Video: Tommy Docherty recalls Grimsby Town's 'nice gesture' on visit to club
BEING given a parcel of fish for playing at Blundell Park was among the happy memories of footballing legend Tommy Docherty's career.
The Scottish footballer and manager spoke exclusively to the Grimsby Telegraph before entertaining a crowd of fans at the Old Clee Social Club on Saturday.
The event raised vital funds for the club, which has just welcomed new chairman Dave Morris, who said the star guest was the perfect way to "kick off" his new role.
Docherty – known as The Doc – told the Grimsby Telegraph: "I played at Grimsby many years ago. My idol was Bill Shankly, who was also the manager at Grimsby. I followed Bill to Preston and into the national team when I played for Scotland. One of my particularly fond memories was how in each position they laid a parcel of fish for the players. They did that for every club that went there. It was a very nice gesture from Grimsby Town.
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"Then, of course, Graham Taylor was there, too. I have great memories at the club. Happy days." More than 110 members of the Old Clee Social Club listened to the 84-year-old ex-Manchester United manager's speech, who was renowned for his "no-nonsense" approach to football – morals he feels the beautiful game could benefit from today.
He added: "To get paid for something you love doing is brilliant, but at the same time something that is wrong with the game today. The thing that annoys me the most is surgeons who save people's lives get paid peanuts, yet you can get a very ordinary footballer who gets £75,000 a week. They sing the national anthem when playing for the country and I don't think they know the words or can't be bothered to sing it. Things like that need to change. There are a few great pros, a few lads that would do anything for you, but 75 per cent are not interested.
"At the same time I think you have to be fair, not biased if you reprimand a player you have to forget it after that, they have been punished. What makes a great manager is having great players."
The star's appearance marked the beginning of a host of sporting legends coming to the social club, which like many, is struggling.
Dave said: "This has been a great way to kick things off. There is a definite buzz in the atmosphere.
"All we want is for the club to do well, to sit and hear the till ringing all night. All pubs and clubs are struggling, so, to put something different on, is a fantastic way to do that. If this takes off we will invite more guest speakers from football, rugby and cricket."
Among the fans was life-long Man U fan Robbie Smith. He said: "It has been great. As a boy, Tommy Docherty, pictured, was one of the first players that got me interested. It is an honour to have him here and a great idea by the club."
Ex-Grimsby Town player Matt Bloomer was also in awe. He added: "All of my family have played football for Town. I have heard stories about Docherty growing up so to hear what he has to say in person is great. I still listen to him on the radio today. He knows his football, he has old-school values, which have got lost in recent years."