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Archived News from April 2005

1st April 2005 0:22

Before the introduction of the Premier League in 1992-93, Grimsby Town as the only league club held the distinction of playing in all SIX divisions of the Football league (Division 1 – first time as early as in 1901-02 – best position 5th in 1934-35, Division 2, Division 3 (S) – in 1920-21 – Division 3 (N), Division 3 and Division 4). The Mariners, which indeed were one of the original members of the old division 2 when founded in 1892, are also one of the clubs which have swapped divisions most times during their league career, nearly thirty times in all, and it is also no wonder why Grimsby have faced more league clubs than any other team – more than 120 in fact – and have this season faced Boston, Cheltenham, Yeovil, Macclesfield and Kidderminster in a league fixture for the first time. And all the previous league fixtures between the Mariners and the Stags have taken place after World War II – but the away fixture in August wasthe first outside the old Division 3 (N) and the old Division 3, spanning over a period of nearly 40 years from 1951-52 to 1990-91.

At Cleethorpes, where Blundell Park is situated, have the Stags won every third of the previous fifteen league outings. And fact is that every time the Stags have won there have the double over the Mariners been performed, the first one in 1953-54, the latest in 1987-88. Memorable doubles were also performed in 1976-77 – the Stags second championship season – and in 1965-66 when the achieved double helped the Stags avoid relegation – just one season after the promotion chase with i.e. Carlisle and Bristol City.

Fact is also, that Grimsby were relegated to the old fourth in the 1976-77 season – and were also so in the 1967-68 one when Peterborough were demoted. But that one was by the narrowest of margins. The Stags just about stayed up then due to a slighty superior goal-average than the Mariners. Had the Stags conceded ONE more goal and Grimsby scored ONE more in the final game that season, the roles had been reversed. They had been so if the three-point ruling had been in force then – as the Mariners won fourteen games then compared to twelve for the Stags. And in two of the Mariners' latest promotion seasons to the old division 2 – in 1979-80 and 1990-91 – the Stags were relegated. And the latter season, Grimsby were involved in an unique treble – as three teams were promoted together for the second season running – the other two being Cambridge and Southend – the trio being promoted from the old fourth to the old second in two seasons – the only time in league history this has happened!

The first Stags win at Blundell Park was achieved on September 19, 1953, when goals from Marron and Adam secured a 2-0 win in front of 9929. During that decade, Grimsby also notched their so far only league win at Field Mill. This happened on April 7, 1956 when a good crowd of 15562 saw the Mariners win 2-0 and some weeks later return to the old 2nd division as champions. In 1964-65 and 1965-66, MacReady scored in three of four games against Grimsby, including the important winner on Easter Saturday 1966 at Blundell Park.
The biggest Stags wins at Field Mill are two with a four-goal margin. The first was on February 6, 1954 when Kenneth Murray netted three times, Fox and Darwin one apiece in front of 6513 to complete a 5-1 rout. Thirteen years later, on March 28, 1967, 11735 pilgered to Field Mill. One of the players appearing for both sides, Stuart Brace, represented the Stags then and netted twice. Mitchinson hit the net once, and to add to Grimsby's misery, they put through an own goal. At that time, the Stags still were in the second promotion place hunt for the current championship behind runaway winners QPR, while the Mariners, just like now, were lower mid-table material.

The teams have also met once in the FA Cup. It was early on in Colin Treharne's Stags career in goal. On November 4, 1961, a good crowd of 10127 watched the Stags go through to the second round thanks to a 3-2 victory at Field Mill courtesy of two Brian Hall strikes and one from Ken Wagstaff, latter later for many years representing a club on the other side of the Humber.

Earlier this season, the Stags lost 2-0 at Grimsby after getting behind early on. Appalling refereeing (Stagsnet rating 2 then) with several yellow cards for the Stags also ruined that fixture. But since then, have the Mariners more often than not, failed to deliver. An inconsistent campaign has seen Grimsby tumbling in lower mid-table tedium all season, and their last away game was lost 3-1 at Bury on Good Friday. The Stags themselves beat Kidderminster away 3-1 in their latest fixture and climbed into the top half of the table, four positions but only two points above the Mariners, whose latest home game was a goalless draw against Rushden & Diamonds.

Some famous names have managed Grimsby over the years. To name but two: Bill Shankly and Lawrie McMenemy. And the one outfield player with the most league appearances, including some for the Stags, started his league career at Grimsby and played for them in the 0-3 defeat at Field Mill on September 4, 1976, when a Terry Eccles hat-trick including a penalty sealed the tie, is among the players appearing for both sides – Tony Ford.
More recent ones are Mark Lever and Michael Boulding. And the current Lincoln manager, Gary Alexander, is another one.

Played for both sides: Keith Alexander, Ian Baraclough, Michael Boulding, Stuart Brace, Clifford Coupland, Tony Ford, Edgar Hardy, Samuel Hodgson, Maxey Holmes, Ernest Jackson, Mark Lever, Jim Lumby, Eddie Munnings, Don O'Riordan, Iffy Onoura, Malcolm Partridge, Jason Pearcey, Jack Prior, Ken Reeve, Mick Saxby, John Walker, William Watkin, Albert Wilson, Neil Woods.

Played for Stags, later managed Grimsby: Bobby Roberts.

Home games: P 15, W 8, D 6, L 1, GF 29, GA 13
Away games: P 16, W 5, D 3, L 8, GF 17, GA 27

Season Home Date Away Date

1951-52 2-2 1952-01-05 1-1 1951-09-08 Div 3 (N)
1952-53 1-1 1952-09-13 1-5 1953-01-24 Div 3 (N)
1953-54 5-1 1954-02-06 2-0 1953-09-19 Div 3 (N)
1954-55 3-0 1955-03-12 2-3 1954-10-23 Div 3 (N)
1955-56 0-2 1956-04-07 0-2 1955-11-26 Div 3 (N)
1959-60 3-2 1960-03-05 1-2 1959-10-17 Div 3
1964-65 2-2 1964-09-26 1-1 1965-02-06 Div 3
1965-66 2-1 1966-04-30 1-0 1966-04-09 Div 3
1966-67 4-0 1967-03-28 2-1 1967-03-24 Div 3
1967-68 1-1 1968-04-20 0-0 1967-11-25 Div 3
1975-76 1-0 1976-02-21 1-4 1975-11-15 Div 3
1976-77 3-0 1976-09-04 1-0 1977-02-12 Div 3
1979-80 0-0 1980-04-26 1-2 1979-12-08 Div 3
1987-88 1-0 1988-01-02 3-2 1987-09-12 Div 3
1990-91 1-1 1991-03-02 0-2 1990-12-01 Div 3
2004-05 (at Blundell Park) 0-2 2004-08-28 League Two

Cup games:

1961-62 3-2 1961-11-04 (FA Cup first round at Field Mill)

Details from various sources, mainly the history book, Rothmans Football yearbook and players who's who on the history CD

Svante Bernhard aka Sweden Stag (pictured, above right)


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