Former Grimsby Town winger Nathan Arnold says everything felt ‘complete’ when he scored the third goal which secured the Mariners’ EFL promotion in 2016.
It has been three years today since Town returned to Sky Bet League Two as they beat Forest Green Rovers 3-1 in the National League play-off final at Wembley Stadium – thanks to Omar Bogle’s first-half brace and a late strike from Nathan Arnold.
And in an exclusive interview with iFollow Mariners, Arnold – now 31 – has described the feeling of his 94th-minute Wembley goal as ‘very special.’
Speaking exclusively on iFollow Mariners, he said: “When I look back I always see the fans pointing to the corner, Chris Doig and Paul Hurst pointing to the corner, and saying ‘Run it into the corner’ to Jon Nolan.
“And Noles is just a free spirit. He plays with so much freedom, and there was no way he was going to run it into the corner in that moment.
“I made a break and a run, and I remember it feeling really intense. There were five minutes of injury time and it felt like forever.
“So to get that final goal just to seal it, and to relieve the pressure, was amazing.
“My time at Grimsby Town, a lot of stuff happened in my personal life – I lost my Mum in 2015.
“So for me to score the winner to take us up to the Football League, on a personal level, it was very special and it meant a lot to me.
“My mind-set at every club I’ve been at is to always have an impact and leave the club better than I found it.
“And once that ball went into the back of the net it was like everything was completed.”
And the winger, who scored 19 goals in 82 appearances for Town between 2014 and 2016, praised the black and white army for their outstanding support during his time at Blundell Park.
He said: “The fans have been magnificent, and they deserved that – after the heartache and the pain from the year before against Bristol Rovers.
“And being in the Conference for six years, promotion was long overdue because this football club belongs in the Football League.
“It’s really special for me because when I came back as a player for Lincoln City in a local derby I got took off, and I got applauded off by four corners of the stadium.
“As a player I’ve always looked at it, and thought ‘Can I have an impact? Can I build a rapport? Can I get in the community and build that rapport with the fans?’
“And I think that was testament to the rapport that was built with the fans over time.
“And it was a reflection that day when I got applauded off – even though I was wearing a Lincoln shirt – of what they thought of me as a person, and that meant the most to me.
“It’s always great to be back here in this part of the country – it brings back special memories for me.
“And the fans always invite me back with open arms so I feel welcome.”
Watch the full interview for free exclusively on iFollow Mariners as ex-Town winger Nathan Arnold reflects on promotion back to the EFL, and much more.