Lloyd Griffith Talks Mariners, Singing and Comedy

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Lloyd is an up and coming comedian that started in 2009 but has already been selected for prestigious Edinburgh Shows, performed at sell out AAA Stand-Up in the Pleasance Courtyard and now regularly performs at the UK’s biggest comedy clubs. Not content with this, he also is an incredible professional signer performing with choirs at Westminster Abbey & Windsor. This is enough to make anyone a little smug, but Lloyd keeps his feet firmly on the ground, and strongly supports his local team Grimsby Town.

Hi Lloyd, thanks for the interview, we know you’ve got a busy gig schedule at the moment. So, singing, great comedy and Grimsby. Do those three usually come hand in hand?

Well supporting Grimsby does mean that I have a lot of stories to tell on stage, what with comedy coming from tragedy. I also once sang on the pitch at Blundell Park with the choir that I sang with in Grimsby when I was 18. I was reluctant, my friends said I should do it, I did it, and then they started chanting ‘who’s the fat pr*ck in the blue’. It was me.

When was the moment you gave up on waiting for the phone call from Blundell Park to come through and focus on other career options? I was 30 before I gave up waiting for the call from my club. I blamed O2.

Well I used to go to the summer camps when I was younger and John Cockerill (youth team manager at time, and then later manager) took me under his wing. He knew I was a good singer and so told my Mum that I should concentrate on the singing – a nice way of being told I was rubbish. I still play football at least twice a week and like to think that one day I’ll get a call up to play for a non-league team. That’s the dream. I’m even sponsored by a goalkeeping glove company!! (http://www.great-save.com/ – THE GOALKEEPING EXPERTS)

How’s the tour going? Do any of your “fixtures” meet up with The Mariners, allowing you to get to any games?

I like to arrange gigging with going to see Grimsby, though sadly as we’ve declined the teams we play against don’t exactly have thriving comedy clubs (see Alfreton, Ebbsfleet, Dartford etc). My agent has a fixture list just in case.

During a little research I found out exactly how much rich history the Mariners actually had. Founded in 1878, players inc Hughie Gallagher, Neil Webb, Mendonca, Beasant, Tony Ford and more Wembley Finals in the last 8 years than Arsenal. What went wrong?

Well, where do I start? Probably 11 years ago when we were top of Division One (what is now the Championship). It went down hill from there. At the time I write this we are currently top of the Conference Premier, so we have dropped 72 places, a record Felix Baumgartner would be proud of. It wouldn’t be right for me to point the finger at one person, but we’ve had 13 managers in 10 years, I would assume a turnaround of roughly 140+ players in and out since then. John Fenty became the major shareholder in the club in 2002 and then Chairman two years later. He was then Chairman for 9 years. I’m sure it’s just coincidence. (Side point, since stepping down as Chairman in 2011 Grimsby have been doing quite well, again, probably coincidence).

Did cup runs including a Wembley trip help cause your current league predicament?

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I don’t think so, they probably helped break the fall in all honesty. Had it not been for those cup runs, we’d probably be in the same place as Boston, Chester and Darlington.

What’s the latest on the Chairman front?

I think he’s bloody great. (see above)

What past Manager would you want back? Or Does Joint Managers work?

I really like our current joint managers, they seem to have good ideas and I like the way we football at the moment. They have brought in some great players recently too. I’m not sure bringing anyone back would be a good idea. We had Alan Buckley as manager three times which was great, but a bit like going back out with an ex girlfriend (and a bloody good looking one). It’s great that we have Alan Buckley back now, working within the youth system.

How do you feel they’ve performed this season?

There have been some great performances where we’ve showed great promise and desire. There have also been some truly atrocious performances too.

Are you playing the right formation?

Think so. 442, with the occasional 433. I’m no football manager so wouldn’t like to comment on more technical points.

What is the priority this season?

Promotion, ideally automatic. It’s going to be a long season.

How do you rate your summer signings?

We’ve got some great signings, all taken different lengths of time to get going, but we’ve got some great talent; Aswad Thomas particularly stands out, a great deliverer of the ball. We’ve got three lads on loan at the moment too; Ross Hannah, Scott Neilson & Marcus Marshall who are all cracking and would love to have them as permanents.

Who are & how do you rate the strength of your rivals around you in the league?

There are a lot of teams in the Conference who we used to play in the league, teams like Wrexham, Luton, Macclesfield, Mansfield, Lincoln, Cambridge & Stockport. They all want to be out of this league too, so there is a lot of strength in this league.

Are you satisfied with your big game performances, and those bread & butter games you should be winning?

In any league, you should be winning every game. The conference can be a real mix of teams and we just need to play our best in each game. Sorry that sounds a real cliche.

Where might it fall apart & prevent promotion?

I don’t want to think about that. Too many years of hurt.

Where will you finish? (One word)

First

Thanks very much for your time Lloyd and good luck for the rest of the season.

Cheers mate

For all of Lloyds fixtures visit lloydgriffith.com – go see him at one of his gigs up and down the country. You can also follow him on Twitter @LloydGriffith [we’d recommend both, especially his pics that include a lazy transvestite].

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