FOLLOWING on from our campaign to get Padraig Amond a call up for the Republic of Ireland, we thought we'd get Kirky to look back through history at the Grimsby Town players who have represented their county.
The Mariners have used quite a number of international players over the last 120 years or so, with Pat Glover, seven-times capped for Wales probably being the one most Mariners fans think of when playing at the highest level. Pat scored seven in those seven appearances including one against England in 1936, when Wales beat all the other Home nations and ended up as runaway Champions! That season Pat scored in every Home international to register 5 in total! There were far fewer international matches at the time, both in the differing competitions such as the World Cup, or the Euros, or in friendlies, so it is interesting to contemplate just how many caps Glover would have won had the current multiplicity of games been the norm back then.
If you wanted to count a Town player in the World Cup, then you'd have to wait until 1958, when the competition took place in Sweden. Unless you could afford the fare to Malmo or Norrkoping then grainy TV pictures were your only fleeting glimpse of Town legend Johnny Scott, who, if memory serves was selected to play at inside forward rather than his usual outside right spot. In June, his Northern Ireland team beat Czechoslovakia - the very same team that the Mariners, including Scotty, had drawn against in Bratislava earlier in the month! He helped the team reach the quarter finals in a competition that saw all four home nations taking part!
Other famous Mariners to be internationals included other favourites of the 1930s playing for England - Bestall against Northern Ireland in 1935, Harry Betmead in an England team that beat Finland on their own patch by 8-0! George Tweedy in goal as Hungary were thrashed 6-2, as well as some uncapped reserves - Higgins and McCairns in the 1890s, and Charlie Craven in 1935.
Wales saw the earliest Town international when Thomas Chapman made his final appearance for his country alongside fellow Mariner Hugh Morris, possibly the only time two Mariners have played in the same international team. The match saw England win 4-0. Richard Morris played for Wales whilst at Town in 1907 when he scored one of Wales goals in a 3-2 victory over Ireland. Richard had previously fought in the Boer War!
The only Town player to play for Ireland (i.e. the whole of the unified Ireland) was born in the USA! William Andrews started life in Kansas City, but was raised in Ireland, and whilst playing for Town won caps against England (won) and Scotland (lost). He even played a game for Ireland for the Titanic Fund just before his move to Blundell Park.
Jack Coulter played for Northern Ireland in the 30s, but more within the memory span of Mariners fans will be Aidan Davidson (lost 3-1 to Germany, Belfast in 1997)and Chris Nicholl who played a couple of games whilst wearing the stripes.
Joey Waters played for the Republic in 1976 and 1979, scoring in the 3-3 draw with Turkey in Ankara.
And who can forget Big Keith Alexander who played twice for St Lucia in 1990!
Here's a reminder of why we think Podge should get a call up. #AmondForIreland