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Club News

The Life And Times Of GTFC Kits - 2

Stripes and a half

5 February 2018

Stripes and a half

Now, you'll have been pondering a certain question since the first article on the Town strip of blue and white hoops. Which were in fact called "stripes" at the time. The problem was this ..... there weren't such things as football kits at the time, and they were bought by individual players, so blue and white hoops (stripes!) meant whatever shirt, jersey, or guernsey that you could obtain at the time from the local shops, or even your mother if she was handy with the knitting needles. Hoops (stripes!!) were rather easier to obtain than vertical stripes, explaining why many clubs wore hooped (striped!!!) shirts in the early days. Hence the reason for some of the hoops being thin and others being twice as wide.

Town's first goalkeeper and Captain was a schoolteacher by the name of Charles Horn. If any one person can be named as the actual founder of the club, then it is he, because he first introduced the team of cricketers to a football (or what passed for such) several weeks before the idea of a football club had been suggested. He was in goal for that first game against Brigg and Britannia. Later he became a director of the club, and outside of football a Headteacher and local JP.

The second season of existence saw the club begin still under the name of Grimsby Pelham, however, two victories over the other premier teams in the town - Pelham White Star and the Wanderers was sufficient to convince the committee that a more impressive name was required, and so Grimsby Pelham became Grimsby Town, and hasn't changed since and hopefully never will.

Arthur Mountain scored the club's first goal after the team had the name-change, in a 2-1 defeat to Hull Town. Bear in mind that there were no leagues as such, not even amateur or local ones, and "Town" played on public parks at Clee Park or other fields near Grimsby Docks Station which were destined to be built on in the near future as the town and port continued its rapid expansion. The Wellington Arms had continued to be the Club headquarters for the first two seasons, but then moved to the Drings Hotel, which I understand to have been an alcohol-free establishment ….. so much for an after-match pint! Although the matches must have been something bordering on the park football that is played these days, the fantastic support the Mariners have always enjoyed was evident in the local populace even then, and would pay to go and see the nascent Town, with takings sometimes approaching a heady 10 bob (or fifty pence!). Eat your heart out Steve Wraith!


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