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GTFC 140: Grimsby Town 1958 - 1949

With Grimsby Town's 140th anniversary looming on Thursday (September 20, 2018), we take a look back at the club's key events in each decade back to 1878.

17 September 2018

Grimsby Town players leave for their close-season tour of Czechoslovakia in 1957

In the seventh of our countdown series celebrating Grimsby Town's 140th anniversary as a club, we focus on the major talking points in the decade 1958 - 1949.

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Town recorded two steady seasons under boss Allenby Chilton in Division Two between 1956 and 1958, finishing 16th and 13th respectively.

Those two seasons of consolidation followed Chilton’s men becoming Division Three North champions in 1955-56 with 63 points (two for a win) – five above second-place Derby County.

The Mariners suffered just one defeat in their final 17 league games, and conceded only two goals in their last 10 matches.

Bob Crosbie finished as the league’s top goalscorer as his 36 goals helped the Mariners storm towards promotion to Division Two.

And Town’s promotion-winning side that season also had the likes of Dave Richardson, Pat Johnston, Billy Evans, and Keith Jobling in their ranks – as the Mariners replaced local rivals Hull City, who were relegated from Division Two.

The Mariners’ promotion meant that they are the only team in English football history to have been re-elected (1955, after a 23rd-place finish) and promoted in back-to-back seasons.

But it took Town five seasons to get out of Division Three North. They previously had two near-misses, including Bill Shankly’s side finishing second – only to Lincoln City – by three points in 1951-52, and falling short of promotion due to only one side going up back then!

Shankly took Town on a club-record 11-game win streak that season, but it wasn’t enough to beat local rivals Lincoln to the top-spot.

And the Mariners had initially found themselves in Division Three North after Charlie Spencer – who had been in charge for 14 years – took Town down with a bottom-place finish in Division Two in 1950-51.

Town also recorded their largest-ever Blundell Park league attendance (26,605 v Stockport County on April 11, 1952) and their biggest league away win (7-0 v Bristol Rovers on December 14, 1957) during this period.

Due to no competitive football being played in England between 1939 and 1946 because of World War II, the next article in our series will look at the club between 1948 and 1929.

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