TODAY has not been kind to the Mariners, who are still waiting for their first 17th August win in 45 years of playing on this day.
The Mariners’ promising start to the 1968/69 season continued as they again kept a clean sheet in a 0-0 draw at Darlington but of course that result was a false dawn for Town, who had to seek re-election at the end of the season.
Kicking off the 1974/75 season with a home clash against Blackburn Rovers, Jack Lewis on the scoresheet for the Mariners but it wasn’t enough as the Lancastrians won the game 2-1.
A marathon trip to Brighton started the 1985/86 season on this day with Gary Lund and Gordon Hobson striking to earn the Mariners’ a 2-2 draw.
One of the most memorable opening day fixtures of the last 25 years came on 17 August 1991 as Cambridge United visited Blundell Park.
Despite a brace from Tony Rees and Tommy Watson’s strike, the Mariners were undone by an aerial bombardment from the U’s, for whom Dion Dublin and Lee Philpott were a constant threat – the visitors winning a pulsating contest 4-3.
There was more opening day woe for Town in 1996 as Steve Bull helped himself to a hat trick in a 3-1 win for Wolves in Cleethorpes.
Darren Barnard’s spectacular 40-yard lob wasn’t enough to earn the Mariners any points in a televised clash against Derby in 2002 as Adam Bolder’s brace earned the win for the Rams.
The game is most notable for a sickening head injury to Town striker Steve Livingstone, who received over 20 minutes’ worth of attention on the field for a fractured skull after a clash of heads with Danny Higginbotham.
Thankfully Livingstone recovered and was astonishingly back scoring goals for the Mariners within six weeks!
Blundell Park’s first Conference game came on this day three years ago as the Mariners and York played out a 0-0 draw – Michael Leary coming closest to breaking the deadlock for the hosts.