We continue our series of looking at this season’s opponents as we put Grimsby Town under the microscope.
Nickname: The Mariners
Club Colours: Black & White
Who are they?
Founded in 1878, Grimsby Town entered the Football League in 1892 when it was expanded to two divisions. The early 20th century was a successful period for the Mariners, with the 1930s seeing the club challenging in the First Division and reaching FA Cup semi-finals.
A slide down to Division Three followed, and Grimsby spent the majority of years there until the 1980s when they returned to the second division and pushed for promotion. But a further decline followed, and relegation to the Conference came in 2010 after several years of struggle.
The Mariners’ stay in non-league lasted only six years, as they returned to League Two via the play-offs.
Did You Know?
+ Traditionally, Grimsby were one of only two teams (the other being Hull City) who were allowed to play on Christmas Day due to the local fishing trade. The tradition has now disappeared.
+ In Grimsby’s 1939 FA Cup semi-final they were forced to play with an outfield player in goal for most of the match after stopper George Moulson picked up an injury, with rules forbidding substi-tutes for injuries.
+Ex-Carlisle boss Bill Shankly managed at Blundell Park after he left the Cumbrians, before resigning in 1954 due to a lack of ambition from the board.
How did they get on last season?
In their first season back in the Football League, Grimsby secured a respectable 14th place finish. They were competing for the play-offs for large parts of the season, and dealt well with managerial turnover.
Paul Hurst started the season in charge but was snapped up by Shrewsbury, with replacement Marcus Bignot later making way for Russell Slade who clinched that mid-table finish. Their tally of 62 points saw them only eight points off the play-off places.
Who’s in charge?
An experienced manager, Russell Slade took over at Blundell Park in April 2017 in what is his second spell in charge of the Mariners. His managerial career began with caretaker spells at Notts County and Sheffield United before he earned his first permanent role with Scarborough.
Slade then made the move to Grimsby in 2004, and his success with the Mariners saw Yeovil come calling. He later spent time with Brighton, Leyton Orient, Cardiff and Charlton before a short spell at Coventry in his last job before returning to Grimsby.
How has their summer transfer business looked?
Slade has brought in nine new faces this summer, with Mitch Rose arriving from Newport County while Sam Kelly has joined from Port Vale. Experienced centre back Nathan Clarke moved to Blundell Park from Coventry City and is joined by fellow defender Karleigh Osborne. Ben Gillip and Diallang Jaiyesimi have both made the move from Norwich City with Harry Cardwell, Paul Dixon and JJ Hooper rounding off the summer business.
There have been three major outgoings, with full back Danny Andrew snapped up by Doncaster Rovers, Gavin Gunning joining Port Vale and Rhys Browne making the move to Yeovil.
They’ve Played For Both
Full-back Tony Gallimore moved to Grimsby Town after a successful three-year stay at Brunton Park. After two loan spells with the Blues, Gallimore made the move permanent in 1993 and quickly became a key part of the side.
His fine performances during his 124 appearances for the Cumbrians caught the attention of the Mariners, who were then playing in the First Division. Gallimore made 273 appearances during seven years at Blundell Park and became a firm fans’ favourite.
Memorable Meeting - Grimsby 1-2 Carlisle (2 January 2006)
United picked up a vital win en route to the League Two title, despite falling behind to Ciaran Ton-er’s eighth minute strike. Zigor Aranalde levelled the scores, with the Spaniard then handing Car-lisle the lead with 15 minutes remaining. Kevin Gray saw red late on, but the Blues held on to claim victory.
When Did We Last Meet?
Our last meeting came on 2 January 2017 with Grimsby running out 3-1 winners at Brunton Park. Charlie Wyke opened the scoring, but an Omar Bogle brace and a strike from Adi Yussuf saw the visitors claim victory.
Earlier in the season, we drew 2-2 at Blundell Park in a highly-entertaining affair.
The highlights from that game are below:
When Do We Meet Next?
We make the trip to Blundell Park on 18 November before Grimsby visit Brunton Park on 3 March.