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GTFC 140: Grimsby Town 1968 - 1959

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

16 September 2018

Ron Rafferty

In the sixth of our countdown series celebrating Grimsby Town's 140th anniversary as a club, we focus on the major talking points in the decade 1968 - 1959.

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GTFC 140: Grimsby Town 1978 - 1969

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Don McEvoy’s Town side were relegated from Division Three in 1968, despite being level on points with Mansfield Town, due to goal average after a 21st-place finish in the league.

Town’s side included academy graduate centre-half Keith Jobling – who made more than 450 appearances for the Mariners between 1953 and 1969, as well as Gary Moore, Graham Taylor, and Ron Cockerill.

But Jimmy McGuigan’s Mariners had some relative success in 1965-66 as they reached the League Cup quarter-finals, as well as securing an 11th-place Division Three finish, with Matt Tees scoring 28 goals.

Town beat Crystal Palace, Preston North End, and Bolton Wanderers in the cup before forcing West Ham United to a replay – where they lost 1-0 in December, 1965.

But Town’s 1967-78 season wasn’t the only campaign which saw the Mariners relegated on goal average – Tom Johnston’s men dropped from Division Two after a 21st-place finish in 1963-64.

And Town had initially found themselves in English football’s second tier after Tim Ward’s Mariners finished second in Division Three to secure promotion in 1961-62.

The Mariners – who finished just three points behind champions Portsmouth – were driven by Ron Rafferty’s 34 goals, as Town won nine of their last 11 league games, falling agonisingly short of the top-spot.

And Town previously had another relegation in 1959 as Allenby Chilton’s side finished 21st-place in Division Two, despite Rafferty contributing with 19 goals that campaign.

The next article in our series will look at the club between 1958 and 1949.

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