In the second of our countdown series celebrating Grimsby Town's 140th anniversary as a club, we focus on the major talking points in the decade 2008 - 1999.
Alan Buckley guided Grimsby Town to the Football League Trophy final in 2008 before the Mariners suffered a 2-0 defeat to MK Dons at Wembley Stadium.
Town had overcome Morecambe, Stockport County, Doncaster Rovers, Rotherham United, and Huddersfield Town on the way to the final, before Keith Andrews and Sean O’Hanlon secured the win for the Dons.
And the Mariners had endured Millennium Stadium heartache just two years earlier as Russell Slade’s side lost 1-0 to Cheltenham Town in the 2005-06 League Two play-off final.
Steve Guinan’s 63rd-minute strike brought Town’s promotion dream to an end in front of a crowd of more than 29,000 in Cardiff.
The Mariners had finished fourth in the league, missing out on automatic promotion by just three points, as strikers Gary Jones and Michael Reddy scored 31 goals between them.
And Town also reached the third round of the League Cup that season, beating Derby County and Tottenham Hotspur – with Jean-Paul Kalala’s wonder-strike at Blundell Park – before falling to a 1-0 home defeat to Newcastle United as ex-England striker Alan Shearer scored the only goal.
The Mariners had found themselves in English football’s fourth-tier after a double-relegation from – what is now – the Championship to League One to League Two between 2002 and 2004.
And Town had three seasons of floating above safety in the Championship between 1999 and 2002 – finishing 20th, 18th, and 19th, with players such as Paul Groves, Kevin Donovan, and Alan Pouton in their ranks.
The next article in our series will look at the club between 1998 and 1989.