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All You Need to Know About Grimsby Town

4 December 2018

Palace will kick off their FA Cup adventure this season with a home tie against Grimsby Town, in what will be the first meeting of the sides for nearly 16 years.

To help you brush up on our opponents ahead of the game, here is a handy guide to inform you about everything you need to know before the Mariners head to south London in the first week of January.

The club

Grimsby currently play in League Two, having been promoted from the National League back in 2016 when they beat Forest Green Rovers at Wembley in the play-off final. They have finished 14th and 18th in their two seasons back in the Football League.

Their home ground is Blundell Park, where they have been playing since 1899. The ground currently holds 9,027, and contains the oldest stand in the Football League – the Main Stand was erected in 1901. However it is not actually in the town of Grimsby – it is actually in Cleethorpes.

Nicknamed the Mariners due to Grimsby’s fishing heritage, the club have played in black and white stripes since 1910.

The past

The club were founded in 1878 as Grimsby Pelham, and in 1892 they were founder members of the Second Division. Their first win was a 2-1 success over Northwich Victoria

Wolves were the opponents when Blundell Park saw its record crowd of 31,651 in February 1937, but the two teams bizarrely hold the record for the highest attendance for a game at Old Trafford when 76,962 watched them face off in an FA Cup semi-final two years later.

The club have played in the top-flight of English football in three spells – around the turn of the 20th century, the 1920s and either side of World War II. However, their relegation in 1948 was the last time they featured at the highest level.

Notable former managers include legendary Liverpool boss Bill Shankly and Lawrie McMenemy who, after securing promotion to the-then Third Division in 1972, moved to Southampton where he won the FA Cup in 1976.

Alan Buckley is the club's most successful manager; he had three spells between 1988 and 2008, guiding the club to three promotions and two appearances at Wembley during the 1997/98 season, winning both the Football League Trophy and the Second Division play-off final.

The present

Grimsby are currently managed by Michael Jolley, who took over in March and ensured the club remained in League Two. He has previously managed Barnsley’s under-23 side and Swedish team AFC Eskilstuna.

They currently sit 18th in League Two following an emphatic 5-2 win over Tranmere Rovers. They beat MK Dons and Chesterfield to reach the third round of the FA Cup.

Their captain is former Liverpool, Tranmere Rovers and Preston North End midfielder John Welsh, who only signed for the club in the summer. They also boast ex-Wales international Danny Collins amongst their ranks.

Links with Palace

There have been 40 games between Palace and Grimsby in all competitions, the last of which came in Division One back in 2003 with Wayne Routledge, Noel Whelan, Julian Gray and Dougie Freedman netting in a 4-1 away win for the Eagles.

There have been 23 goals scored in the past five meetings, with Palace winning 5-0 in September 2001 but the Mariners gaining revenge the following March by running out 5- victors.

In total, Palace have won 21 of the 40 games, while Grimsby have 16 successes. There have been three draws, the last of which came in 2000.

The two sides have met once before in the FA Cup, which came in February 1908 when Grimsby hosted and won 1-0. There has also been one League Cup encounter back in September 1965 at Selhurst Park but had the same outcome.

Ex-Eagle Danny Butterfield started his career at Grimsby and made over a century of appearances before joining Palace in 2002. Other players to have recently played for both clubs include John Oster, Steve Kabba, Nicky Rizzo, Calvin Andrew, Dean Gordon, Paul Warhurst and Jason Crowe.


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