GRIMSBY Town fans will be saddened to hear of the death of Garry Liddell who played for Town between 1977 and 1981, a period which saw the club move from Division 4 doldrums to Division 2, and threatening to storm straight through to the First Division (the Premier League now).
Garry was a Scot, born in Stirling in August 1954, and attended the same school as Billy Bremner, being spotted by the same scout! After joining Heart of Midlothian, as a junior in 1968, he went on to Duniplace Thistle ..... and then to Leeds United, the reigning English Champions, and who were no lower than 3rd for the next five seasons! Whilst at Leeds, he was selected for Scotland's World Youth Cup Finals squad in 1972, but had to withdraw due to injury.
He joined the Mariners in March 1977, scoring a goalm on his debut in a 1-1 draw with Rotherham. A flavour of the side can be given from the other members that day .... Wainman, Yates, Kev Moore, Waters, Hanvey, Gray, Lewis, Partridge, Liddell, Boylen and Brolly. Despite an unbeaten 5-match run towards the end of the season, Town were relegated - but the nucleus of the side that saw two successive promotions was in place.
Town's time in that first season in Division 4 was reasonably successful, but the highlight was probably the three games against Southampton in the FA Cup Round 3. Unfortunately, although Garry hit the net 12 times that season, he couldn't do so against the Saints - indeed Joe Waters scored the only Mariners goal in the three matches. Garry's strike partners that season included youngsters Terry Donovan and Kev Drinkell, with Tony Ford frequently on the wing.
The following season (1978-9) was to see Town promoted under John Newman, but in November, Garry broke his leg against Aldershot. He was back by March (his second game on his return being against Aldershot!)
The following season was even more successful for the Mariners, but for Garry, ill-luck returned in a second broken leg a year after his first, at Sheffield United. The Mariners, and Garry had just completed a seven-league-match winning streak interspersed with (for Garry) the 2-0 defeat at Derby in the second replay v Wolves.
Garry had to sit out the rest of the season whilst his leg was repaired. The following season, he made 7 more league appearances for the Mariners, before being transferred to where it had all started - Hearts - in February 1981. However, in March 1982, he rejoined Billy Bremner, now boss at Doncaster Rovers, where he played alongside ex-Mariners Cawthorne and Clive Wigginton.
A neck injury forced his retirement from the game and he became an executive officer with the Employment Tribunal Service in Leeds.
He died in Falkirk, with all his family around him. His son also played professional football, lining up against the Mariners on several occasions!
Picture: Garry at a reunion at Blundell Park (Back row, fifth from the left).