Grimsby Town skipper Craig Disley has spoken of the emotional moment that he was told he wouldn’t be offered a new contract at the club yesterday.
Speaking to Mariners PlayerHD this morning, the 35-year-old said: “Yesterday was a tough day. I was quite fortunate there wasn’t many people at the ground at the time, I had to get myself out of there quickly before I started bursting into tears.
“It’s not nice when you see people upset, and I’ve been here for six years and grown an affinity with a lot of people, and made a lot friends and I’m sure I’m sure I’m going to keep in touch with all those people over the years to come.
“When you’ve been at a place for a long time, you get an attachment to somewhere. It’s not a total surprise – I was half expecting it, but when it came round yesterday it was still pretty hard to take.
“It’s been 24 hours now so I’ve sort of come to terms with it a little bit and I’m feeling a bit more positive about things. We’ve had a good stint together and now we move on to something new.
“I don’t think I could’ve envisaged six years later that I’d still be at the club. I came to the club to get into the Football League, and it took a long time to get there but I’m leaving the club now in a much better place than when I signed so in terms of that it’s job done.
“It’s been a good six years. There have been a lot of ups and downs along the way but overall it’s been great.
“I’ve got a couple of holidays, I’m going away, so I’ll be sat next to the phone hoping there’s a phone call for me and something comes along that fits me and my family. Hopefully I can keep playing football for the foreseeable future so fingers crossed I can look forward to a new challenge at a new club and do well for somebody else.”
Disley, who made over 200 appearances and scored 40 goals for Town, also said the memories he’s made at Blundell Park will stay with him forever.
He said: “Getting promoted last May at Wembley was incredible. The disappointments leading up to that day were all totally wiped out. That 90 minutes, an incredible day, and incredible celebrations afterwards, and a moment that will stick with me forever.
“We’ve had the Wembley finals as well, obviously disappointed the way they both ended but still fantastic occasions to play at Wembley and to lead the side out four times there in my time here is absolutely incredible. Some people only get to play there once in their career so to actually captain the side four times for the club has been amazing.
“And some great days out as well along the way – the inflatables at Barnet, wigs at Woking – all fantastic days that sort of brought the club, the players, and the fans together. Some great memories and I think when I do look back and take stock of everything that has happened over the last six years, I can think about those times with a smile on my face.
“Looking back, to score all those goals in my time here it’s been something I’m very proud of as well, considering I scored one in my first season which, as a goal-scoring midfielder, wasn’t a great return.
“I’d like to think I’ve chipped in with some important goals at some important times, some big goals like at Barnet and Forest Green away and obviously the token couple every season against Lincoln was always nice as well.”
The midfielder also fondly remembered his header in the 1-0 home win over Braintree in February 2015, which drew comparisons to one of the Premier League’s all-time top scorers.
“Obviously getting compared to Robin van Persie was quite an accolade, so it was a great goal and one of my favourites definitely because it was a great ball from Mags (Carl Magnay) and a good header, and it was a very tight game at the time and a big win for us.
“And after Paul Hurst compared it to van Persie, #vanDisley came from that. It wasn’t quite the same calibre as van Persie’s goal, but it was up there,” he said.
And he thanked all Mariners fans for their support during his six-year tenure at the club.
He said: “The response I’ve had on Twitter over the last 24 hours has been phenomenal, my phone’s been going non-stop, so I’d like to thank everyone for that.
“I’ve read each message and there’s some really touching ones, so thank you for that. I wish them all the best for the future, going forward with the team next season and I’m sure we’ll have a good side next year and have a real crack at the league.
“Our relationship has been great, especially the last couple of years. It’s grown real strong and I think the reaction on Twitter and Instagram over the last couple of days has shown that so I’d just like to say thanks to them for everything, they’ve been great for me.”
Disley also expressed his happiness that the club will be hosting a benefit game as a sign of appreciation for his efforts during his time at Blundell Park.
“It’s incredible. The gaffer mentioned it to me yesterday, and I’m absolutely delighted that the club hold me in that esteem to offer me that, so fingers crossed we can get something sorted with that.
“It’ll be a good day and a good occasion for everyone to enjoy, and hopefully we may even be able to get some of the old boys back down for the game, that’d be great,” he said.
Watch this interview with Diz on our Youtube Channel.