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GTFC 140: Grimsby Town 1978 - 1969

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.

14 September 2018

Matt Tees

In the fifth of our countdown series celebrating Grimsby Town's 140th anniversary as a club, we focus on the major talking points in the decade 1978 - 1969.

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Grimsby Town finished sixth in Division Four, now League Two, under manager John Newman in 1978 – with play-offs, of course, not existing then.

It was the Mariners’ first season back in the fourth tier of English football, after they were relegated from Division Three in 1976-77 with a 23rd-place finish – above only York City in the league.

And, prior to that, Town had completed four seasons of consolidation in Division Three from 1972 to 1976.

Striker Jack Lewis, who joined from Lincoln City, was the Mariners’ top-scorer for three-straight seasons, scoring 49 Town goals between 1973 and 1976.

And the Mariners had climbed to Division Three after Lawrie McMenemy’s side were crowned Division Four champions in 1971-72 with 63 points (two points for a win – Town claimed 28 league victories).

The Mariners scored 88 league goals in 1971-72, with Scottish striker Matt Tees finding the net 27 times for Town.

McMenemy’s title-winning squad also included Dave Boylen, Harry Wainman, Clive Wiggington, and Dave Worthington.

Before that, Stuart Brace was also the club’s top-scorer for three-consecutive seasons, scoring 45 goals in three campaigns up to 1971.

But in 1968 Town finished 23rd in Division Four – eight points from safety, however, they remained in the English Football League after being successfully re-elected as a member, alongside York City, Newport County, and Bradford Park Avenue.

The next article in our series will look at the club between 1968 and 1959.


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