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Was it really all forty years ago?

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jock dock tower
October 9, 2019, 11:58am Report to Moderator
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The 1979-80 season was probably Grimsby's best ever post WW2 season. Having been promoted from the old Fourth Division the previous season like most Town fans I was eagerly anticipating this season as we had such an exciting team, with good home grown players throughout. Dave and Kev Moore, Clive Wiggington, Tony Ford, Kevin Drinkell, Phil Crosby and Shaun Mawer. Players who had come through the youth team as well, sch as Nigel Batch and Bob Cumming meant this club had a real attachment with the fans.

The omens were good, certainly at the start of the season with two home wins where we scored four goals both times versus Exeter and Blackpool, and as Plymouth were also put to the sword 1-0 in the next home game Town were sat up with the top sides after just five games. It wouldn't be Town though without making fans sweat and swear, and just one win and one draw in the next five games saw the club plummet down the table. A 1-0 away win at Gillingham steadied the ship, but normal service was resumed at Hillsborough as we lost 2-0. It was surely going to be one of those mid table finish seasons? No, three successive wins against Rotherham, Exeter again, and Sheffield Wednesday (in front of 14,000 fans) An away defeat at Southend followed these before Town upped a gear for the rest of the season. Another winning run, this time five in succession and letting in just the one goal saw the club soar back up the table, before promotion rivals Blackburn came and won 2-1 at Blundell Park.

Despite the run Town were still not packing Blundell Park, but the attendances were slowly climbing, and after a rare defeat, away to Colchester at the start of February Town went on to win ten and draw 5 of their remaining fifteen games. The game against Swindon, who were also one of the frontrunners drew a crowd of over 12,500, then came that memorable away game at Chesterfield with 14,000 packed into Saltergate, with a good number of Town fans scaling the floodlights to get a better view. Easter saw successive victories at home to Carlisle 2-0 with 15,000 in BP, before heading into South Yorkshire with a huge away following to Oakwell to see Mike Brolly score the only goal of the game. The Hully gullies ensured a gate of 18,000 plus at BP and saw them leave with a surprising 1-1 draw. The title would go down to the wire, and when Sheffield United - with Argentinian Alex Sabella in their side - came to BP on the last day of the season a Kevin Drinkell hat trick and a Joe Waters wonder goal saw us win 4-0 and bring the title to BP. What a day, and one that anyone who was there will surely never forget?

Not only were we doing wonders in the League we almost got to Wembley as well in the League Cup. This was the season of course that we beat Everton 2-1 at home in front of 23,000 fans to set up a quarter final tie against Wolves. Only the width of the woodwork stopped Kevin Moore from scoring in the dying seconds. An amazing night out at Molineux when another huge following swelled the crowd to over 28,000 (Wolves fifth highest crowd of the season after the local derbies against WBA and Villa, plus the obvious ones vs Man Utd, Liverpool and Spurs) saw us secure a 1-1 draw to go to a second replay where we were fairly comprehensively beaten 2-0 at the old Baseball Ground. Maybe that wasn't such a bad thing though, as Swindon provided the opposition to Wolves. At the time Swindon were favourites for the tile, but they took their eyes off the league with the promise of maybe getting to Wembley and fell away alarmingly.

The FA Cup saw THAT away day at Anfield where we were soundly beaten 5-0. This wasn't about the result though, this was all about the day out, and what a day - unless your had a black and white scarf on in the Kop, of course.

It was an unbelievable season. Passion and skill saw us overcome some big hurdles, and the backing of the fans, especially when a second successive promotion became a possibility was amazing. I know I'll never see their like again due to living in Scotland now, and also my age, but these things do happen. It would just be so wonderful to see such days return to the Town again.


No attempt at ethical or social seduction can eradicate from my heart a deep burning hatred of the Tory party. So far as I'm concerned they're lower than vermin. Aneurin Bevan.
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GrimExile
October 9, 2019, 12:22pm Report to Moderator
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Brilliant post, you’ve made me all misty eyed!! What a great side that was. I was lucky enough to be at the Everton game (Brolly 2 if I remember correctly) and also the 4-0 to be crowned as champions. Great memories and thanks for that Jock.
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Ipswin
October 9, 2019, 1:37pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from jock dock tower
. The title would go down to the wire, and when Sheffield United - with Argentinian Alex Sabella in their side - came to BP on the last day of the season a Kevin Drinkell hat trick and a Joe Waters wonder goal saw us win 4-0 and bring the title to BOP. What a day, and one that anyone who was there will surely never foregt?
.


I'll never forget it, we left Grimsby and moved to Ipswich three days later! That championship winning game was my last as a season ticket holder



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Les Brechin
October 9, 2019, 1:49pm Report to Moderator

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Quoted from Ipswin


I'll never forget it, we left Grimsby and moved to Ipswich three days later! That championship winning game was my last as a season ticket holder



You'd better buy a bloody season ticket again then!!  



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FishOutOfWater
October 9, 2019, 1:53pm Report to Moderator
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I moved away from Grimsby that season and haven't lived there since

I often wonder if I'd still be as passionate about Town now if I'd not been coming back every weekend from December 79 to that final conclusion the following May

I "just couldn't seem to get enough of" us that season and a more or less weekly 350 mile round trip back to GY was a small price to pay for witnessing us go up as Champions

If we'd not been so successful would I have made the same effort? Maybe but maybe not if we'd just had a mediocre season that petered out in to a mid table finish

Thankfully we just kept on getting better and better, not only into 1980, but the following season too so my Mariners fixes were a necessity

When I get to look back on my time watching Town, this particular season has to be one of THE best, especially when I think just a few years earlier I'd been playing with a few of the squad when we were at Wintringham together

UTM  ATAW  GTID
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Les Brechin
October 9, 2019, 2:12pm Report to Moderator

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The following season wasn't bad either. We came very close to being the first team to go from Division 4 to Division 1 in consecutive seasons, a feat which still hasn't been done today.

We were especially solid at home. I think we'd only conceded 4 goals at home all season before West Ham came to BP near the end of the season and turned us over 5-1.



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LondonMariner43
October 9, 2019, 2:48pm Report to Moderator
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79/80 was my second season of properly supporting Town.

Living in the Wolds, I had dallied with Lincoln (sorry!) and Liverpool (the Man U of the day) before realizing what I should be doing, after my brother took me along to BP for a game towards the end of the 78/79 promotion season.

I didn’t get to all the games but two that stand out from those two years of 79/80 and 80/81 were the 4-1 win at home to Exeter when Bob Cumming scored in the first minute and that 1-5 defeat to West Ham that ended hopes of promotion to Div 1.  It was the first time I saw Town lose!

After the Exeter game my brother said to me that it wouldn’t always be like that.  How true!!!
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Ipswin
October 9, 2019, 2:53pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Les Brechin


You'd better buy a bloody season ticket again then!!  


As soon as we beat Sheffield United 4-0 to win the 3rd Division title I'll be first in the queue Les




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conscorner
October 9, 2019, 2:56pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Ipswin


I'll never forget it, we left Grimsby and moved to Ipswich three days later! That championship winning game was my last as a season ticket holder



The success enjoyed that season, with promotion to the 'old' division 2, persuaded me to buy my first ever season ticket the following season. I think it was somewhere in the region of £20 for a whole season for an adult standing ground admission pass - stand where you like!

Now had a season ticket for 40 years so that season really got me hooked.
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grimsby pete
October 9, 2019, 2:59pm Report to Moderator

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My wife and I were both season ticket holders then and what a season it was,

The gate of 14,900 was about 2 thousand out as the police was worried about a crush outside the Osmond gates so they told the club to open the gates and let them in,

Unlike Hillsboro  every thing was ok and safe but as it was not a all ticket games Town lost some revenue that day.


                           Over 32 years living in Suffolk but always a mariner.
                           64 Years following the Town
                           Michael Jolley's  Black and White Army.

 
                            
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