BROWNE ON THE BALL: Dapper Den’s left Boston United... but he won’t be forgotten

Carl Piergianni.
Carl Piergianni.

Very few from these parts knew very much about Dennis Greene before he took control of his first Boston United match back in March 2013, a 4-0 victory over Gloucester City.

What sort of person was he going to be? A tracksuit manager? A suited and booted boss?

As it transpired, over the next three-and-a-half years, Greene turned out to be a flat cap, sheepskin coat, pink shirt, cardigan, skiny jeans, tank top, shooting jacket, bobble hat and sockless loafers kind of guy.

He had a colourful wardrobe and brought colourful football - even colourful language - to the Jakemans Stadium.

But by half time at Witton Albion on Saturday the brightness had literally faded.

Hidden in the grey, engulfing mist which caused the contest to be abandoned at half time, stood in his puffa coat and ushanka - the type of hat you’d probably be more likely to see in Gorky Park than Wincham Park - Greene had taken charge of his final half of football with the Pilgrims.

With United struggling near the bottom of the National League North, and following up a 9-2 thumping at Fylde with a lacklustre 45 minutes against a side two divisions below them in the standings and trailing 1-0, it felt as if perhaps it was time for a change.

The foot was firmly on the pedal, but the tank was just empty.

Sure enough, two days later David Newton, who had adressed the squad in the dressing room prior to kick off in that half match, called Greene and the pair agreed it was best to part ways.

Greene’s tenure ended with the man a Marmite manager.

Some fans had seen enough and wanted him out. Social media arguments didn’t help, even an apology in the club’s matchday magazine didn’t appease some.

But not everyone was rejoicing at his departure. It wasn’t until Greene suggested last month that maybe it was time to call it quits, that those in support of him began to let their feelings really be known.

But no matter what your opinon of the outgoing boss is, it would be unfair to remember him purely on this season’s performances.

Yes, there was underachievement but, in fairness, that freakishly long list of injuries should not be forgotten.

After close to two years of mediocre mid-table football, Greene arrived and brought, if anything, hope back to the club.

For the next three campaigns United fell short of their promotion targets, but each time they had something to play for right until their final game of the season.

In his 155 league games, Greene’s United won 71, drew 36, scored 278 and conceded 227. Entertaining, at least.

Greene was the man who gave a second chance to Carl Piergianni after his relegation with Corby and gave Dayle Southwell and Ricky Miller platforms to showcase their exceptional goalscoring talents.

He was the manager who gave Scott Garner a sense of belonging after turning out for five clubs in four years, and saw enough talent in youngsters like Kaine Felix and Jay Rollins to take a punt.

He even gave kids from the academy a chance.

Not that you’ll probably care, but he even won the Lincs Senior Trophy.

But now the final whistle has blown. It will be soon the turn of someone else to have their chance and see what they can get from this squad, where individual talents are yet to fulfil their potential as a team.

Dennis Greene is gone but, no matter what your opinion, he’s left enough of a lasting impression that he definitely won’t be forgotten.