Ex-Grimsby Town striker Steve Livingstone says his time at Blundell Park was the pinnacle of his professional football career.
Livingstone, now 49, made more than 300 appearances for the Mariners between 1993 and 2003, scoring 51 goals for Town.
The centre-forward featured in the Mariners’ Wembley double victories over Bournemouth and Northampton Town in 1998, as he scored nine goals for Alan Buckley’s side that campaign.
And Livingstone, who also played for Chelsea, Coventry City, and Blackburn Rovers, has said that his time at Blundell Park was the best part of his 18-year career.
Speaking exclusively on iFollow Mariners, he said: “When you’ve been away for so long, and you come back, you think about all the times you were here, and everything just starts flooding back.
“The Wembley double season in 1997-98 was unbelievable. That year we didn’t start off too well, but then it all just came together.
“The squad we had in the Wembley year when we came back up, it was one of the best squads in that league, and certainly for a club of this size.
“It was the best part of my career ever. All the years at Grimsby Town – it’s difficult to describe.
“You don’t know how good it was until you haven’t got it. And when you look back, you look back with pride – they were good times.”
And Livingstone said legendary Town manager Alan Buckley’s high standards provided the platform for the Mariners to compete in Division One for so many years in the 1990s and early 2000s.
He said: “It was a bit of a shock to the system at first – everyone knows Alan Buckley was a bit of a taskmaster.
“He tried to get the best out of everybody, and you had to be spot on every day – and if you weren’t, you knew about it, and you’d pay the price.
“And you look back, and that’s the best way it could’ve been – especially for this club, fighting against such big teams all the time.
“He wanted you to be on top of your game 100 per cent all the time, and if you didn’t do it his way you were dropped, so you had to do it his way, and you soon learnt if you wanted to play.
“He was hard sometimes, other times he was decent, but overall he was the same with everybody – he had no favourites – he just treated everybody the same.
“We knew what he wanted, and we had to give it to him, and that’s the way it stayed throughout the time he was here.”
Watch the full interview on iFollow Mariners.