by Steve Beasant on 22 February, 2015
Many people have been asking about my views on Grimsby Town Football Club’s proposed new football ground, and I have decided to place my opinion on record.
I have taken an interest in Grimsby Town for many years, but in recent decades I have only been the occasional visitor. I first started going to see Town in the early 1960s, when the Grimsby Boys Brigade often carried out a collection at the ground at half-time and that is how I became ‘hooked’ on football.
I saw the team go through all of the dark years, dropping down into the old Division Four and then in the late 60s – I became a permanent fixture at the ground, particularly when Laurie McMenemy became manager in the period 1971-73. During the season 1972-1973 I only missed one match home and away and that was an away game at Wrexham, owing to my sister’s wedding.
In 1974, I decided to take up refereeing and refereed for just over ten years – officiating in Junior League Matches, Grimsby Saturday League, Sunday League, Lindsey Sunday League and Lincolnshire League. I also refereed many local cup finals some of which took place on the ‘hallowed turf’, Blundell Park, ran the line in a number of pre-season Grimsby Town Football Matches (both home and away), and one of my last matches was to run the line at John Fraser’s Testimonial Game at Blundell Park in 1983.
Still to this day, the first football result that I look for is Grimsby Towns, and often when I am out and about knocking on doors I will be watching my news feed for highlights of Grimsby’s match.
Even in the days when I use to travel around England, looking at the grounds of other football clubs – I always thought that Blundell Park was in urgent need of modernisation or rebuilding – the work that’s taken place since was only a ‘stop gap’.
I can understand the frustration of fans and the people connected with the club.
I was elected to represent the East Marsh Ward in 2003, and sat on the Planning Committee the last time that a Planning Application was discussed – I voted in favour. It was good planning application but that project never saw the ‘light of day’.
And we are now where we are, unfortunately! My own view is that Grimsby Town Football Club cannot indefinitely continue at Blundell Park. However, for me as an elected member it would be unwise of me to comment on this website about the arguments of the present application – I do not want to prejudice any future decision (who knows after May, I just might be a member of the Planning Committee).
There are two reasons why I don’t want to commit myself – we have not yet seen the deposited Planning Application – only proposed ideas in the Grimsby Telegraph. Secondly, members who serve on the Planning Committee or indeed any other member should keep an open mind about a planning application until the day of the Planning Committee – they need to hear all of the arguments both for and against.
If, however, I was to be elected to Parliament I would fully support the Football Club in working on the very best outcome for ALL residents of Great Grimsby – many of whom are Grimsby Town Fans.
Also, I am sure that everyone will agree that this matter needs a speedy resolution for those residents who live nearby and those who are involved in the project.
I hope this answers some of the questions that have been posed to me in the recent days, and I hope people will respect my impartiality and trust that the Planning Process will come to correct decision in the end.Leave a comment