Time to let us know your views!
Catch up on what happened at our last board meeting, which was held on January 13th. Full minutes are available HERE
As always, any Trust Member is welcome to come along to the meetings once the formal parts are over – just drop us an email beforehand so we know to expect you.
Our next meeting is scheduled for 3rd February and the Agenda will be available a few days before.
We are delighted to announce the details of the 4th Annual Mariners Trust Quiz, to be held on Friday 23rd February 2018.
Once again, the Trust will be testing the depth of your footballing knowledge with it’s annual quiz night.
To be held in the Trust Bar in the Lower Findus on Friday, 23rd February at 7.00pm, the quiz night promises to be a lot of fun with more than a subtle hint of competition! So if you are a budding Statto, come and join us!
Teams of up to 4 are welcome, and entry is £5 per team.
Snacks will be provided, and there will be a prize for the winners as well as a raffle, namecard and we will also have some of our GTFC merchandise on sale.
Places are limited, so get your team together quickly! Tickets are available now in our shop – click Here, or email details of your team to email@example.com to reserve your place!
We anticipate the formal meeting to be no more than around 15 minutes, then we will have an open meeting and answer any questions from those attending or received in advance. Only paid up members can participate at the AGM. Any board nominations or additional agenda must be received by Wednesday 4th October 2017.
It is not vital, but would be helpful if you are attending that you drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know so that we can get an idea of numbers attending.
1. Welcome & Apologies
2. Chairman’s Report
3. Treasurer’s Report
4. Appointment of Independent examiner
5. Election of board members
END OF FORMAL MEETING
6. Open meeting
We all know Blundell Park is a special place. It might be a bit run down these days but the sense of history is unmistakable. It is the place where my Dad first took me in 1990 to see big Keith Alexander scramble home a last minute winner against Carlisle.
Pretty much from that moment on I was obsessed with Grimsby Town and in love with Blundell Park with those huge floodlights towering over the pitch, the modern (at the time) Findus Stand, the terracing in the corners, the rickety old main stand, those weird bumps in the goal mouths. I wanted to know anything and everything about the place. My Dad would often oblige my new found passion. Taking me to the Imp on a Saturday evening, where in the shadow of the stripy floodlights he would tell me about his first game, about title winning teams and the times that as a well-regarded Sunday League Goalkeeper he even got to play there a few times himself.
As I grew older we went to many, many games together at the old ground. We were there for promotion clinching games, cup upsets, play-off wins, and several relegation scraps. A few times if we were lucky we made onto the pitch for celebrations but for me that was as far as I got in terms of gracing the hallowed turf. The dream of actually playing there never quite happened. I tried and tried, playing youth football but my club didn’t quite make those cup finals held at Blundell Park. The closest I came was for the school team who did make a cup final. I made the squad for the game but wasn’t selected. I watched the game from the Main Stand, secretly heartbroken.
My Dad passed away in 2005 and as a result Blundell Park became an even more important place for me. It is the place where I can remember him best. I give his old seat, G31 in the Main Stand, a little pat every time I’m in there. He never saw me play at Blundell Park and for a long time I thought that my opportunity to ever play there had gone. But then in 2015, John Paul Pittman skied that penalty at Wembley and Operation Promotion was born. I jumped at the opportunity to buy a slot in a fans XI to play a celebrity team. It was my chance to put right the injustice of Mr Telford’s crazy decision not to select me for the Year 9 Grimsby and District Cup final in 1996.
My family were quite amused by the news that I’d be playing against a team of celebrities at Blundell Park, even more so that I’d pledged £120 to do so. They thought it would never happen and to be honest I thought the same after the first date was cancelled after coinciding with the FA Trophy Final in 2016. Months went past with no news and just when I’d almost given up, an email from the Mariners Trust dropped into my inbox. The date was set for May 21st 2017.
In the following months and weeks I attempted to get fitter in order to make the most of the big day. Colleagues from my office in Leeds questioned whether any celebrities would actual come to Grimsby but as the day drew nearer Lloyd Griffith and the Trust came up with the goods, convincing Jack Whitehall, Thomas Turgoose, Danny North and co to turn out for the celebrity XI. It was turning into quite a big event.
When the day came around I was more nervous than I expected. My wife dropped me off at the ground and I reported to a Mariners Trust volunteer who led me into the changing rooms. This was my first time behind the scenes at Blundell Park and to be honest there was a tinge of disappointment when I realised they are really no better than your average Sunday League facilities. After meeting my team mates I ventured into the Home dressing for a quick look to be greeted by Jack Whitehall in his pants. We exchanged an awkward hello and I snuck back off to the Operation Promotion XI dressing room. A chap who manages the Internet Mariners took the lead and got us all organised into a Bucklyesque 442 formation. Despite usually playing in goal I somehow ended up volunteering to play in centre midfield. At this point, I was imagining Paul Groves style late runs into the box, Alan Pouton step overs, and Craig Disley leaping headers.
Probably the highlight of the whole day for me was the pre-game formalities. Standing in the tunnel wearing black and white stripes, walking out on to the hallowed turf, lining up and waving at my wife and daughter. I felt like a real Grimsby Town player and without being too cheesy I felt quite emotional as looked to my Dad’s old seat in the Main Stand.
Once the formalities were over we trotted over to our starting positions. I pulled myself together and suddenly realised the pitch seemed absolutely huge. I quickly decided that I should downgrade my expectations so as not to be on my knees with exhaustion within 5 minutes. I channelled my inner Mickey Cummins and became a sloth like holding midfielder. This tactic initially worked quite well. Within the first 2 minutes of kick off I’d had about 5 solid touches, I won a header, I set up an attack that led to my midfielder partner hitting the crossbar, I got a couple of good tackles in. I started to get more ambitious, making a few late runs into the box, I even had a couple of attempts at goal. By 15 minutes though I was starting to pay for my indiscipline. I, like the rest of the team had tired quickly and Gary Croft in particular started to exploit this.
In my entire lifetime of playing amateur football I’ve played with and against some good players, but Gary Croft was on another planet. He’s 43 now and I’m pretty sure he could still be playing at a high level if he wasn’t so busy flogging houses. His touch was sublime. If you got tight he would glide past you, if you dropped off him he would ping a 40 yard pass out to the wing. After my initial good start I spent the rest of the half literally chasing his shadow.
When half time came round we seemed pretty pleased to have kept the game at 0-0. The break gave us enough time to regroup and we came out and played well at the start of the second half. A spell of sustained pressure led a surprise goal with probably our best player on the day curling a really nice finish past Lloyd Griffith at the Pontoon end. This though seemed to awaken the competitiveness in the ex pro’s and they stepped it up with Danny North quickly scoring two goals to turn the game.
From about 70 minutes I was starting to feel shattered and I think most of my team mates felt the same. We just couldn’t get the ball out of our half and the only thing that kept the score down was a mixture of terrible finishing (hello Paul Savage!), an inability by Turgoose and North to stay onside, and some good goalkeeping. The last 5 minutes felt like it lasted an hour. To be honest I was delighted when the final whistle went, much longer and I would have struggled to walk off the pitch.
Despite the final score the game ended with a good natured penalty shootout at the Pontoon end. Lloyd Griffith stopped the first three for the celebrity XI with some great saves. When it came to my turn I gave him the eyes and rolled it down the middle while he dived off to my left. Despite acting like I meant it I was actually aiming for the right bottom corner. There’s a photo of my celebration somewhere on the Trust website, my face etched with relief.
It took me a good week to recover physically from the game and to say I was sore is an understatement. I really didn’t care though. I’d played in a game at Blundell Park. I can’t thank the Mariners Trust and all involved enough for making my childhood dream come true.
The Mariners Trust have again linked up with Cleethorpes Town Football Club to offer discounted entry to its EvoStick Northern Premier South fixtures for season 2018/18.
All Trust members will have access to Cleethorpes Town games for the discounted price of £5 per game (usual admission price £7). To take up this offer you just need your name and a piece of photo ID (driving licence, passport etc.) at the time of purchasing tickets, or when paying on the gate.
David Mann, Vice Chairman of Cleethorpes Town said:
“We are delighted to put this offer to our local professional club’s supporters, and in particular Trust members, to hopefully support us when Grimsby Town don’t have a game or have limited tickets available for their away games.
“The support we had from the local area at Wembley was fantastic and we wanted to continue with this as a thank you.
“From everyone at Cleethorpes Town, we wish Grimsby Town a fantastic season and hopefully two successful seasons!”
Mariners Trust Board Member, Kristine Green adds:
“We appreciate that not all Trust members can travel to away games for various reasons but still need that ‘football fix’, and we are delighted that we are again able to offer them the chance to do so.
“It’s something that the Trust has done successfully before and we anticipate that this will be the first of many local offers for our members.”
The offer is open to all Cleethorpes Town home league games, including tomorrow’s big Lincolnshire derby against Stamford AFC. We will look to publish a list of all league fixtures where Grimsby Town are away or not playing at all in the coming days.
Here’s a group of Grimsby Town Football Club fans from all walks of life who have joined the ‘Watching Football Is Not A Crime’ campaign.
Thank you to everyone who responded to us with various videos, and please make sure you share both this video and our country-wide video with all your friends!
After the Mariners sealed their first 3 points of the season at home to Crewe Alexandra at the weekend we send our best wishes for a speedy recovery to Conor Grant who was stretchered off early in the first half before being discharged from hospital later that day.
Attention now turns to our next game, the short journey to Mansfield, which will be the first away game since the issues that we encountered at Stevenage. To confirm, the Trust are still working together with others and will update where we can in the coming weeks ahead.
With this in mind, Club SLO, Kristine Green has spoken to Mansfield and both Humberside and Nottinghamshire Police. She has the following information:
“After recent issues at both Chesterfield and Stevenage I want to make sure that the large crowd we take will all return home safely and satisfied, not only with what will hopefully be a good performance from the team, but a successful day in terms of policing and stewarding too. To help with this, I have been in contact with police who advised of the following points:
- It hopeful that tickets sell out before the day itself but if not, no tickets will be on sale on the day. This is standard practice for all teams that visit Mansfield.
- Fans are asked to think about whether a bag is necessary and if it is this will be searched. This is now pretty much standard across many areas where crowds are expected and not just because we are Grimsby Town.
- There will be pyro dogs around turnstiles, this is after a pyro was set off on the concourse before the Chesterfield game. I can’t stress enough that just being in possession of a pyro never mind setting it off is dealt with severely. Both Amanda Jacks (Caseworker for FSF) and Alison Gurden (Barrister that represents football fans) confirm that it’s just not worth the risk of a fine, ban and possible jail sentence and that applies just as much if you’re under 18.
- Due to these searches, we are asked to arrive in plenty of time so that kick off is not missed. The away end is close to the station and sells alcohol, as well as other hot and cold refreshments.
- As expected extra police will be on duty, but I am sure that they will be respectful – as will fans towards them.
I will be outside the ground for a time before the game if anybody has any issues but I’m hopeful that there will be no problems.”
Superintendent David Hall would like to add:
“Humberside Police are working close with Nottinghamshire Police and supporting the Policing operation. Local Officers from Humberside Police will be attending the fixture to provide support and assistance to travelling fans “
For this game Grimsby Town will have local, national and even international eyes on us if the widespread reporting of our original open letter in relation to Stevenage is anything to go by. We show, as we always do, that some people’s perceptions of us aren’t correct.
Be loud, be proud, lets show the world what following Grimsby Town over land and see is all about!
Safe journey and up the Mariners!
A Mariners Trust spokesman said:
“We have been informed by Stevenage FC that they will not be responding to our complaints made to them following the visit of Grimsby Town on 19 August.
“The Mariners Trust made a number of complaints regarding the conduct of Stevenage’s officials, including complaints from female supporters that stewards had asked them to reveal their bras and had checked the underwire. The story went viral with outraged supporters from across the UK contacting the Trust to show their support.
“In responding to the Trust’s complaint, Stevenage have said they have a policy of only corresponding with other football clubs and so won’t be contacting the Mariners Trust any further.
“They have instead contacted officials at Grimsby Town and asked them to keep the response confidential – and away from the supporters who complained.
“In their initial public response Stevenage FC stated they would ‘speak to relevant parties’ yet they haven’t spoken to a single supporter who has complained.
“The Mariners Trust is bitterly disappointed with the attitude of Stevenage FC, who have not taken the issues we raised seriously, continuing to treat Grimsby Town supporters with contempt.
“Aside from the EFL and Grimsby MP Melanie Onn, none of the other agencies we have contacted regarding these very serious allegations have even acknowledged receipt.
“We have more than 20 supporters, who aren’t necessarily known to each other, that have reported experiences which corroborate – indicating they they are a true picture of events. This makes it even more disappointing that we have not been allowed to see the response Stevenage FC have sent.
“We would urge people who were affected to come forward, however small they feel it may be. This can be done via Grimsby Town’s SLO – email@example.com – and the FSF – firstname.lastname@example.org We thank the FSF for their continued support.
“The Mariners Trust does not believe this matter is closed and awaits with interest the findings of the EFL’s investigation.”