Grimsby Town legend Tony Ford backs Mariners for promotion to League Two
GRIMSBY Town legend Tony Ford has tipped the current crop of Mariners to make it back into the Football League – and stay there.
Ford, who signed for his home-town club within months of leaving school, went on to become one of the most respected players in the English game.
He is still one of only two outfield players in British history to have played more than 1,000 competitive matches – over 400 of them at Blundell Park during his two spells at the club.
Now living in Rochdale, the former Wintringham Grammar School pupil follows the fortunes of his boyhood team from afar, and is delighted to see them sitting proudly at the top of the Blue Square Bet Premier.
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And, speaking to the Telegraph, Ford tipped Rob Scott and Paul Hurst’s men to finally seal their Football League return this season.
“As a Grimsby lad, it would be great to see my team back in the League again after what’s been a couple of difficult seasons out of it,” said the 53-year-old.
“I still keep an eye on Grimsby, obviously they are my home-town club – it’s fantastic to see them doing so well.
“They’ve had a few years in that division – many more and you’re almost forgotten as a League team.
“The longer you are down there, the harder it becomes to get out, so it’s great to see them on an upward curve once again.
“I hope I don’t jinx it, but, looking at recent results, I do think they have a real chance now.”
If the Mariners do realise their promotion dream in May, Ford believes the current squad has the ability to be “comfortable” at the higher level.
He continued: “Looking at it, I think with the players they’ve got, they will have a really competitive side there.
“The main thing is that if they were to go up, I believe they would be comfortable in the league above and could stay there and push on.
“Before they went down, they had a couple of years of fighting against relegation, so it would be great to be back in the league, comfortable, and looking the other way,” he added.
Predominately a flying winger during his career, Ford is pleased to see that the current Mariners side are playing with two wide men.
“Fans love to see their teams play with two exciting wingers,” he continued.
“If you look back over the years, people want to see two quick wingers who take players on.
“Wingers certainly bring excitement and a goal threat.”