but again optimism is not unfounded. With supply enhanced by Embleton, perhaps a front two of Thomas and Cook, Town’s ascent in the right direction looks more likely.

Histon Mariners Man of the Match : AKIN FAMEWO

Predictable disappointment descended post-match over Cleethorpes. A belief exists that there is a team within the squad. Excuses aside - injuries, suspensions, difficulties in the transfer market etc - have not helped. We may or may not have had it worse than others, and M.J.will be as aware as anyone but he must stick to his convictions and await the rub-of-the-green to see things turn around. Everyone accepted the project was a long haul, that the inevitable ups and downs would have to be endured with stoicism, so we should not be surprised with how events are unfolding.

To repeat, we believe a team exists with in the squad. M.J. assembled the squad, which after one transfer window cannot be the finished article. After less than 12 months at the helm the B&W Army must stick together back M.J. and continue the march forward.


The Fish with Sophie (trying not to smile) with a “marginally rejuvenated” McMike, (trying to raise a smile)
Soloist Sean, laments both the loss of 3 points and the loss of an ‘old antique.
A Tale Of Two Andys. Town legend Andy Moore remains up-beat with a down-beat Andy Murray aka Moza.
Even Andy Moore could not raise the spirits of the distraught Wainfleet Chairman
After valiant efforts, and in need of deserved rest and recuperation, Andy M. is collected by Histon Mariner sponsored Henry whose future can only benefit from such an example.
Mr. Balham accepts the baton from Andy M. enlightening proceedings with upbeat analysis. Mr. Hall concurs but notes the effects of an absent Chairman.
Invigorated and uplifted, Stuart B. has a light bulb moment as he digests Landlord Bill’s insight.
A heady cocktail of more invigorating energy drinks and Bills optimistic analysis witnessed a remarkable turnaround....
.....as Stuart’s improved demeanour saw him launch into a display of his Samba skills at the Kingsway Liberal Club.
Strictly speaking the display was a demonstration incorporating elements of Samba, Fado, Tango and an obscure element of Yellabelly Pagan ritual, Strictly speaking!
Lisa alerts various news channels of developments. McMike cannot believe his eyes.

As the word spread of this momentous turn around, Kingsway Hotel Legend Innis (himself with showbiz roots), made a point of welcoming Stuart safely back to base-camp.



08.09.18 Bury 4 v 0 GTFC

Bury v GTFC Ticket
Bury v GTFC Ticket

The Shakers at Gigg Lane since 1865, entered the League in 1894 alongside Man.City. An illustrious early history alas overshadowed by more prominent noisy neighbours......!!!
F.A.Cup Winners 1900 and 1903, Bury are the only club to score 1000 goals across all the top 4 divisions - achieved May 2005.

The birthplace of John Kay (Flying Shuttle - industrial hardware , not a band !) and also the grand-daughter of Alf Garnett i.e. Cherie Blair plus a brace of Nevilles.!!!

The Shakers have developed many significant recent footballing legends including Neville Southhall, Colin Ball, Lee Dixon, Terry McDermott and Alec Lindsey. They also had Mariner Legend “The Shop” 2010-2012 and Marcus Marshall.

However most significantly Bury is the home of Black Pudding! Unfortunately rain precluded a walk to Bury Market to fulfil orders taken from further South.

Inside knowledge ensured Chesterfield Mariner, Gareth The Engine — work colleague of Ivor and Jones The Steam, from the “top left-hand corner of Wales”, for the Llantisilly Railway Traction Company Ltd. — arranged pre-match sustenance at the magnificent Trackside.

International call-up prevented TM to witness the arrival of the Royal Scotsman courtesy of Gareth’s already accredited industry associates and also Evan The Song and Dai Station the Stationmaster at Llanrog.

Gareth concentrates whilst in total control of proceedings leaving Grace to proudly gaze in awe whilst The Fish contemplates the enormity of the occasion.

Long suffering wife, mum Becky texts and informs Mrs.Porty of the potential dilemmas of a Spirite future.
Aunt Charlotte keeps Ggrace on track, whilst elsewhere Joe despairs in isolation of the route being taken by Mad Dog.
Recent concerns over the Mighty Mariners had not dampened The Fish’s enthusiasm, as he prepares to stride positively forward with able back-up from Mrs.Fish and Lou on a well deserved break from the White County.
Having refocused attention, as only someone of such gravitas can so sublimely demonstrate.........
...Lord Roy completes his pre-match ritual.

The B&W Army made a magnificent effort (886) indicating continued belief. The bed-rock of Real Fans can only be commended for their commitment and resilience.At such times the brotherhood of support reminds everyone of the essence of The Campaign.

Doncaster Paul with a very snug elderly lady, ready for action alongside Sgt.Dodd.
‘Billy’ grateful of a mate, Stuart.
A rose between two Moore thorns.
Lord Roy is admonished for elements of his pre-match ritual though applauded for his overall focus and leadership.

Despite an early Shaker goal, Town had opportunities which par for the course, at present, were not taken.
2 v 0 at half tim, reluctantly made something from the game unlikely.
Second half provided even more disappointment with a number of below-par performances.
Mitch Rose struggled in vain to provide some resistance.
We are in need of collective support.


Today witnessed the surfacing of concerns but Histon Mariners believe a team exists within the squad — in Michael we trust

Histon Mariners Man of the Match : 90% OF THE B&W ARMY

18.09.18 GTFC 0 v 3 Oldham Athletic

The Histon Mariners were delighted to have two significant debutants of such local standing. Jim Kelly immediately proved his suitability for the occasion with an enthralling monologue re. his days as a customer at Fortnum & Mason (obviously the Piccadilly Branch !!) and in particular the memorable occasion he bought cakes and pastries, proceeded to take them home and ended up throwing them out. Given the enormity of the plight, Jim’s strength of character shone through by maintaining focus on the job in hand and it could well transpire such procurement skills and intensity of focus will be utilized in the future.

Once established at base-camp, Messrs Kelly and O’Munnelly soon immersed themselves In the atmosphere and occasion.

Appreciative debutants outside Willy’s “GOOD DAY SUNSHINE”

Jim’s buying skills were a hot topic of discussion at “Think Bubbles”, the favourite women’s clothes shop of the Chairman of Wainfleet Mariners. Maureen soon took advantage and phoned around making use of Jim’s contacts and advice.

As ever a genuinely warm welcome greeted the Histon Mariners at McMenemys.

John Fenty and the Legendary Leeson greet Franco O’M and Jim K.
Elliot Whitehouse, John Welsh and Dave Smith recognise the potential of new recruit Jim K...
....whilst Mr.O’M checked form as kick-off approached.

A fairly even first half, with Town becoming marginally more prominent as the half progressed sounds a little repetitive but true. Charles Vernam and Wes Thomas again look on the verge of impacting without getting over the line. The loss of Jordon Cook hardly helped.
Oldhams change of tactics to a more direct approach saw the advantage swing to the Latics. As seems to be a fairly regular pattern at present, the first goal proved decisive, a quick second saw Town again struggle to respond and adapt. A bad day at the office (again).
The failings are readily apparent and “ ALL THINGS MUST PASS”
We march on in Unison, in MJ we trust and hope.

Histon Mariners Man of the Match - difficult but LUKE HENDRIE

Perspective is vital; the doomongers are as bad as the fantasists. Town are neither marching on as desired or in the depths of despair. Transition, change, evolution, building foundations are difficult in an era when 3/4 results can determine the outlook that triggers knee-jerk reactions. The faith and optimism remains, albeit within the parameters of reasoned logic.

Meanwhile Lisa heads home for an evening quietly reflecting on matters to hand, with a couple of vegetables.
Histon Logistics Guru and ‘Billy’ relish the battle ahead.

Post-match analysis was as profound as ever with the additional input of the two latest recruits who additionally looked to heaven for inspiration.

The Councillor also partook of numerous ‘Spot The Ball’ opportunities. Given he was asked for no financial contributions, he declared his faith had been repaid. Years of devotion it appeared had produced a new found belief, consequently the Councillor had several goes. However far from Divine Intervention, a more earthly explanation emerged. Mr. Kelly had covered the costs and The Lord failed to produce any winnings.
Given Mr.O’M, witnessed the Mariners defeat, his lack of success in McMenemys raffle, the New Imperial ‘False Revelation’, a suggestion arose that the Councillor could be called Jonah.

At the Notts, Emma (nee Lawlor) from Cleethorpes raised the issue of a new ground. Keen to consult with the Histon Mariners, an exciting scenario was presented whence the Peaks Parkway project would be replaced by an exciting renewal and invigorated Dockland/Freeman Street project with possible public money part enabling. The fortuitousness of history had struck again.
With the Councillors vast knowledge of Local Government and his wealth of experience of major civil engineering projects, the fact that he was on hand, the idea of Divine Intervention did not appear so absurd as previously thought.
Without hesitation Mr.O’M was appointed Histon Mariner Director of Urban Regeneration and Engineering Projects (UREP). The Councillor immediately began his unique and shrewd analysis at which Mr.Kelly could only look-on and admire.

The overall impact of the debutants contribution to The Campaign, was astounding and bodes well for the future of the Histon Mariners.
Acceptance of the impact of the ‘deadly duo’ was clearly demonstrated by the enthusiastic welcome awaiting them on return to the Kingsway base-camp.

The 2 new appointees are congratulated by Latin reading impresario, Innis......
....who immediately organises a bedtime Horlicks.

The following morning, Julie was anxious to meet the newly appointed UREP Director, she was surely not disappointed.

In Michael We Trust.


22.09.18 Stevenage 1 v 0 GTFC

29.09.18 GTFC 1 v 2 Morecambe

02.10.18 Carlisle United 0 v 1 GTFC

The Histon Mariner Director of Logistics, hereby demonstrated his logical mastery of logistics, his insightful thought process and consequent suitability for the post. Only he would be able to explain the reasoning behind:

  • The failure to travel 45 minutes for Stevenage 1 v 0 GTFC Sat. 22.09.18
  • Attending after a 320 minutes train journey Carlisle 0 v 1 GTFC Tues 02.09.18

The answer would no doubt be illuminating: the answer would likely be along the line of “Once a Pxxxx always a xxxxK”.

The joys of Real Football. “HERE THERE AND EVERYWHERE”

A trip to Carlisle cannot be passed without the inevitable re-iteration of the proud link between The Cumbrians and The Mariners. Mr. Shankly’s first managerial post at Brunton Park 1949-1951 was followed until 1954 at Blundell Park. A major fundemental influence on the ethos of the Histon Mariners (See Origins) — the spirit of Mr. Shankly survives in many ways.

Carlisle, the original base of Eddie Stobart, has been the launch pad for many significant careers including Peter Beardsley, Stan Bowles (early playing associate of Dave Boylen), Steve Harkness and Rory Delap. Carlisle was also the birthplace of recently departed Kevin Beattie.
Current Cumbrian favourite, Jammie Devitt was Histon Mariner sponsored during his two spells at Blundel.

All said and done the Mighty Mariners were in need of as much support as possible at this difficult juncture. Carlisle away mid-week, would certainly be a difficult fixture for many of the B&W Army.
There was always an additional consideration, that Carlisle boasts some excellent refreshments venues.

At Carlisle Railway Station The Spirit Of Cumbria provided a rejuvenating cup of tea that set up proceedings.
Fully refreshed, base-camp was established at The Abbey Guest House, a useful find for the future.

A predictably tense atmosphere, necessitated an intensification of preparation, following an initial stop at The William Rufus.

At Histon Mariner favourite, the magnificent Howard Arms, the liquid refreshment was on superb form, Here also Real Football Fan, Carlisle Dave was on hand to welcome the Histon Mariners and confirm post-match arrangements, which he hoped would not be too traumatic for the B&W Army. In Michael we trust and welcomed the post-match opportunity.

Suitably prepared and onto Chesterfield Mariner base-camp the commendable Magpie Inn.

Quite understandably Innkeeper George (originally from Everton) was overawed to be in the presence of such high ranking nobility. Meeting Lord Roy, who recounted a most enlightening and inevitable outcome of 5 consecutive days of Indian cuisine, will undoubtedly provide Innkeeper George, material to be retold to customers for many years to come.

P.S. The species of sausage selected by Lord Roy en route to Carlisle, has yet to be confirmed.

Chesterfield Tour Manager Gareth’s late arrival could reasonably be accounted for by either his predilection for railways or/and Lord Roy’s dilemma.
Normal service was resumed inside Brunton Park. Indeed Tefman was particularly anxious to ensure a rigorous commitment to prepaid dietary plans — a chicken Baltic pie was forthcoming.

Given recent difficulties, a commendable effort by the B&W Army was clearly evident.

Old Git Pete appeared in fighting form, whilst...
...brother ‘Billy’, away on scouting duties, like the Histon Mariner Chairman, is always present in spirit (hic !).
Derby Dan with Clee Kevin and tutor Helen (from Sc———-e) at her first football match.

A more balanced Town side made possible by the return of Reece Hall-Johnson at right-back alongside Luke Hendrie on the left. Harry Clifton looked much more at home in the centre of mid-field alongside the combative Mitch Rose. Elliot Embleton, approaching match-fitness looks as though he could ill the creative since the injury to the other Elliot, Whitehouse.
Ex-Mariner, Jamie Devitt left the pitch after a robust challenge from the no-nonesence Alex Whitmore who typified a spirited Town performance. Luke Hendrie’s first Town goal enabled half-time to be reached as the leading team.
A battling second half performance reduced Carlisle to an impotent attacking force but when called upon, James McKeown reminded the B&W Army of his value to the team. Wes Thomas, like others mentioned, looks more effective with each game, his hold-up play increasingly valuable.
As the injured return and full match fitness attained, the Mighty Mariners could well have turned a corner, as the violently bumpy ride becomes just a little smoother. Given the extent of instability and changes in recent times, both on and off the pitch, and with a relatively young squad, a turbulent ride was always, and probably still is, a likely scenario. But this squad has the capability of surpassing the expectations of many. So much depends on intangible aspects such as luck but also on giving the young guns opportunities to blend together.

Histon Mariners Man of the Match : Jointly the full-backs


During the second half, TM ascertains whether His Lordship requires further sustenance - Gareth keeps a safe distance.

A very satisfactory mission was completed, as arranged, at the very acceptable Magpie Inn, where a curmudgeonly Carlisle Dave congratulated the Mariners through gritted teeth.
Such collusion’s only continue to reinforce the Histon Mariner Campaign. Whilst Dave displays a grimace, Gareth looks relieved to be a safe distance from his patron.

Later a final nightcap at The William Rufus witnessed a very intense Derby Dan reflecting on the musings of Chesterfield representative Gareth.

The Carlisle Excursion exemplified the essential elements of the Histon Mariner Campaign.
The realism of 4th Division football, the hopes and expectations fueling the logistical efforts to support your team. Returning to welcoming establishments, finding new and renewing old acquaintances. Being part of the heart and soul of a union of like-minded individuals from all walks of life bonded by the shared collective experience is The Soul of Real Football, of Real Football People (RFP).

It is The Soul that has been lost from the Premier Pantomime due to the Corporatization of our game. The football tourism that now pervades throughout the upper echelons, has no comprehension of days such as this Carlisle Excursion.
To also come away with a victory, whilst in one way the be-all-and-end-all, is also a bonus but however viewed the victory recharges the batteries and we march on!!!

See : www.gameofthepeople.com

In Michael Jolley We Trust. UTMM


06.10.18 GTFC. 2 v 0 Port Vale

Important meetings were rumored to have been arranged on Saturday 20th October between representation from the Histon Mariners and the F.A.I. No record of such a meeting has transpired however an interesting picture has emerged of the Republic of Ireland Manager, Martin O’Neil, who was on other business in Cambridge on the day in question.

N.B. On the 21st November Martin O’Neil left his job as Manager of
the Republic of Ireland. There is as yet no reported link ......!!!!!

(Martin O’Neil was subsequently appointed Manger of Notts. Forest)

20.10.18 GTFC 0 v 0 Exeter City

23.10.18 GTFC 1 v 0 Colchester United

27.10.18 Crewe Alexandra 2 v 0 GTFC

A surprisingly small town of approximately 72,000 people but known to everyone because of its importance as a railway terminal. Once also a home of Rolls Royce and nowadays Bentleys. Such key factors made the small town of Crewe a major target for bombing during World War 2.

Formed in 1877 and named after Princess Alexandra. They were a founder member of the Second Division in 1892.
Known as The Railway men, they recently spent 5 years in the Second Division from the late 1990’s - a significant achievement for a club this size.
The Railway men have an illustrious list of players developed by the club’s youth set-up. From Frank Blunstone through to the more recent conveyor-belt of known names including Geoff Thomas, Rob Jones, Neil Lennon, Dean Ashton and Robbie Savage.
Players for both clubs include Anthony Elding, Jimmy Pennington, Chris Clements and the current Histon Mariner sponsored Harry Davis.

Arrival at Crewe necessitated a short respite at The Hero, prior to re-acquaintance at the excellent Hops.

The return to The Hops was totally justified where in most convivial surroundings pre-match rituals were indulged in to everyone’s satisfaction. Given the acceptability of the refreshments on offer, delegates easily decided to stay-put.

Lord Roy pronounces. Tefman subserviently agrees.
Manager of Crewe Ladies Team Dave listens avidly to TM’s take on modern Sports Science and cutting edge Dietary Research.

Enroute to Gresty Road, Derby Mariner Andy appeared concerned at the Tour Manager’s due subservience to his social superior, given his Legendary orienteering skills.

Not surprisingly His Lordship proved the Doubting-Thomas’ wrong when explaining the logic of said signs - this alone was indicative of his duality of approach.

At Gresty Road a welcoming elderly lady, appeared somewhat relieved at the arrival of Lord Roy’s entourage. Used to the military honed skills of Sgt.Dodd and aware of Lord Roy’s track record, few people are more aware of the potential pitfalls faced by the oblivious andS untrained.

The rolla-coaster ride took a downturn and a familiar story ensued. At half-time the B&W Army appeared confident following a satisfactory first half, that would be followed with the necessary goal(s) to continue the recent upturn.
Clifton, Vernam and centre-backs, Collins and Whitmore had decent first halves. McKeown as ever proved the best shot stopper in the division. JJ Hooper forced the Crewe keeper to imitate Jamie Mc.

However conceding one mid-way through the second half, was almost inevitably followed soon after by the second, which effectively ended Town’s day.
The recent upturn was not expected to continue indefinitely but to turn back down old, well-trodden roads that were hoped to be behind us, was Of disappointing.
The result and match experience was still infinitely better than the previous visit to Gresty Road, which generally has not proven to be a happy hunting ground for Town for many years.

The fragility of confidence is still evident. The winning habit is yet to be fully embraced. The mental toughness that follows goes hand-in-hand with this experience and MJ’s squad in transition continues on a very bumpy road.
Crewe - apart from the splendid Hops - is not a destination from which the Mighty Mariners expect.

Histon Mariners Man of the Match : JAMES McKEOWN

03.11.18 Cambridge Utd 1 v 0 GTFC

Cambridge Utd v GTFC Ticket
Cambridge Utd v GTFC Ticket

The only ‘home’ game of the season for the Histon Mariners, who were delighted to accompany experienced Tour Guide ‘Judith’ and the Old Gits on their Tour Of Duty prior to the following days excursion to the Abbey.
With clear evidence of extensive planning, underpinned by years (many years !) of experience, the Old Gits met up with the Histon Mariners for a mid-season review, collaboration and forward planning seminar at the unfortunately Greedy King owned, but nevertheless excellent Portland Arms.

A remake of The Good, The Not So Good, The Bad and The Very Bad, The Ugly and Very Ugly was discussed but later abandoned due to an inability to decide on those most suitable for which roles.

At the Seminar, a particularly animated dual presentation was forthcoming from Pete and Stuart with Big Steve overcome with admiration.

A grand finale from a Neil Sedaka look-a-like producing a Bruce Springsteen rendition, ensured the Seminar ended on a sober, reflective but never to be forgotten moment.

Such was the gravity’s of the occasion, local dignitaries attended to collude with the visiting Mariners. Two revered gentlemen associated with The Heart & Soul of RFP met to exchange seasonal goodwill and intelligence. Mariner Dave “Judith” Roberts and former Cambridge Utd. Chairman Dave Doggett, collectively exude The Voice Of Reason.
Real Football People like the Daves’ are doing and have been doing their upmost to serve the cause for many years, and in so doing helping to preserve the Soul of Real Football.

Match day preparations in Cambridge are logistically difficult because of the location of the ground, meetings are therefore widely dispersed. The Histon Mariners welcomed many to The Railway Vue, Impington.
Ongoing analysis of the turbulent ride so far this season was inevitable, as was the usual serving of football chat that is so well preserved in the timeless web of the great ancient football tapestry.
Memories of past meetings, disputed decisions from decades ago, hopes for the future and the curse of the Premier League and its ill-gotten gains, feature on agendas across the country.
Who were the players who’d played for both teams ? Tom Newey, a brace of Scott’s - Garner and Neilson, Ian Miller, Nathan Arnold and Richard Tait, all names conjured up by aged fans who still tackled such critical issues “in the old way”, without resorting to the cursed technology!

But The Histon Mariners whilst for ever mindful of the wealth of the collective voice of past fans, fully appreciates the need for new growth.
President Maurice was on hand to oversee proceedings and in particular Youth Graduate James, anxious to fully embrace the occasion.

James a keen student of local transport, recounted recent travel experiences from the Red Lion Histon to his home, nearly 800 yards away via taxi. With such an avid interest and with such clear signs of natural talent, the President suggested that James book a taxi from the Railway Vue to the Abbey Stadium for later, after refreshments were concluded. Obviously confused at the size of the task, the Logistic Director was more than willing to step in to assist James when he asked, “Where should we be picked up from ?”.

A valiant effort by James, and with help and collective comradeship available within the B&W Army from the likes of taxi expert Lord Roy, Orienteering Guru, Old Git “Judith” and Gareth The Engine, we are confident James will grow in stature and assume a prominent role like the afore mentioned deep-well of collective expertise.

Eventually, travel arrangements were successfully confronted and once inside the ground, the Old Gits Tour of Duty was still in progress, continuing to indulge in the culinary delights on offer.

Doncaster Paul and Agent 006.5, Tim look on in astonishment, with a diplomatic “No comment” from Derby Mariner, Andy.
Based on intelligence from Donny Mariner Paul, The Engine points out to a concerned TM about diminishing pie supplies.

Youth graduate James, was clearly searching for recognition whilst aspiring to the dizzy heights of expertise and culture demonstrated by so many in the B&W Army. When asking his mentor, Maurice “What is Bovril?”, his potential for catering clearly matched that for logistics.


Not a great day at the office. With both teams in a similar situation, the first goal was always likely to secure the three points.
Evenly balanced, Town had chances but as is currently a regular occurrence, none were taken.
Inconsistency is to be expected from a young team in transition but whilst often playing well in patches without capitalising on those spells it is always likely to result in “being bitten in the backside”. Ultimately results define the situation.
RFP try to see things in context. They appreciate the inevitable highs and lows but need a regular ‘fix’ of hope. At present the turbulence creates violent storms and waves that ravage the terraces. Transition to a calmer weather pattern with gentle breezes and slight splashes washing onto the terraces would make life easier to rationalise.

Ben Pringle on his first start, gave cause for optimism.
There was distinct evidence that he will provide creativity and balance from the left. Together with Elliot Embleton, who looks better game by game, an interesting partnership could be in its embryonic stage. Wes Thomas battled bravely in isolation. And hopefully Alex Whitmores early departure through injury will not prove serious.

Histon Mariners Man of the Match : ELLIOT EMBLETON

In Michael Jolley We Trust & Support.

STOP PRESS : Despite local taxi firm, Panther, being a recognized and regular service
                         provider to Lord Roy, concerns about his logistical skills as displayed at
                         Crewe, emerged again in Cambridge, when he appeared unable to organize
                         his appointed provider.
                         Though the evidence was somewhat disputed (surprisingly) the President of
                         The Hasland & District WMC & Institute Ltd. failed to organize the desired     
                         transport (allegedly) In defence, such menial tasks would normally be embraced
                         by fellow travelers, who themselves have a chequered logistical history.
                         In all, the spirit of Noblesse Obligee, lives on in Hasland.

06.11.18 Mansfield Town 2 v 1 GTFC

FA Cup Round 1 —> 10.11.18 GTFC. 3 v 1 MK Dons —> FA Cup Round 2

17.11.18 GTFC 1 v 0 Crawley Town

GTFC v Crawley Town Ticket
GTFC v Crawley Town Ticket

The almost hysterical clamour for the Chairman to attend in Cleethorpes was to be overwhelmingly satisfied after what seemed an inordinate period of time. Crawley Town on hearing the news must have wondered what they had done to deserve such fate. “THIS BOY” was determined to give The Histon Mariner Campaign a significant boost at a key moment in The Jolley Era, with his forthright, dynamic and as ever measured insights.

At Willys, the Chairman gathers his thoughts.
At Willys, a final cup of tea before The Chairman begins.
The Histon Mariners are spellbound as they listen with eager anticipation.
An unbelievably focused Chairman prepares in The Notts, with his customary attention to detail.
His delivery exceeds expectations.
Spellbound, the President, Fitness & Restoration Director and East Anglian Development Officer confer to assimilate the Chairman’s thoughts.
Likewise at McMenemys, The Chair offers food for thought.

It is difficult to avoid emotional reminiscing about past exploits of sporting icons, when in the presence of such sporting giants as The President, Maurice. Former associates of the President often take the opportunity to trip down Memory Lane when he visits Cleethorpes.

Mr.Dear takes note as former teammate Steve recounts the many miraculous tap-ins by The President after his own forgotten hard labours.
Mike Robinson backs up Steve’s memories expressing his own admiration as to how the President invariably left the pitch looking as if he’d just arrived.

The regular greeting and toasting of The Histon Mariner Campaign by associates on their arrival at Blundel is never taken for granted and warmly appreciated.

A rose between 2 thorns. Lindsey offers A Toast, with Steve F. looking bright and breezy and Paul F. a little more studious.

Meanwhile in the spirit of The Campaign, older, old associates pass on the ethos to the younger fans. Very old campaigner from Caistor Mariners, Pez, explains to a bewildered young Max, to “STAND UP” and take note.

An attacking formation was favoured by MJ but when an opposition arrives looking to take a point, are constantly “in yer face” and a referee appears ill-prepared at best, the only desired outcome is three points. On that basis a successful mission ensued.
The midfield missed the creativity of Elliot Embleton - away with England U20’s - especially in current circumstances. Ben Pringle is cementing his plaice and increasingly a key team player. Wes Thomas continues to plough his lonely furrow. The consistent Luke Hendrie and Histon Mariner sponsored Harry Davis quietly impress. In the same vein the long awaited return of Harry Cardwell and Andrew Fox adds energy and strength in depth. James McKeown’s contribution is like a direct debit — regular and predictable.
However in a function-able rather than exhilarating performance the highlight was the Akheem Rose cameo, capped off with his first and the decisive goal.

The continuing development and utilisation of younger players is most welcome and strongly supported by the Histon Mariners but such a project demands patience, tolerance and understanding.

Histon Mariners Man of the Match : BEN PRINGLE

Immediately after the game Trust Representative Jon Wood, representing the Main Board, sought out the Histon Mariner Chairman to thank him for his continuing leadership and especially recognizing his distinctive contribution to the day.

The President and The Fish compare notes.
The Chairman announces the need to review proceedings.
Beforehand The Fish looks to introduce Sophie to The Chm., in an effort to ease her missing of John Boy. The Dean gives the thumbs-up to a clearly ecstatic Sophie.

The initial post-match analysis traditionally occurs at the New Imperial Club, a venue deemed to be conducive to sober reflection after an adrenaline infused match day. The Chairman began an incredibly thoughtful analysis, which as ever provided a unique line of thought.

Linda, a grateful recipient of the Chairman’s analysis can only marvel alongside a proud President.

Reflection continued at the newly created Dock Beers, where The Histon Mariners hope to visit regularly on excursions to Cleethorpes building an association with Mariner Will Douglas and his team. Dock Beers certainly appreciated The Chairman’s attendance and his technical advice and knowledge.

Relentlessly, The Chairman grabbed the opportunity to approach the subject of Fitness and the contribution of recent Dietary Scientific Research with The Dean.

His knowledge and his commitment as illustrated by his very own personal and rigorous regime serve as a wonder to us all. His desire to continually extend scientific boundaries in the interests of The Campaign are breathtaking.
A third element of The Chairman’s Post-Match Review was scheduled for The No.1 Bar. Switching from The Science of Diet, the next instalment centred on his lawn-mower problems. Not only his problems of transportation of it, but the problems of a worn-out carburettor, it’s dismantling by an idiot who knew nothing and it’s reassembling without the offending item and a cost beyond all expectation.......

Obviously concerned, the Histon Mariners enbloc sought to help a most traumatic situation.
At the No.2 Bar, The Chairman points out the the way forward, with or without the lawn mower. The Histon Mariners remain in awe.
The Chairman left proceedings declaring himself very content with the progress of The Campaign
Later in The Notts., in a final few moments of R&R, Mr. and Mrs. Fish again express their appreciation.....
.....whilst Lisa proposes a toast.

An exhausting and enthralling but ultimately rewarding day of Campaigning led by The Chairman, in a way only he could. The insight allowed into “ A DAY IN THE LIFE” of The Chairman proved truly inspirational, setting an example to which we can only aspire and which ultimately re-energized The Campaign with renewed vigor.

See : www.gameofthepeople.com


P.S. Editorial.
Without graphic evidence it must be taken on trust that such an extraordinary event occurred at The No.1 Bar, that failure to record both was inevitable.

Whilst The Histon Mariner Chairman was at his enthralling best captivating the attention of The Histon Mariners, The Chairman of The Wainfleet Mariners was simultaneously giving a speech with equal vigour.
Looking to raise awareness of Remembrance Sunday, alongside the efforts of The Mighty Mariners, Stuart B. called for 15 seconds of “Silent Clapping”.
This new innovation will no doubt deliver significant future benefits for which Campaigners on all fronts should be grateful.

Both Chairman lead with a quiet sense of dignified authority, never courting the trappings of celebrity. They will for ever be celebrities of a certain distinction in the eyes of Mariners everywhere.....!!!

24.11.18 Northampton Town 2 v 2 GTFC

Northampton Town v GTFC Ticket
Northampton Town v GTFC Ticket

For a town that now has a population over 200,000 relatively little immediately grabs ones attention especially give it’s early high profile. Obviously one can dig deep but this is not the plaice for that.

One of the largest market squares in England dating from 1235.
Surprisingly in 1261, Northampton had the 3rd University in England (22nd in Europe ) but 4 years later in 1265 Henry lll decreed that there could never be a University in Northampton, which stood until 2005 ! - a period of 740years, about the same period as the coming of a new ground for The Mighty Mariners.

A Roundhead centre in the Civil War, Northampton provided approx. 23,000,000 pairs of boots for troops in WW1, after which the industry fell into terminal decline.

Notable Northamptonians - Nobel Prize Winner Francis Crick (DNA), Ben Cohen (Rugby), Graham Swann (Cricket), Alan Carr (Comedy - almost), ex-Communard Richard Coles (now cleric) and ‘Whispering’ Bob Harris(?)

1897      The football club was formed by school teachers and local solicitor A.J.Darnel
1922-23 Joined Division 3 South.
1960-70 Went from Division 4 —> Division 1 —> Division 4 ...!!!
            - including a 4 v 0 defeat at Anfield, witnessed by a future Histon Mariner ...!!!
24-5-98 Division 4 Play-off final at Wembley.
            - Grimsby Town 1 v 0 Northampton Town.
              Attendance 62,988.
              Goalscorer Kevin Donavon.
2016      Chinese sports company 5USport based in Guangzhou buy majority shareholding

Recent players for both teams, Paul Wilkinson, Alan Connell, Akwasi Asante and JJ Hooper.

The absence of photographic equipment obviously detracts from the wider aspects of The Campaign on this particular day but not from the superb fighting performance by the Mighty Mariners.

Initial refreshments were taken at The Malt Shovel, Bridge Street. Rather foolishly the ominously sumptuous looking vitals were passed over for a distinctly very average burger at The PTS Stadium.

Had Town turned up for the opening 20 minutes one can only wonder what the score could have been, given the final outcome. However conceding just one goal after only 3 minutes was a significant bonus.
A matter of weeks ago, to have conceded so quickly would have brought forth the notion of defeat as being almost inevitable and probably by a greater margin.
Such an acceptance was unfortunately acutely evident amongst the B&W Army.
However The Mighty Mariners slowly but surely regained composure equalising 10 minutes before half-time through Vernam. The Hess could even have scored, to nick the lead but only a truly wonderful save from James Mac kept the scores level at half-time.

The second half produced possibly the most pleasing performance of the season. The best we think wasthe first-half at MKDons but this was the performanceof a never say die team who battled back to play some real quality football. Ben Pringle was outstanding, The Hess held firm in mid-field, Embleton again grew more comfortable as the game wore on. And Harry Davis is week by week cementing his name amongst the starting eleven with good support from both full-backs Hendrie and Fox. It will was against the run of play and quite a body-blow that The Cobblers took the lead with about 10-15 minutes left. Fearful of the deflationary effects was soon put on hold because of an exhilarating cameo by Akheem Rose after his introduction immediately after conceding.
He was taken down 4/5 times by defenders who appeared bemused and genuinely fearful of his pace. The resultant loss of shape and composure thus witnessed another substitute, Harry Cardwell, deservedly equalise. And just after the goal, Akheem Rose could have headed Town (like Hess after our first goal) into a lead that could not have drawn complaints from the opposition.

A thoroughly enjoyable game, team performance and another boost for Real Football and the travelling B&W Army.

Histon Mariners Man of the Match : BEN PRINGLE



27.11.18 GTFC 5 (five) v 2 Tranmere Rovers

FA Cup Round 2. 02.12.18 Chesterfield 0 v 2 GTFC —> FA Cup Round 3

Chesterfield v GTFC Ticket
Chesterfield v GTFC Ticket

Dating back to the Romans, Chesterfields location on a coalfield bestowed considerable importance on it until the 1980’s (surprisingly).
The landmark crooked spire belongs to The Church of St. Marys and All Saints.

Notable individuals born in Chesterfield include Barbara Castle who amongst other things introduced the breathalyser, original snooker legend Fred Davis, John Merrick impersonator John Hurt and former Landlady of The Barley Mow, Saltergate, Jo Guest....!

Players to perform for both clubs go back to Henry James Clutterbuck, goalkeeper who made 1 appearance for Town before moving on to Chesterfield 1901-1904. More recently Jack Lester, Mark Hudson, Jamie Devitt and Alex Whitmore.

Sunday football to accommodate all and sundry is a difficult one for RFP. It is usually asked what is wrong with Saturday at 3 o’clock ? It is appreciated that the teleprinter has been superseded and that The Pink or Green or whatever by 6 o’clock has likewise gone but kick-offs spread around not only the hours but also days does detract from the match-day experience. No more is this evident than on F.A.Cup days and most conspicuously when the semi-finals do not finish at the same time. But as is well known football is not run for Real Football People (RFP)

Sunday travel understandably is invariably disrupted by maintenance work, anybody will avoid travelling unless necessary. So by courtesy of the powers that be, The Histon Mariners set off on a train journey that would normally take approximately 3 hours with one change but on this particular Sabbath the journey would take between 4 and 5 hours with 5 changes all at for same price!!!

Prearranged rendezvous, courtesy quite understandably by resident Mariners from the home of The Spireites, The Barley Mow on Saltergate, was eventually reached without any directional complications (surprisingly)

On arrival Lord Roy was in residence spreading wisdom and learning to associated Spireites, Al, Chesterfield Joe (CJ) and Geordie Spireite Craig. Understandably His Lordship predicted The Mariners would finish first with CJ acknowledging The Spireites to finish second.

Tefman uneasy with previous efforts to organise taxis takes on the responsibility. Lord Roy oversees to ensure 2 taxis are ordered.
Gareth The Engine cancels the 0700 hrs taxi booked for a curry.
Geordie Craig appears incredulous at the complexities involved in ordering taxis.
Tefman and Gareth toast their successful quest being warmly applauded by Salford Mariners Ali and Sandra.

The B&W Army amassed 1600+ at the Proact Stadium being justifiably hopeful of progression to the 3rd round, being orchestrated by one of many notable musical Mariner talents.

Lisa with Minder Liam.
Young Histon Mariner sponsored Henry feeling the cold rather less than old Town star, Andy Moore.
EastEnd Mariner Rob vouches for Tefman in full view of the local constabulary.
Mr. and Mrs. Bailey take great interest in the report on Lake District Tourist Policy presented only yesterday on Lord Roy’s return from his estate.

The match will not go down in the annals of great matches but will be remembered as a job well done and overall satisfactory excursion despite the best efforts of ‘the powers that be’.
It would be unMad-Doglike, if his charges did not start off in a state of over energised physical excursion. And so it proved but Town as the higher ranked team had to be patient and gradually impose some kind of superiority.
A fairly direct approach was met head on by the well prepared centre-back pairing of Harry Davis and Danny Collins, who possibly had his best game of the season.
Charles Vernam capped his good performance with the goal that saw The Mariners go in with the lead at half-time.
The second begun as the first but Town weathered a what little was thrown at them quite comfortably.
It is not unfair to say quality eventually did tell. What appears to be settling into a regular core of five had the necessary quality and tenacity to secure passage into round 3. The goal came from Harry Clifton who on this day led the other four of Vernam, Pringle, Embleton and The Hess.
A pragmatic performance as this, bodes well. Such a performance is indicative of the evolving team that Michael Jolley is forging. Winning via football that is pleasing on the eye is often not possible. The cliche says it is a results business and that is undoubtedly true but optimism is on the rise that The Mighty Mariners could be at the outset of journey that so many have yearned for, for so long. At the end when the players came to applaud the B&W Army, many commented that it had been some time since a team looked so upbeat and at one.

Histon Mariners Man of the Match : HARRY CLIFTON

It cannot be under estimated how much The Chesterfield Mariners looked forward to the post- match debriefing at The Neptune.

In a most magnanimous gesture a very humble Lord invited a hardcore of Spireites in the spirit of Real Football. Chesterfield Joe was most appreciative of the invite, and duely accepted.
Adopting the approach of a Head of Democratic Services & Scrutiny, Lord Roy confers with a joyously supportive Tefman re. the hand of friendship.

Gareth appreciates the words of wisdom.

A final briefing was music to the ears of Doncaster Paul, Tefman and Gareth.

A contented Lord awaits the arrival of invited guests along with an unnecessarily apprehensive Charlotte.

Donny Paul provides a shoulder for CJ to cry on.
The Engine carries out His Lordships suggested conciliatory approach with Geordie Spireite Craig.
An experienced Al seeks to support a distressed CJ as Paul recites The Lords Song.

A most agreeable day concluded with supporters from either side proving the continuing existence of the essence of Real Football and RFP : The Histon Mariner Campaign marches on.

No one could be more satisfied with the days proceedings than Lord Roy, and was more than entitled to end with a quiet moment of relaxation and reflection...

Onwards and Upwards.


08.12.18 Cheltenham Town 2 v 1 GTFC

15.12.18 GTFC 2 v 1 Swindon Town

22.12.18 GTFC 4 v 0 Notts. County

26.12.18 Port Vale 0 v 1 GTFC

29.12.18 Exeter city 1 v 2 GTFC

01.01.18 GTFC 0 v 1 Mansfield Town

Matties Midseason Mauritian Mission.

With the January transfer window imminent it is highly likely that Michael Jolley will use his expertise and recruit from the less than obvious Swedish market. Not so long ago the African nations were also viewed as less than obvious, unproven even slightly exotic, alas no more.
The Mighty Mariners currently appear to be moving in a slightly different, more innovative direction. It is in this context that Matties Mauritian Mission should be viewed. The Mighty Mariners are increasingly looking to be ‘shepherds rather than sheep’in the football world.
Anglo-Mauritian connections do already exist, on a small scale but the potential growth has not gone unnoticed. Tottenham toured in 2005. French born Mauritian Kevin Bru made 84 appearances for Ipswich Town under Mick McCarthy before departing for Apollon Limassol in 2018 and unsurprisingly French League clubs have recruited several players in recent years.



Particular note must be made of meetings held with ‘David’ based in Bon Accueil, Mauritius and Chelmsford, consequently having greater awareness of the possibilities on offer.


The third element of Matties Mission is obviously very sensitive and can not be reported in detail.
Local partisanship does appear occasionally and was said by locals to be on the rise as football popularity increases.

Local youth players - Yashvind, Abhijeet and Subham from Triolet were part and parcel of developments and given Matties international reputation were keen to meet and establish contact.

French connections are obviously inevitable and has been alluded to already That these connections have strengthened in recent times are of no coincidence given the long ‘reign’ of a certain French Manager.

At this stage the most that can be reported is that Mattie pursued this avenue with vigour and relish.........!

All in all a successful “MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR”


FA Cup Round 3. 05.01.19 Crystal Palace 1 v 0 GTFC

Crystal Palace v GTFC Ticket
Crystal Palace v GTFC Ticket

The area now known as Crystal Palace was originally a wooded area known as Sydenham Hill. Likewise the football club was originally nicknamed The Glaziers i.e. referring to the Victorian glass palace standing 1854 - 1936. First erected at Hyde Park to house The Great Exhibition of 1851, it was afterwards dismantled and rebuilt on Sydenham Hill. The 1936 destruction of the Palace weakened the link and when Malcom Allison managed them in the later 70’s and 1980’s the team became known as the Allison Eagles.

One of the highest points in London, the Crystal Palace and Croydon Television Transmitters, in excess of 600 feet each, have provided notable landmarks since the 1930’s.

Scenes from the Italian Job (Michael Caine) were filmed at the athletics track in the Crystal Palace Sports Centre ( built on the original glass palace site) and “Not a lot people knew that!” Arthur Canon-Doyle lived and worked in the area for some time (well discovered Sherlock!)

The football club was founded in 1905 and played within the grounds of the Crystal Palace until 1914 when they moved to Herne Hill before moving to Selhurst Park in 1924.
The F.A.Cup Final was played at the Palace Sports Stadium from 1895 - 1914.

As an aside the opportunity cannot be missed to record that from approximately 1966 -1971 as a youngster my local sports shop in Wallasey Merseyside, were I obtained football kit, cricket kit and the compulsory Subbuteo paraphernalia ( which I often played with “MY PERFECT COUSIN ”), was owned and run by Kenny Campbell.

Kenny Campbell was a Scottish international goalkeeper who played in the last Cup Final at Crystal Palace in 1914 for Liverpool v Burnley. Liverpool lost 1 v 0 and Kenny would tell us about the game and even showed me his losers medal.
He told me how Liverpool went down to London early on match day, stopping for bacon, egg and chips on the way down. RFP.

The goal he conceded he could do little about as he was grounded amidst a scramble whence the ball was put in the top corner from around the penalty spot.

He was the last surviving member from that 1914 Liverpool team and as such was probably why he was mistakingly not automatically offered a ticket for the 1971 final v Arsenal. I know this upset him a little alas he died shortly after without knowing his beloved Liverpool lost again.
And to think Yaya Toure was, allegedly, upset he didn’t get a birthday cake from his employers and Alexis Sanchez is not enjoying his football whilst, allegedly ‘earning’ £325,000 net per week.....!!!

Oh for the Game For Real People - the Campaign continues.

See : www.gameofthepeople.com

Players for both The Mariners and The Eagles include Danny Butterfield, Ian Walsh, Steve Kabba and Paul Warhurst.

A momentous occasion probably by virtue of the fact that in recent years such games have been rather thin on the ground. A well balanced squad - a not so subtle blend of youth, experience and the downright aged - set out from the Fens to London.

The President rests his well balanced squad of Rochdale Mariner, Roger and the aspiring James en route to pre-arranged refreshment stop.
On arrival at London Bridge the impression made by a large erection stood out for all to see.
Base camp was soon established at the pre-arranged The Rake.
Tales from Nth.Thoresby abound as The President trawls the memory banks together with Michael Bonner.

The Rake provided an appropriate venue for His Lordship to review the latest efforts of ‘The Heirs Apparent’.
Within shouting distance of Somerset House and the current depository, St.Catherines Family Record Centre, Clerkenwell of his relevant papers, reminds The Tour Manager aka the Engine and CJ who compete for The Lords attention.

Moving to The Wheatsheaf emphasised the scale of manoeuvres in operation as the Histon Mariners were welcomed by members of the B&W Army.

Matt from Lincoln Mariners (originally from Grimsby) with apprentice, Charlie greet The Histon Mariners over a warming Cuppa-Soup.

At the Southwark Tavern the tremendous B&W following became apparent even more apparent.

Chido on secondment from Lagos Mariners and on duty at the Tavern welcomes Becky and Charlotte who compare notes on the respective performances of known associates.
Phil, leading light of South London Public Sector Mariners, makes valiant efforts to display a degree of enthusiasm for the ramblings of an elder sibling.
Phil declares himself keen to return to the Public Sector to re-engage with excitement and enlightenment.
An understanding Lordship commiserates.
A downbeat CJ confides about the current difficulties of being a Spireite.
Whilst no-one is surprised that Mad Dog has departed,Histon Mariner Logistics Director provides moral and physical support.
Spirits soon revive and Chesterfield Joe embraces the essence of Real Football over a convivial green tea with Mariners Michael and Gareth Boner.

P.S.  It would be a treat for Mariners everywhere to hear from the ‘Brace of
        Gareths’ about their shared appreciation of Cliff Richard and their
        experiences of his concerts. Perhaps a presentation on the shared
        birthday of The Engine and Cliff would be a celebration to remember.

It was at this point that Lord Roy took his trusted first lieutenant, Tefman, to one side to analyse a potential crisis brought about by a newly adopted two-pronged strategy by Lady Barbara.
The dilemma facing our ‘Lord of the People’, revolved around her clear instruction to lose weight by abstaining somewhat from liquid refreshment, whilst at the same time giving CAMRA Membership as a Seasonal gift.

A very studious Lord takes on board great wisdom and general ramblings from Tefman over a peppermint cordial, - no finer sounding board could have been found. We trust a solution will emerge that has minimum impact on the usual proceedings............

The camaraderie outside Selhurst was equally if not more evident inside. Aspiring Mariner James, whose performance and contribution to the days campaign shone brightly, along with the rather more experienced Rochdale met up with Shaun whose aged assistant remained in dock being slightly overcome with excitement.

As ever The Fish was on parade, albeit with a more relaxing entourage in Vicky than might have been the case - we can only commiserate and hope John Boy enjoyed his day at work.

Obviously a difficult fixture in itself but having no recognised centre backs available certainly heightened the challenge. Palace paid Town the complement of fielding a changed but still very strong team. Unlike many foreign managers, Roy Hodgson knew of the potential banana skin ahead.

After 114 seconds if at all possible the challenge became even more difficult. Andrew Fox was sent off in rather bizarre circumstances. Given a yellow, the referee without requesting, was informed by the VAR adjudicator that a red was in order.
It was the first challenge of a highly charged fixture on a pitch that had been watered minutes before.
Maybe some discretion was in order but being one of a small minority of games to come under the VAR system it is obvious that elsewhere some decisions will not be reviewed, giving an unfair advantage/disadvantage to some teams. Rules and systems must be applied evenly and consistently too all fixtures.

Having said all the above, The Very Mighty 10 Mariners battled and fought magnificently to go in goalless at half-time. MJ’s tactics appeared spot on - the close man to man marking appeared to unsettle the Eagles, seemingly out of their Premiership comfort zone.
Without doubt this was ‘a proper old-school cup-tie.
Singling out individuals would be unfair - it was a truly great team effort.
The second half continued as the first, Palace had more chances though Town did have their own and despite impressions, possession was relatively even.

Luke Hendrie and Reece Hall-Johnson played above and beyond the call of duty as make-shift centrebacks.
Mitch Rose was thought by Eagle-eyed supporters to be better than his full-back international brother at Tottenham, and ought to be bought by Palace.
The Hess and Harry C. could not have worked any harder.

To have conceded the only goal in the dying minutes was cruel and even more so as the goal came from a very dubious free-kick on the left hand side of the box.

Post goal celebrations were dominated by a resounding chorus of ‘Mariners, Mariners, Mariners’ from the 5300+ strong B&W Army...!!!
With no time to respond the game was lost but the day had been a resounding success.
Essentially unfair to single out a star performance given the nature of the team effort but.

Histon Mariners Man of the Match : REECE HALL-JOHNSON

At the end of the game large sections of Eagle fans stayed behind to applaud The Mighty Mariners. It had been a throwback F.A.Cup tie. Real Football People with mutual respect for each other and the efforts of the teams.

Despite the best efforts of the F.A. to destroy the oldest and most revered cup competition in the world the F.A.Cup still exists in the hearts of RFP.
Only 11 of the 32 Cup ties kicked off at 3 O’Clock on the Saturday.
Allowing television and sponsors to shape the competition for their own ends and thereby proving ‘he who pays the piper calls the tune’ to the detriment of the long term good.
The playing of semi-finals at Wembley, and in so doing belittling the specialness of the final itself and the day overall.
And Premiership Managers continuing to belittle the competition by repeatedly fielding sub-standard line-ups.
The decision to not enter the competition by the F.A.’s favourite club should have been severely punished as a laying down of a marker for the future.

All factors necessarily overcome resulted in the staging of a great traditional football day. A day which witnessed Town as having the top away following in the round so far (5300+)

Often the journey home appears prolonged after a negative result, not so on this occasion. So near yet so far.
Indeed the journey home for the Histon Mariners was alleviated even more so as they listened to The President recount episodes and features of Strictly Come Dancing with fellow passengers on the train....!!!!
The President was even heard to announce that he was pleased that Stacey won....?

Surprisingly some found The Tales From SCD, as told by The President, less enthralling than others.

A day to go down in the annals. A great day for Real Football and RFP. A great day for the Histon Mariner Campaign.

With the January transfer window now open and with positiveness
on the up, the second half of the season could be very interesting.

In MJ we trust. UTMM


P.S. Tottenham in the next round drew a smaller crowd to Selhurst Park than The Mighty Mariners!!!

12.01.19 GTFC 0 v 2 Macclesfield Town

19.01.19 Lincoln City 1 v 0 GTFC

Lincoln City v GTFC Ticket
Lincoln City v GTFC Ticket

Lincoln The City - like it’s football team - has a history of constant ups and downs from the beginnings through its Roman, Viking and Norman experiences. Even The Civil War witnessed regular switching of sides, after which long term decline only began to reverse with the arrival of the railway.
It’s football team replicates a pathway of similar fluctuations. After Lincoln Rovers (formerly known as Lincoln Recreation) disbanded in1884, Lincoln City was founded and turned professional in 1891 and moved to Sincil Bank in 1895.

Lincoln’s highest position attained is 6th in Division 2 during their longest period of occupancy of that division of 16 years.

Not completely surprising (given the geography) many players have appeared in both the black and red stripped shirt. A list that includes Graham Taylor, Keith Alexander, Paul Groves, Ciaran Toner, Matt Bloomer, Peter Bore, Bradley Wood, The Shop, Nathan Arnold and hopefully soon Elliot Whitehouse.

The “success” of the Cowley Brothers certainly adds spice to an already lively rivalry. It is not jealousy of The Imps progression that sparks Mariner dislike - the style of play is for the club and it’s officials to decide and is obviously subjective. The basis of the concern is the antics that surrounds and colours the football club. Many Imp fans echo this sentiment and is evident on their own Fans Forum and in the communal refreshment establishments around Lincoln.

The weather was certainly more hospitable than last year but still bitterly inclement. On arrival at the railway station the need for immediate warming sustenance was only too apparent.
The 15-20 minute trek through the Town Centre in such cold circumstances proved to be illuminating and ultimately worthwhile - The Golden Eagle proved a most welcoming hostelry to fans of both teams, RFP. Even more so was this evident after the walk through the Town, which witnessed many newly acquired Imps parading around, displaying early signs of facial hair, attire akin to pseudo New York rappers and the football nouse of paraplegic slugs. It is such a shame that the undoubted upturn in fortunes inevitably attracts the young facile elements who feel attracted to success in the hope for some kind of reflected glory. A more even-handed observation would argue, that as time moves on and hormones subside a little contextual reflection may see some of those so described morph into RFP having at least been bitten early.

A well balanced group of desperados on parade at The Golden Eagle, Kev Rudd, Gary Hachkey, Imperial John, Group Commander Mr. Draper and Dave “The Voice”.

Mr.Draper the well known ‘voice of reason, on duty without First Lieutenant Loz, assured all and sundry that the disco sensation was in the process of cementing domestic arrangements and would be dancing back on duty in due course.

An Estate Management Meeting of Board Members, whereby His Lordship listens to updates about the performances of potential beneficiaries.
The Engine delivered his case prior to his 1000th game, to the ever reasonable, understanding, caring, insightful, bastion of P.C. and general all-round fair minded Tefman.
The Engine delivered his case to anyone who would listen prior to his 1000th game.
An unfortunate Fenwick was trapped and listened intensely.

Mariners gathered inside the ground with reasonable expectations and in particular awaiting team news and the possible appearance of a brace of newly arrived Swedes. As always, concerns abound when the powers that be, consider a fixture in Division 3 or 4 able to benefit from the “expertise” of a premier pantomime whistle man. On this illustrious occasion The ‘Mike Dean Show’ was again given license by virtue of the whistle, and understandably raised concerns amongst the B&W Army.

Pez, never thought of as a shrinking violet, stands up to lead The Caistor Mariners.
Those sitting behind Pez (second left at matches, always benefit from being in such a position, it enabling them to attain greater insight and enhanced vision.
Airdrieonian Mariner Will teams up with East End Mariner Rob in a display of Anglo-Scottish bonhomie ensuring a joint warm welcome for a well wrapped up elderly lady and Sgt.Dodd.
N.B. The wearing of a Red Coat @ Sincil Bank.......!!!

M.J. certainly provided food for thought with his team selection. Both Ring and Ohman were selected in a return to the 3-5-2 formation that has previously proved unsuccessful and clearly suggests it is a system that Michael Jolley considers ‘A’ template for future success - perhaps the Swedish additions are the type of players that can make it work.

As expected The Imps immediately flew at Town, looking for the early advantage. The Mighty Mariners looked defensively sound with Ludwig Ohman appearing to settle immediately.
What couldn’t be planned for was the elbow that broke Ohman’s nose. Awareness of Akindepen goes with the territory but his initial attempt on Ohman failed and it was left to O’Connor to inflict injury. The Premiertheatre whistle-man saw no offence...!!!

The only goal of the game was soon after conceded by Town of which little could be done. Town probably then had their best 20 minutes giving some hope at half time.
Harry Davis, Ludwig Ohman, Luke Hendrie and The Hess battled away for the cause. Seb Ring, presumably lacking match fitness provided hope for the future. However clear chances were at a premium and remains an area of concern - thoughts that should be tempered by remembering a multi-award winning December.

Just before the interval Ohman received a second elbow, which caused the loss of vision in one eye.
Unsurprisingly inflicted by Akindepen, a little less blatant than the first, alas the Premiertheatre whistleman unsurprisingly saw no offence...!!!
A stalemate second half again produced little threat from Town. Given recent changes in personal, when it, defensively the squad looks as good as it has for some time. This enables focus on the offensive elements of the squad, though such simplicity can gloss over a multitude of multi-dimensional factors.

One interesting question surrounds the apparent disappearance of Jordon Cook of late. Having made a very good start to the season (interrupted by injury) it has been a mystery as to why he has not kicked on and contributed more.

The late sending-off of James McKeown was again a literal interpretation of the rules. Outside the area, a last man challenge, did he get the ball? Probably. Did he show intent ? Probably not. Did he injure the opponent? Not really. Was his foot up? Probably? Was it without doubt a red? No but it was without doubt The Mike Dean Show.
The Mike Dean Show produced 9 bookings. Such a fact would clearly suggest an unpleasant niggley game.
Apart from the incidents outlined above that was not the case. Dour and hard fought with few otherwise memorable incidents.

Given the momentum of The Imps a 1 v 0 defeat was not the end of the world but it is challenging to balance a results business with a work in progress.

Histon Mariners Man of the Match : LUDWIG OHMAN

The challenge to balance the head v heart emotions will continue to test for the rest of the season, opinions will vary but that is part of the life-blood of RFP. Below Liam and Lisa take a moment for quiet reflection whilst the youthful optimism of a well wrapped up Bekka expects only better times ahead.

In Michael Jolley we trust.

26.01.19 GTFC 1 v 0 M.K.Dons

02.02.19 GTFC 3 v 0 Newport County

GTFC v Newport County Ticket
GTFC v Newport County Ticket

Whilst the west suffered considerable snow the drive north to Cleethorpes could not have been more pleasant, the winter sunshine even encouraged the Histon Mariner President to role back the years by indulging in fairly regular ‘burn-ups’.
Having decided to act his age, the President wrapped up in his winter woolies, thermals and bobble hat unlike the Logistics Director who inexplicably travelled north without a coat - thus proving the axiom “it’s no use getting older if you don’t get wiser”.

Such was the quality of the liquid refreshment at Willys and The Notts that an immediate report was dispatched to the Chairman. Dismayed by his duties elsewhere and aware of the disappointment his absence creates around Cleethorpes, the illustrious figurehead made a commitment to try to make arrangements to enable a full and thorough Campaigning Day of Action against Cambridge four weeks hence. An immediate buzz was discernible as the news broke. (We wait and see, knowing his heavy commitments)

At McMenemys Harry Davis was waiting to meet his sponsors, The Histon Mariners. He found it difficult to hide an element of disappointment re. absent personal but spoke excitedly of meeting the Chairman in the near future.

The President, H.D. a partially clothed John Boy with fringe concealed, with Ray The Fish.

The Fish had established an association with (choose from four nicknames) The Exiles, The Port, The Ironsides or The County and as ever The Histon Mariners were delighted to welcome fans of other clubs.

RFP, Allan Wallace from Newport and The Fish concur on realities as opposed to the superficiality of the Premier Pantomime.

The Histon Mariners wish Allan and Newport County good fortune in their forthcoming F.A.Cup 4th round replay against Middlesbrough - and future success against any theatrical football opponents. No doubt a couple of ex-Mariners will assist the cause.

The evolutionary crawl from junior to full membership of the Histon Mariners of long-standing associate John Boy continues unabated.
Now contemplating the conflicting merits of College life and a fledgling showbiz career skewed by an admirable gig in Kentish Town at the renowned Fiddlers Elbow, he still makes time for The Mighty Mariners.
As part of the rationalizing process the trousers have been shortened in proportion to the fringe extension - a process that began some time ago and first came to Histon Mariner attention at the game against Carlisle 19.11.17 during his preparation procedure for fiancé Chloe.
At the same time normal button use has been completely disregarded, one can only conclude this is done as a musical statement that only industry insiders know of.

Such is his new found musical commitment that travelling home after the Lincoln game fiancé Chloe and Histon Mariner youth protégée Sophie spent much time platting his hair with bobbles. There is no doubt such an appearance in the Pontoon would certainly raise his profile....

The musical exploits of John Boy will be watched with great interest - we wish him good luck and wait with eager anticipation the penning of a new Town anthem.

No surprise to bump into long term associates of the Histon Mariners - a very trim looking Tony, Chm.of Purley Mariners with bother-in-law Dan, from Market Raison Mariners.
The President always attracts considerable interest. Here, Ken listens intently to Mark Wright about the Great Race on Keeling Street in Great Sommercotes as well as the usual the incoherent Steve Robertson Maurice.

Hope that a corner was turned against M.K.Dons as the injured return, new signings bed in and playing systems evolve was evident - albeit cautiously.
Without doubt the much debated 3-5-2 worked well but so did 11 players - one can argue as to which comes first. Certainly it would appear more attacking options were available but whatever the root cause results will invariably carry the fans.

The returning Danny Collins must be a great partner from whom to learn for the already impressive Ludvig Ohman. The question recently asked about Jordon Cook was answered loud and clear. A brace from him announced his season to be back on track after the great start he made. And whilst Wes Thomas continues to chip in - despite his missed penalty today - there is now justifiable optimism re. goals coming from many different areas of the team.
Yes Newport may well have had thoughts about their forthcoming replay against Middlesbrough but one can only beat what’s in front of you. That said real progress is evident as M.J. gathers his own squad, capable of implementing his way of playing.
Luke Hendrie - easily forgotten to have only just signed permanently on a longer term contract- looks to be in the process of nailing down the right-wing back/right back spot as his own.
The Hess is quietly proving a key element in midfield, as one of those unsung heroes that good teams always possess.

Histon Mariners Man of the Match : JORDON COOK

The President was delighted with proceedings and could only wonder at the extra-dimension yet to manifest itself when The Chairman descends.

At the New Imperial The President carries forth the message, here sat between a couple of old antique bookends, Steve and Sean.
Likewise at The Notts where The Voice of Radio, John Tondeur was seen spending money at the bar !!!

Who said “Video Killed The Radio Star”?

Mariners everywhere were enthused to such an extent that even Promotion Plaice Howard left the Fishy for 1.5 mins. to show off his legendary typing finger..........

.........perhaps he ‘wants to be a “PAPERBACK WRITER” ’


09.02.19 Yeovil Town 1 v 3 GTFC

Yeovil Town v GTFC Ticket
Yeovil Town v GTFC Ticket

Yeovil being a relative newcomer to the upper echelons means few players have moved between the two clubs but the list does include Stuart Housley, the Congolese Jean-Paul Kalala and currently Rhys Browne.

The infamous slope is no more and Huish Park is one of the new out of town new grounds that fail to replicate the atmosphere that old gits regularly lament.

A 370 miles round journey across country, last year by car this year by rail. The journey west though not the longest is probably the most awkward of the season but with the realistic hope of three points, entirely worthwhile - hopefully the return journey will be even better. En-route The Histon Mariners met up with Muswell Hill Mariners comparing notes and Campaign Strategies.
On arrival a series of odd experiences proved not to be unique when later conferring with fellow travelers.

  • Enquiries for a taxi at the station meant at least one to one and a half hour wait.........
  • Enquiries as to the best way to walk into town was met with looks of astonishment and a proclamation that we would be killed if we tried it ! Thinking we were the victims of ‘a wee local wind-up’ we reiterated our desire to walk, to which the warning was repeated, followed by advise re. the local bus.........
  • On the bus, the driver appeared bemused that we wanted tickets into town. Eventually secured, we then had a fifteen minute tour of a local housing estate, stopping at one stop for a mother and child to alight. Other passengers observing our bewilderment proceeded to describe the often perverse and strange experiences of public transport in the area........
  • Back to the station, a five minute wait, eventually a five minute journey into town - well almost, because a road blockage meant a delay and a small diversion causing us to alight before the designated stop........
  • In town at last and in need of refreshment, alas the search with intermittent phone signal meant a circular walk ending in the same spot. Two locals looked totally incredulous when asked for directions after which the combined nous of the Histon and Muswell Hill Mariners surrendered and took refuge in the first hostelry........

  • Reminiscent of the opening scene from “American Werewolf In London”, liquid refreshment was purchased but not enthusiastically consumed..........
  • A unanimous decision was taken on the basis of experience thus far, that the two mile expedition to Huish Park ought to be tackled sooner rather than later. The validity of that decision was immediately seen to have been prophetic given the response of local inhabitants to our enquiries:
  • “How far is the ground?”
                                          “What ground?”

    “The football ground”
                                          “Is there a game on today ?”

  • Striving onwards and despite the best efforts of the indigenous population, a taxi-rank was fortuitously stumbled upon. With fingers crossed a driver was approached who responded positively and continued to be quite helpful. Hallelujah!

One and a half hours of surrealism is enough for most, entering The Arrow was a ‘biggish’ step back towards reality.

Lord Roy, Tom Sergeant from Cardiff Mariners (nee Dublin and Bilbao) and Tefman on hand to finally welcome the intrepid adventurers.
Inside The Arrow, Scott of Grimsby Mariners and Max from Cleethorpes Mariners confer on the discernible mood of optimism with Derby Dan.

What a difference a year makes - the overall transformation in the prevailing mood was quite dramatic.
An unchanged team is usually a good sign but additionally the success of the January transfer window has enabled a subs bench to beannounced that many in league 2 must view with envy; Russel, Davis, Whitmore, Clifton, Welsh, Dennis and Vernam.
The debate about systems recedes as results improve. No doubt Yeovil looked poor and are in deep trouble - the reverse of a year ago. Town’s recent run of small defeats was a run against teams above us, during which time some supporters were proclaiming the paucity of Town’s squad and were looking forward to some relief playing those teams around ourselves. The same supporters now deem the opposition to be below par - for some the glass is always half empty.
We win in 3rd gear only because the opposition are weak.......
We win a scrappy affair it’s because we don’t create or the system is wrong........
It is all about opinion BUT the facts are we have improved immensely from last year and continue to do so.

As the improvement continues it is inevitable that similar/same observations reoccur but Wes Thomas continues to work tirelessly up front as does the engine of perpetual motion in midfield - Jake Hessenthaler. Danny Collins whilst not seriously challenged today looked to have developed a good understanding with Ludvig O., who will undoubtedly benefit from the Welsh Internationals experience.
Reece Hall-Johnson continues to keep players worthy of starting on the bench. Such competition whilst the envy of many will of course in the long run create problems which MJ would welcome.
The cameo from substitute Kristian Dennis was a clear indication of his ability - how MJ is going to find him a regular berth will not be easy - his finish today to give him his first and Town’s third goal was sublime.
A well deserved three points, slight shame about their consolation goal.

Histon Mariners Man of the Match : MARTYN WOOLFORD

What a difference a year makes. The Mighty Mariners last played at Huish Park on 30th Jan. 2018, fifty three weeks ago.

           30.01.18                                                                      09.02.19
Manager - Russel Slade                                            Manager - Michael Jolley
Assistant - Paul Wilkinson                                         Assistant - Andrew Limbrick

Lost 0 v 3                                                                  Won 3 v 1

Of the 18 players involved 5 remain Collins, Vernam, Clifton, Woolford and Cardwell.

Clifton makes sub bench                                           Clifton a sub as recovering from injury
Clifton makes debut after 78mins at 0 v 3                 Clifton a key member of squad
Clifton future unclear                                                 Clifton on a three year contract

2 players sent-off (M.Rose and K.Osbourne              3 bookings
                               - both gone)

31 played                                                                   32 played
35 points —15 goal difference.                                  43 points —3 goal difference.
17th in League                                                           11th in League
On a downward spiral                                                 On an upward spiral

                                           When MJ appointed;
                                                   35 played
                                                   36 points — 21 goal difference
                                                   20th in League

129 B&W Army travelled                                            265 B&W Army travelled

Billy had no mates.                                                      Paul has found mates.

The dread of repeating the journey back to the station was more than alleviated by the three points but also by a most interesting and convivial post match analysis at The Arrow.

Cardiff Mariner Tom and Muswell Hill Scott outside The Arrow.

The meeting with Town exiles, Scott from Muswell Hill Mariners (alumini of Yarborough Senior School) and Tom Sergeants, currently of the Cardiff Mariners - having formerly been instrumental in creating both Dublin and Bilbao Mariners - made the 90 minute wait for the elusive ‘Yeovil Taxi’ pass inordinately quickly.

As well as thoughtful and incisive analysis, memories of past manoeuvres were enthusiastically recounted.

  • Tom’s memory of Conference days at Wrexham and penalty from The Shop (Oct 2014)
  • Scott recounting away days like Barnet (April 2017) when the Mariachi Band serenaded fellow banderillos Histon Innkeeper and Scratch (aka born & bred Grimsby Dave W.)

Such all too brief encounters reiterate and resonate with RFP. It is for ever the camaraderie, the dressing room before and after the game that is forever the essence of the heart and soul of Real Football and Real Football People.


We march on.    UTMM

16.02.19 GTFC 1 v 0 Cheltenham Town

23.02.19 Swindon Town 1 v 1 GTFC

Whilst many excursions last season proved memorable for one reason or the other, few games provided great memories. Because of last season’s success, the march on Swindon this year was eagerly anticipated.

Last season The Glue Pot proved a more than agreeable prematch venue and the success on the pitch provided the superstitious with even more justification for a return visit.

Doncaster Paul largely unaware of the previous visit (hic!) signals the Histon Mariners not realizing they were in attendance last year.
Part and parcel of prematch preparations saw Swindon based Tom being briefed by the bespectacled Sergeant brothers, Skegness Mariner Jack and Cardiff based Tom.

Analysis of past campaigns and the current situation recalled the exploits of players who had appeared for both The Robbins and The Mariners. Lee peacock, Alan Connell and Wes Thomas quickly came to mind.

Rather surprisingly Lord of the Manor, Roy was entrusted with transport arrangements to the County Ground. Tefman reassured fellow travelers, who were aware of his Cambridge performance, that His Lordship would not encounter an automated service.

Encouraged by Lord Roy’s task completion, Tefman appeared totally at ease......

..... and in an unguarded moment without support from Gareth, Tefman was rumored to have suggested that Town might be heading towards safety !!!

Momentum is vital in breeding confidence and it must be believed, given the run the Mighty Mariners were currently on, the positivity much in evidence around the County Ground was not misplaced.

Paul excitedly announces the attendance of renowned traveler Dave R., trying to relive his more youthful years in his retro shirt.
Caister Mariner, Ian heads for further refreshment safe in the knowledge that fellow traveller Pez will be able to relay details of events from his elevated vantage point!

A justifiably unchanged team faced an inform Swindon who hit the ground running putting Town under early pressure.
Hardly a fluent attacking first half but a battling team effort ensured Swindon had limited chances.
As ever James McKeown demonstrated why he was playing in his 400th game - the very overused title Legend is rapidly and justifiably being attached to Towns No.1.
Luke Hendrie continued to look comfortable in the right-wing back role and The Hess was for ever busy.

The second half not too dissimilar to the first until a second yellow for Öhman just after the hour mark saw Town reduced to ten men, again.

A ninth dismissal of a campaign would suggest a ‘dirty’ team but no one could fairly accuse Town of falling into that category. Without doubt some have been unlucky but several have been careless. And no matter how good The Mighty Mariners have been playing with ten men it is generally agreed, based on historical evidence, that teams have a better chance of success with eleven men.

Once down to ten men the game burst into life.
Swindon scored soon after the sending off (74 mins) Luke Hendrie equalised from a sublime Embleton cross (76 mins) Town switch from 3-5-2(1) to 4-3-2 via Kristian Dennis for Danny Collins and could have taken all three points after two very good chances.

Histon Mariners Man of the Match : JAMES McKEOWN


02.03.19 GTFC 0 v 2 Cambridge United

GTFC v Cambridge United Ticket
GTFC v Cambridge United Ticket

Immense disappointment was anticipated when the news would shortly hit Cleethorpes that the Chairman of the Histon Mariners had been unable to travel north. It could not have been imagined, at that early stage, that the journey south on Sunday would carry a level of disappointment that would match or even exceed that in Cleethorpes.

James a product of the Histon Mariner Youth Programme travelled with grandfather Maurice, The President and The Logistics Director on his Senior Debut.
Immediately on arrival at Cleethorpes HQ, The Kingsway, James was welcomed and congratulated on his graduation by fellow Mariner, Restaurant Manager Simon.

Obviously with much to assimilate James was fully briefed by The President at Willys.

As ever Mariners from far and wide invariably crop up, keeping alive the camaraderie of the B&W Army. The story was once again repeated at the excellent Notts, where the liquid refreshment continues to exceed expectations. It would have been difficult to arrange a better illustration for James of such an essential element of the Histon Mariner Campaign, than when Cleethorpes Promenade Chairman & Islington Mariner, Mike Pollard met up with The Logistics Director.

The two were last on joint maneuvers 12th March 2016 at the Aviator, Bognor Regis prior to the first leg of the semi-final that preceded the Wembley appearance against Halifax. A great example to James on his Senior Debut.

Facilitating a comprehensive induction, Lord Roy with his empathetic compliant approach and his hereditary leadership skills, welcomed James to The Campaign on his arrival at The Mariners Trust Bar.

At Blundel the degree of appreciation of The Histon Mariners is never taken for granted and could not have been more conspicuously demonstrated, making Jame’s debut a day to remember.

Commercial Manager and former star player Dave Smith with Town Impresario XXXX welcome James and thank the President.
Likewise Dave Moore (Uncle of Histon Mariner sponsored youth player Henry Moore).
Ludwig Öhman took the opportunity to meet the Histon Mariners, being aware of Mattie’s Baltic Trawl in May and June 2011(see prev.chapter).
Martyn Woolford thanked the Histon Mariners for their consistent support over the last 12 months.
Histon Mariner sponsored Harry Davis presents James with a signed shirt to mark his debut.
The Logistics Director passes on good wishes through Harry Davis to the Management Team and players for the rest of the season.
The President confers with James on an eventful day, putting into context The Histon Mariner campaign.

                                        A Dreadful Day At The Office.

A totally inexplicable performance on the back of the recent run. Not much could be said, except we move onto Crawley and carry on.
Town made a struggling poor team look competent who deserved the three points.
So out of character was Towns performance that we could only smile at U’s singing “You must be crap, we’re winning away”

No player did themselves justice. James McKeown could not be faulted whilst The Hess and Reece H-J tried valiantly to no effect.

It would have been a nonsense to award a MOM.

Unsurprisingly post match analysis was very subdued - there was little to analyse. Thirsts were quiet easily sated. Even the New Imperial, normally a hotbed of insightful reasoning and analytical thought was quiet.

Geordie Daz looks to the heavens alongside ‘Bubbles” Paul, who sought. to maintain The New Imp’s reputation for reasoned analysis.
No doubt debutant James would have gained additional understanding from listening to such learned analysis.

The following morning on checking the score in ‘The Football League’, the score appeared to have remained 0 v 2. It had been,


Without doubt In MJ we trust. Onwards and Upwards and on to Crawley.

09.03.19 Crawley Town 2 v 1 GTFC

Crawley Town v GTFC Ticket
Crawley Town v GTFC Ticket

One of the grounds were optimism does not immediately spring to the fore. And given an apparently regular sequence over the season of, win a few loose a few, the bright but windy day and the usual starting point at the most hospitable White Hart could not totally eradicate feelings of foreboding. However the desire to keep the season alive and put to bed last weeks calamity reinforced the B&W Army’s demeanor.
A most welcome opportunity to join up with The ‘Jolley’ Boyz on Tour (aka The Old Gits) last experienced in Cambridge early November, took plaice at the afore mentioned hostelry.

A most enlightening and uplifting pre-match taster included an account by Dave “Chalmers” that demonstrated his leadership qualities, his caring and diligent managerial approach that nevertheless failed to curb early morning prematch nerves that resulted in multiple false starts and a return to base camp, too ensure his entourage were in possession of crucial match equipment e.g. match tickets!
A full disclosure as to the absence of Paul (nee Billy) was presented by a genuine and thoroughly compassionate Stuart. Paul was travelling in a solo capacity having foregone the ‘Jolley’ Tour because of a prior solo engagement - it would appear Billy is in transition to Paul!

A well known band of desperados on parade, Chris, Big Steve, Pete, Group Commander Dave (restful after a hectic morning) and a Caring Stuart (worrying about Billy).

The ‘Jolley’ tour moved on to the very agreeable Crawley Supporters Club. Stuart was anxious that Billy would be in attendance enabling him to meet up with mates rather than continue on a solo mission.

On arrival at the Crawley Supporters Club, Billy was indeed waiting, holding an extra cup of tea in hope of a mate.
Stuart was relieved and finally stopped worrying.

The Club, a great advert for RFP, where supporters from both sides are able to mingle with plenty of banter or keep to themselves without any interference reiterated the essence of our club game which has no need for segregation into separate camps or heavy intrusive policing/stewarding. Such a socially acceptable environment without any hint of tension was hardly the result of any absence of passion or desire, more a reflection of the overwhelming majority of grown up supporters gathered for an occasion unfamiliar and certainly not understood by followers of the Premier Pantomime.

See : www.gameofthepeople.com

Stuart and Pete fail to disguise the fact that their experienced analysis invariably leaves those willing to listen - or more accurately unable to escape - in awe........
........Big Steve and Dave ‘Chalmers’ prove the point.
Billy not quite without mates is acknowledged by Mr. Chalmers whilst Chris appears bemused by the ramblings of the ‘Chuckle Brother’ impersonators, Stuart and Pete.

At the Broadfield Stadium Director Philip Day was delighted to welcome the Histon Mariner Logistics Director accompanied by Chuckle Brother Pete. Shadi considered Histon Mariner, impersonator of Roy Cropper, a perfectly suitable sidekick for a Chuckle Brother.

Thomas and Dennis paired again up front - a pairing that struggled against Cambridge was given another opportunity that would hopefully help confirm the previous non-performance was a one-off.
Wes Thomas put Town into an early - normal service appeared restored.
However two goals from former Mariner Palmer proved to be the end of the scoring.
Whilst better than the previous performance (it would have been difficult to have been worse) the game had a distinctly end-of-season feel.
Town had reasonable possession, particularly in the second half but largely to no avail. The few chances for Town were not clear-cut but when all is going well would probably have resulted in a goal or two, but the Thomas/Dennis pairing has yet to to gel. Likewise when on a good run the second balls seem to fall more favourably but in this game The Mighty Mariners always looked off the mark, though better than last week.
With a view to next season, now is the time to use those players contracted next season and those hoping to be contracted - which is a significant proportion of the squad. Such stability amongst the personnel and that Town are in a position to think ahead reflects mid-table security and the significant progress made during MJ’s first year.

Histon Mariners Man of the Match : JAKE HESSENTHALER

At half-time the Histon Mariners met up with a delighted Chairman of the Purley Mariners to review the current season and plan meetings for 2019-20.

Histon Mariner Logistics Guru invited Chairman Tony to relocate from standing in relative sheltered comfort behind the goal to sit in the stands. Midway through a rather uneventful second half, a significantly less than delighted Purley Chairman thanked Histon for his time and the seat with a lack of shelter from the excessive wind, the full view of a previously obscured scoreboard reminding him of Town’s imminent defeat and the extra distance from the exit when in need of a quick getaway.


The Campaign Marches On

12.03.19 Tranmere Rovers 4 v 1 GTFC

Tranmere Rovers v GTFC Ticket
Tranmere Rovers v GTFC Ticket

Tranmere (Birkenhead) provides the opportunity to visit an old-school ground with two ‘proper’ teams battling to progress back towards scenes of former glories.

On the south of the River Mersey, Birkenhead is usually overshadowed by its northern neighbour. There is remarkable symmetry between the west coast decline of Birkenhead, once proud shipbuilding and dockland with an adjacent Victorian resort that has seen better days, New Brighton. Directly opposite on the east coast, and often overshadowed by its northern neighbours across the Humber, Grimsby, once THE great fishing port of England with an adjacent Victorian resort that has seen better days, Cleethorpes.
Both towns have very similar populations (85-90,000) that have declined in recent decades.
Both regions are justifiably proud of their heritage and stubbornly strive to regenerate towards better days.

Having said that Birkenhead has notable historical landmarks e.g. Britain’s first street tramway, the first publicly funded park in Britain, the forerunner of the National Parks Movement and the model for New York’s Central Park and the first tunnel under a tidal estuary. Apart from Trafalgar Square, Georgian Hamilton Square has more grade one listed buildings on one site than anywhere else in the U.K.

It is also the birthplace of Lilly Savage aka Paul O’Grady ! Glenda Jackson and Nigel Adkins.

Players who have appeared for both sides include Ivan Bonetti, Andy Parkinson, Ben Tomlinson, Jack MacKreth and ominously and likely to play in this fixture Connor Jennings and Ben Pringle.

Understandably the train journey north induced the need for some light refreshment. Local watering hole Gallaghers proved another successful find - one to be noted for future visits.

The view from the front door of Gallaghers provides a clue to the disadvantage that the Mighty Mariners face in the transfer and especially the loan market. Almost in touching distance is the City of Liverpool with a ready supply of young talent. The rest of the North West clubs are in very close proximity including Manchester only 35 miles away - no such quarry of talent for Town to utilise.

The Campaign moved onto a most hospitable fanzone based in a huge marquee at Prenton Park. The Histon Mariners we’re delighted to follow up the successful meet at Crawley with The Old Gits Tour, led admirably by experienced Tour Consultant Dave R. aka Judith C.

Regular Old Git Stuart brought along ever caring daughter Emma, proving the success of the ‘care in the community’ programme.
A brace of Peters engage in a riveting discourse re. the introduction of new EFL rules next season. One appears more enthusiastic than the other.
Pete gets carried away with having lots of mates and continues his analysis of the change in EFL rules to a very interested audience........
With ‘Billy Pete’ looking to have found lots of mates, Big Steve appeared isolated and phoned ‘Dial A Mate’.
It was pleasing to see Old (very old) campaigners Bill and Terry, deciding not to take advantage of their heating allowance and wrap up for the cold weather knowing that old people feel the cold first.
A lonely but well wrapped Doncaster Paul sends greetings to absent friends.

Probably Town’s best home result this season was the reverse fixture at the end of November. A 5 v 2 victory which in all fairness didn’t reflect the quality of the opposition. This 1 v 4 defeat without doubt was not a fair reflection of proceedings.
To rub a little salt into the wound ex.Mariner Conner Jennings opened the scoring before Town equalised when Martyn Woolford reacted quickest to Wes Thomas’s penalty.
Within one minute Town were 2 v 1 down and within 10 minutes 4 v 1 down, the last goal by that ex.Mariner rubbing further salt into the wound.

The B&W Army were shell shocked rather than downhearted at half-time. One down at half time might have been a fair reflection but certainly not three down. Undoubtedly a better performance than that against Cambridge and probably than against Crawley. As trite as it may sound conditions aided the Rovers and James Mc was for once not at his best. The Mighty Mariner response might well be an indication of Town’s mindset.

The second half saw a performance from Town that exceeded that in the first half. Whilst cynical of the modern obsession with Match Stats., they are worth noting.

                                            4        Goals        1
                                            7        Shots        9
                                            5        Shots on target 6
                                            1        Corners     6

The Hess as has now become an integral and consistent performer game after game. Martyn Woolford assisted ably and Luke Hendrie continue his good form. A few half chances were created but the score remained unchanged.

By no means vintage probably not good enough but certainly inexplicable.

Histon Mariners Man of the Match : JAKE HESSENTHALER



23.03.19 GTFC 0 v 0 Bury

GTFC v Bury Ticket
GTFC v Bury Ticket

The Logistics Director had decided to explore alternative travel arrangements for Blundel visits. Catching the 8.01 from Cambridge would enable time for moderate refreshment beforehand but a reduced post match analysis. The departure had to be at 19.24 arriving in Cambridge at 23.15. The 20.24 departure arrived in Cambridge 13.20 the following day - a massive incentive not to be late.

A perfectly satisfactory journey north was completed when the excellent Notts came into view. As ever most palatable refreshment was procured ensuring a basis for procedure had been laid.

A gathering of friends and associates at the Mariners Trust Bar enabled news and policy to be assessed and progress to be made.

A brace of Roberts as ever provide an erudite and incisive analysis that is always a welcome contribution to the Histon Mariner Campaign.

Arrangements were concluded that would result in post-match analysis at the New Imperial Club. One can only surmise at this stage if the seeds had been sown for an exciting new departure as part of the experimental logistics being conducted.

Lord Roy, recently unable to travel to Crawley or Tranmere because of the need for the annual survey and staff appraisals at the Lakeland estate, under the authoritative presence of a higher authority, gave an update with welcome supplementary interjections from that duel powerhouse, Becky and Charlotte.
Interesting supplementary information emerged re. Chesterfield Joe (CJ). With the Spireites clearly struggling, evidence of his allegiance to a well known team originally called Newton Heath was outed into the public domain. It is no surprise he would want to keep this quite - especially with inheritance issues in the air. We look forward to clarification of the matter from CJ.

Lord Roy despairs at the dissipation of his estate by Graces father.

Hospitality at McMenemys never falters, as ever the Histon Mariners were warmly welcomed.

Alex Whitmore and Harry Cardwell pass on regards from the squad to the Histon Mariners.
Town stalwart Jack Johnson introduces Fred Hudson (New Cross Mariners) and Chris Milne ( Barton-upon-Humber) to The Campaign.
McMike and Lisa benefit from pearls of wisdom as ever espoused by Legend Leeson.

Reece Hall-Johnson included for his pace reflected an awareness of the strength the free scoring Shakers.
Whilst Town had it all to do it was far from backs to the wall. Ohman, Davis and R.H-J were never overly stretched, being well protected by Clifton Woolford and as ever The Hess who played alleged danger-man Meyer out of the game.
Town were the first team to prevent the leagues highest scorers from registering in 2019.
It is accepted that the final third is the area in need of attention and appeared more so in this game with Wes Thomas seemingly off the pace.

The introduction of Vernam and Akheem Rose provided a real alternative in the last 15-20 mins.
A counter attacking threat of real pace nearly paid dividends with a curling shot from Vernam very close.
Akheem Roses introduction certainly created problems for Bury. One could question whether Rose is totally aware of the impact his extreme pace has on opponents but this was not a one off - it happens every time he is used in this way. A time is close to give Vernam another extended run and a long close look at Akheem in real match situations.

Histon Mariners Man of the Match : JAKE HESSENTHALER


Post match analysis, necessarily curtailed, began in The New Imperial Club. General satisfaction with Towns performance was thought to justify hope that the long road of building and consolidating witnessed under Michael Jolley in his first year, will continue in the final part of the season which in reality for The Mighty Mariners is a time for forward planning.
The Histon Mariners were intrigued by the insights of Paul R. who once amongst friends and associates enlightened a captivated audience with his ‘Tales of the Unexpected’ from the deceased ‘Imp’.
Paul continued to chaperone the Histon Mariners onto the No.2 bar ensuring the vital 19.24 was not missed, this he did. However..............

Only time for a warming nightcap at the No.2 Bar to sustain the journey home, Paul R. thanked the Histon Mariners on behalf of the old gits.
Failing to leave at 19.24hrs. aroused. no concern until about 19.39hrs. when it was noticed that the driver was drinking tea with rail staff on the platform at the opposite end to the engine. Enquiries were met with a polite tone of bemusement as to what was happening.
By 20.00hrs worries we’re mounting amongst many on the train about possible, if not actually, missed connections - particularly those with planes to catch at Gatwick and Heathrow.
From 20.25hrs. the next train was also delayed whence railway staff explained the problem at Barnetby le Wold could cause delay for a further hour or two !!! Concerns about missed connections were largely alleviated by the promise of transport from Doncaster - which appeared at that point an awefully long way away. Questioning whether it was o.k. to alight in order to return to the No.2 Bar for a cup of tea was answered in the negative as the train if given clearance would leave at a moments notice - it was not the staff’s fault.
The train engines were suddenly activated at approx 20.40hrs and progress resumed.
Arrived at Doncaster approx. 21.55hrs and ushered to a taxi rank. A considerable queue of fellow travellers from various trains, who were travelling all over the country, were having taxis organised for them. Inevitably members of the B&W Army were present and in similar dilemmas.
Addlestone Mariner Rob, with fellow traveller Tilly, was soon dispatched South.
Histon Mariners were given a black Hackney Cab with no heating. Two hours later, having shuffled around continuously on the pull down seat and even tried the floor out for size with a mute (possibly deaf) driver, Cambridge was reached at approx. 23.25hrs....whereupon Horlicks proved to be the beverage of choice

Mariner Rob asked a question about ‘Definition of a Mad Man’. This is a difficult question to answer but Real Football People have a campaign to pursue and we march onto Oldham next week. ‘All Town Are we’.

See : www.gameofthepeople.com


A Jolley end to a days campaigning.

30.03.19 Oldham 2 v 0 GTFC

Oldham v GTFC Ticket
Oldham v GTFC Ticket

Clearly a town largely built up in the onslaught of the industrial revolution with subsequent significant social and political history. But also having the proud claim to be the birthplace of the Chip Shop, the birthplace of Yates Wine Lodge (1884) a temperance destination for suitable refreshment and the birthplace in 1961 of the tubular bandage.

The wider Metropolitan Borough of Oldham can claim to be the birthplace of Mike Atherton, Physicist Brian Cox, Eric Sykes, both Cannon and Ball, Deirdre Barlow, the Verger Maurice Yeatman from Walmington-on-Sea and the Inspirational Carpets.

Oldham Athletic Association F.C. was born in 1895 as Pine Villa F.C.
The most successful era was 1982-1994 under manager Joe Royle. Promoted to the First Division in 1991-94 and thus members when that division was renamed.

The Latics have been owned since Jan. 2018 by Moroccan Football Agent Abdallah Lemsagam following raids in November 2017 by HMRC......be careful what is wished for.

Players appearing for the Mighty Mariners and the Latics include some more infamous than others, Paul Futcher, Jean-Paul Kalala, Oumare Tounkara and Scott Vernon.

Match fitness recovered following the journey home the previous week facilitated a more regular journey north and a widely anticipated pre-match ritual. Despite initial incomplete directions from an aspiring orienteering Compliant Officer, Chesterfield Tour Manager, Gareth guided The Histon Mariners into the well chosen Ashton Arms.

On arrival Chesterfield Mariner Officers were studiously listening to the reminiscing of Lord Roy about this week in March 1939 when the record semi-final gate outside of Wembley saw GTFC play Wolves....
....His Lordship missed the game because of confusion over taxi arrangements.
The well known double-act from Louth, Alister and Jason on parade and as ever fully prepared for action.
A brace of heavily disguised Old Gits acknowledge another sterling performance from ‘Roy Cropper’.
A less disguised Old Git gives an enthusiastic solo rendition of ‘All Town Are We’
Mr. and Mrs. Fish accompany visitors Lou and a bashful Mark, obviously aware of his White Rose connections. but also of the Town-Huddersfield shared association of Mr. Shankly.
Cleethorpes Mariner Gerry and Grimsby Mariner Richard display a more considered worldly wise analysis.

A first half performance that warranted a half time lead ended with a 0 v 1 deficit. Not an unfamiliar scenario and a failing that needs correcting next season. A third transfer window and 12 months experience should enable the M.J. vision/plan to be given realistic assessment.
Town had more chances and probably the two best chances of the first half. The bar denied Woolford. A great save denied Öhman. Such details do not get mentioned when looking up the result!
A more even but pedestrian second half saw Town eventually punished 10 minutes from the end for not capitalising on those first half and a couple of second half, half chances.
The oft hysteria heard about systems tends to blur the simple fact that players make systems look good or bad. Obviously the right players are needed to play in their best positions and this takes time to create. Repeatedly - a work in progress inevitably takes observers on a roller coaster ride.

Without doubt the little bit of extra guile of Embleton is missed and also the delivery of Pringle from the left is also a factor overlooked.Town’s best spell this season occurred when Embleton, Pringle and Vernam played together, supported by The Hess and Clifton.

Histon Mariners Man of the Match : JAKE HESSENTALLER

06.04.19 GTFC 0 v 2 Stevenage

13.04.19 Morecambe 1 v 1 GTFC

Morecambe v GTFC Ticket
Morecambe v GTFC Ticket

Not always a happy hunting ground for the Mighty Mariners whose season was viewed by some as virtually over but with the Shrimpers battling to confirm survival and on a reasonable run of form, the fixture would provide an insight into squad character.

The list of players who have played for both clubs is surprisingly long. One can only speculate that some players are particularly keen on the sea air but find the choice between the east and west coast a difficult decision to make. Phil Jevons, Joe Widdowson, Scott Brown, Padraig Amond, Marcus Marshall, Zac Mills, Alex Whitmore ( and Richard Brodie ) is not the complete list but more than illustrates the point.

Nearby Lancaster the chosen base for preparations proved a most agreeable choice by Chesterfield Tour Manager, Tefman. Lord Roy’s inimitable directions ensured the Histon Mariners successful arrival and as ever he was on hand to welcome them aboard.

Patience is not a quality readily associated with football supporters in the modern era. As in life in general, immediacy is the order of the day. At the start of the season, a work in progress, a project, the long term, a new direction were all terms in regular use in ‘Town Talk’, when a mid-table finish appeared generally acceptable. Within such parameters, when the roller coaster is on the ascendancy all appears well, according to plan. When descent follows, doom and gloom rapidly engulfs all conversation and in frustration peripheral issues are taken ownership of to supplement arguments as to why the plan is failing. Lack of investment, poor recruitment, poor tactical acumen, lack of fitness, of heart and skill, wrong systems, constant team changes and not enough team changes are all factors used to explain downturns often a week or two after many of the converse explanations are used to explain the progress being made.

The President of Hasland WMC as The Voice Of Reason used his vast experience to chair ‘State of the Nation’ discussions.

Gareth The Engine pays close attention to The Voice of Reason, always mindful of future wellbeing.
The Engine’s optimism surprises and confuses Tefman...
....until both concur that they are fortune to benefit so regularly from the naturally innate authority of The Voice Of Reason.

Inspired, ‘Roy Cropper’ and The Engine immediately take it upon themselves to enrich The Campaign following the outcome of an intense session...

... meanwhile after such an intense session Tefman is rewarded with a celebratory Coca Cola with ice and lemon!!!

The March onwards to The Globe Arena assumed a well trodden path as confusion reigned in the search for a taxi.

Simultaneously news emerged from a northern estate of a display of inherited characteristic characteristics by Charlotte, who managed to get lost in the car park whilst Chesterfield Joe contemplated another season in Division 5.

Once at the Globe Arena, leading lights of The B&W Army display enthusiastic solidarity with His Lordship. One of Alister or Jason represent Louth Mariners alongside a brace of Old Gits.

After an inspirational display of leadership The Voice was clearly relieved as The Campaign marched on.

An early alert was put out that Judith Chalmers was leading the The Old Gits on tour elsewhere. Immediately leading Hebden Bridge Mariner, Carl sought out a lonely Pete to ensure he had a mate.

A charge of not competing in recent games has been levelled by those disappointed as the season unfolded Given The Shrimpers ongoing struggle to confirm Division 4 status, The Mighty Mariners were equally competitive. Fluidity, skill levels, momentum and confidence are different matters.
After the opening 15 minutes Town were the better of two lower half teams - albeit one being safe! Of course the ongoing struggle to score feeds the ever present fear that once behind defeat is imminent - like an irritating mosquito this temporary situation is a diversion from the longer term issues and needs to be unceremoniously squashed.
A similar second half with Charles Vernam probably Town’s best player. A decent run of games would benefit Vernam who could well feature prominently next season.
Danny Collins looked solid aided by the lack of pace from the Morecambe attack. Collins has been a good servant for Town but as his career winds down, Öhman, Davis, Hall-Johnson, Whitmore and Pollock will have all benefitted from playing alongside the Welsh International.
A penalty 10 minutes from time was a cruel blow in itself, but that it clearly wasn’t a penalty seemed to typify much of of Town’s season. McKeown clearly got to the ball first, had he not he would have been sent off. Once converted the worst appeared likely.
But The Mighty Mariners had competed and continued to do so. And reward came via Hendrie and Davis down right through an assist from Dennis to Vernam to hit the equaliser.
50 points achieved with 4 games to play would probably have been taken prior to the start of the season and even more so after the opening game v Forrest Green.

Histon Mariners Man of the Match : CHARLES VERNAM


19.04.19 Colchester Utd 1 v 0 GTFC

Colchester Utd v GTFC Ticket
Colchester Utd v GTFC Ticket

Originally the Colchester German Prisoner of War Camp became the UK’s only Military Glass House where troublesome National Service Recruits were held - including the Krays. It is now the Military Corrective Training Centre. The more exuberant visiting football supporters could undoubtedly benefit from giving the relevant game a miss in order to take advantage of such an erstwhile institution.

Notable births in Colchester include the pioneer of Red and Yellow Cards, Ken Aston. Himself a referee in the 1966 World Cup, was allegedly concerned by confusion during and after the infamous Quarter Final England v Argentina game. Thinking about the problem whilst driving home, and stuck at traffic lights led to the eureka Red/Yellow moment. Surgeon Royal and Ripper Suspect, Sir William Gull, artist John Constable and Britpop Blur reflect the diverse heritage of England’s first Capital City.

Footballing servants of both clubs include ‘98 Legend Aiden Davidson, Frenchman Thomas Pinault, Scott Neilson, Harry Pell and Scott Vernon.

Selected venue, The Purple Dog, courtesy of Tefman, proved as ever an inspired choice. Accurate and precise directions courtesy of a higher authority.

With the end of the season approaching, generations of well bred leadership skills clearly came to the fore when Squire Hasland took the opportunity to look forward to 2019-2020 with Histon Mariners Logistics Manager, Roy Cropper.
Whilst the future of the Campaign was the priority issue on the agenda, included in A.O.B., was the pro’s and con’s of using SatNav, indoors, at Hasland Mansions and future Taxi Procurement Policy.



In the natural order of things Tefman acted as Butler, clearing up after the meeting of minds.
Onto the Three Wise Monkeys...
...where Tefman was briefed on future duties.

An appropriately named refreshment bar at the Colchester Community Ground proved a magnet for appropriate members of the B&W Army.

Stuart, Pete and Big Steve, ‘Wanna Be LegEnds’.
A true Legend of Hasland quenches his thirst, alongside a star-struck Old Git, as Tefman pays due deference (just).
Inside the ground a Rail LegEnd rather sheepishly expresses appreciation to Town Legend Neil Woods, whose long term work with Town’s Youth is increasingly evident in First Team fixtures.

The U’s started as a team seeking a play-off spot would be expected to, and put Town under considerable pressure. Whilst the score could have been considerably more the only goal came from an appalling back pass from Martyn Woolford. Even when Town ride the little luck they are perceived to get, they still manage to shoot themselves in the foot.
Second half substitutions (Clifton and Ahkeem Rose) injected a little urgency but to no real effect and in an honest assessment the game could be viewed as the second most disappointing performance of the season, the home fixture against Cambridge being the clear winner.
Danny Collins early bath was indicative of proceedings.
A commendable servant for Town and a player of undoubted ability, experience and leadership qualities but in the late autumn/early winter of his career, it is the future that is now the priority and the shaping of a younger squad is the task in hand.
The season was effectively and disappointedly over.
Part of the progress made during this season was that The Mighty Mariners fate was decided earlie than might have been expected. Of course it is the way of the current world to want instant success but it was at the outset of the ‘Jolley Era’, that a project began and the resultant rolla-coaster ride was only to be expected. We trust that the remaining games will be used to shape the next stage of ‘the project in hand’

Histon Mariners Man of the Match : 323 B&W ARMY STALWARTS


Post-match, front runner for Histon Mariner player of the season, Jake Hessenthaler, expresses appreciation to Logistics Director, Roy Cropper for the ongoing Campaign and support throughout the season.

See : www.gameofthepeople.com

22.04.19 GTFC 1 v 0 Carlisle United

29.04.19 Notts.County 2 v 1 GTFC

Notts.County v GTFC Ticket
Notts.County v GTFC Ticket

The City of Caves has had over 500 sandstone caves underneath its streets for well over 1000 years. Once famous for its Goose Fair, the home of English lace-making (around Hockley), the original home of Boots the Chemist (1849), and Raleigh Cycles (1887). Now whilst the Robin Hood Legend continues it is infamous as the home of more than 62,500 students, the third largest student population in England probably.

Local hostelry, Ye Trip To Jerusalem, built into the sandstone caves, claims to be the oldest such venue in England. A reasonable claim though the caves were more likely used as cool beer stores in the medieval era. The current structure dates from the 17/18 century.

Histon Mariner Chairman gives an informed opinion to the Dean of Fitness and Restoration.

The Bell, in the market square with medieval cellars is probably the oldest standing establishment of its kind in Nottingham.

Inside The Bell, the Chairman assesses the respective claims over cinnamon infused tea.

Well known Boggers or Nottinghamians include Thomas Cranmer (Protestant reformer, burnt at the stake, wrote First English Prayer Book) John Boot (founder of Boots), DH Lawrence (Sons and Lovers), Ken Clarke (Tory Remoaner) and murderous doctor, Harold Shipman.

Major football figures born in Nottingham, Jeff Astle, Peter Taylor and Andy Cole.

The list of players who have played for both the Mighty Mariners and the Magpies is only exceeded by the Town-Imp list and includes Gary Birtles, Paul Reece, Mike Edwards, Paul Bolland, Nicky Fenton, Alex Rodman, Ben Davies, Mitch Rose and Kevin Dennis.

The journey from Cambridge gave Histon Mariner Chairman not only time to reflect on the seasons efforts but also to look ahead to 2019-20.

The Chairman shares his vision of a bright future with the Dean of Fitness.

Nottingham was incredulous at the arrival of the Chairman led Histon Mariners. And anxious to spread his vision and renowned bonhomie, the Chairman forged ahead with relentless gusto. In addition to the venues above, his relentless onslaught took in;

The Canalhouse.....
.....where a principled Tefman kept up with the fury of social media activity, G.the Engine kept up with train timetable changes and Lord Roy puzzled out taxi alternatives.
The Vat and Fiddle.
The Ned Ludd....
....where the Chairman had his appetite whetted by the forthcoming Ladyboy festival.....!

B&W Army regulars Sgt.Dodd and a grateful elderly lady, appreciate the exceptional efforts of the Chairman, his analysis of Nottingham hostelries, his ongoing inclusive all embracing approach, his vision of the future and his heartfelt and open nature undoubtedly provided an end season highlight.

The realistic expectations of 1209 travelling Mariners were, to witness the possible sad fate of The Magpies, to see the introduction/progress of Town’s youngsters or simply a day out prior to the summer break rather than expect an evident display of a finished article.
However, even the presence of The Chairman could nor quite compensate for the severity of the wind which made the day a contender for coldest trip of the season.

Ahkeem Rose and Joe Grayson were handed starts as opportunities continue to present themselves ahead of squad re-evaluation over the summer.
The reverse of last season, when it was Town whose plight was yet to be determined. A fairly even, though less frantic than might have been expected, goalless first half. Little goalmouth action at either end; Davis and Whitmore looked comfortable together as they usually do and Reece Hall-Johnson is proving a usefully versatile member of the evolving squad.
As expected The Magpies raised the tone of the second half taking the lead 3 minutes into the second half adding a second about 15 minutes later.
Max Wright, Rumarn Burrell and Harry Cardwell we’re second half substitutes, giving Town a very youthful appearance.
Little of note in the final quarter other than a strikers finish from Alex Whitmore.

Onwards and Upwards


04.05.19 GTFC 2 v 0 Crewe Alexandra

GTFC v Crewe Alexandra Ticket
GTFC v Crewe Alexandra Ticket

After the extraordinary performance of the Chairman at Nottingham the previous week, Histon Mariner President Maurice was on hand to wrap up the seasons campaign.

Town Impresario Kevin introduced The President to the Blundel faithful.
Past Legends recognised ongoing efforts, and were admirably represented by a true gentleman, Josh Gowling currently starring for Hereford Utd.
The current squad were represented by Senior Pro., Danny Collins.
Before the final game of the season Michael Jolley shows his appreciation with a presentation to the President.

The President also drew attention to the final appearance of the Blundel floodlights inherited from Molineux in 1959, which are scheduled for replacement ready for the 2019-20 season.

The final game provided the opportunity to end the season with a win, and by doing so release some positivity that would feed off the youngest squad assembled by the Mighty Mariners for some time.

The wind was always going to be a very significant factor in the game and so it proved in the proverbial game of two halves. 2 first half goals (Vernam & Grayson) with the wind and a second half essentially defending against a wind assisted Alexandra.
Hall-Johnson and Grayson provided good support from the flanks to The Hess and Hendrie in mid-field.
The recent experiment of Luke Hendrie in the middle has provided food for thought.
Overall, Town looked reasonably comfortable, though difficult to assess to what extent, in a last game of the season.
A different second half put the spotlight on different players. Davis and Whitmore looked solid together - they usually do when together. Whitmore as a no nonsense ‘old school centre-half’ rarely makes head lines and is often under-rated. James McKeown had a 20 minute spell which if televised during a premier-theatre production would have been aired regularly throughout the close season.

Max Wright’s first start was useful, he showed signs of vision. Joe Grayson appeared to be benefiting from a run of games. Charles Vernam displays regular flashes of real ability but now needs consistency to nail a regular starting place whilst Harry Cardwell has to justify Michael Jolley’s faith by adding quality to his considerable effort. Not forgetting Akeem Rose and Elliot Whitehouse and with Burrell, Curran, Pollock and Buckley getting a taste of first team demands the nature of the project in hand appears self evident.

Histon Mariners Man of the Match : JOE GRAYSON


No doubt a mixed season always induces mixed opinions. On the downside things did not progress at apace supporters nowadays demand. The reasons are multifarious, some visible, many, if not most, hidden. In the heat of the moment opinions arise from the heart, hopefully in the cold light of day more balanced views emerge from the head. The positives though, did outweigh the negatives.
Last seasons dramatic escape created a feeling of euphoric achievement. This season the staccato crawl, towards early safety, slowly sunk in without any accompanying euphoria. Having attained safety it was possible to adopt a degree of experimentation with the thin squad that was left. This was never likely to witness explosive excitement but alongside the ‘blooding’ of home-grown youngsters, it is hoped the target of a harvest of plenty, is within sight.
These factors in conjunction with the opportunity to plan early because of the settled status, gave Michael Jolly a platform of opportunity not seen for some time.

The first game of the 2019-20 season will kick-off on August 3rd, when the B&W Army will reconvene - The Campaign never stops.



Up The Mariners! 

Thanks to css zen garden for the layout.