Who Are These Jobbers?
Is there a sequence of words in the English language that are sexier than “Grimsby away on a Tuesday night”? Yes, yes there is - “Grimsby away on a Tuesday night... in November”. Unfortunately our journey to whatever county this delightfully sounding town is supposed to be in will take place in the midst of the warmest summer in 40 years, so we will forego the full Blundell Park experience.
What is there to say about our adversaries at Grimsby Town? *rapidly flicks through notes* well, they all used to sing that song about fishing (I assume they still do that), erm, they used to have a player with a name like a shop (big shoutout to Lenell John-Lewis!), oh they had a riot when they got relegated to the Conference and now they’re back in the league - good for them.
A long and exhaustive diatribe about the history, life and times of Grimsby Town would be tremendous but why do that when we could take about the UFO sighting in Cleethorpes? Yes, such is the brevity of the town of Cleethorpes that it’s Wikipedia page includes an entire section about the UFO sighting of September 1956.
As the townsfolk of Cleethorpes (or Cleethorpian, as it was known back then) gathered by the coast, they noticed a spherical object with a glass front hovering over the North Sea. The definite alien spacecraft was also caught on radar at RAF Manby.
Was it aliens trying to contact earth? Definitely. Did they see their future colony in Cleethorpian before branching out to Scunthorpia and Lincolnia? Absolutely. Did the government cover the entire incident up and blame the sighting on the rantings of a craven Cleethorpian population? I am convinced so. Did the spacecraft make landfall only to be hidden away by the army and take the form of the politicians you see in Westminster today? I mean, it’s possible.
Have I completely lost track of what I was supposed to be writing? You may say that but I couldn’t possibly comment.
Grimsby Town are a football club. A totally normal football club.
How Do I Get There?
Like Hull and Scunthorpe, Grimsby is placed in that enclave of the country that takes a deceptively long time to get to. While it has the temerity to claim that it is somehow connected to Yorkshire, it is a far cry from the warm, embracing bosom of many of its inland brethren. What this means is that a journey from Sunderland to Grimsby will take the fat end of two and a half hours by car.
Alright, let’s do this. Take the A19 and A1 (M) to junction 32A taking the M62 east, exit at junction 35 for the M18 and then take the M180. Pass the wonderful settlement of Scunthorpe where it will become the A180 and follow the signs for Blundell Park. Take a left on Imperial Avenue and there’s your Grimsby Town football stadium. There isn’t a car park at the ground but there is plenty of street parking available.
If you don’t trust these instructions as far as you could throw them then put DN35 7PY into your sat nav.
Should be one of those big dawgs that enjoys the relaxed life of travelling by train then your journey will encompass an evening change in Doncaster. Cleethorpes railway station is around a 15-minute walk from the ground.
A Love Supreme buses leave the Stadium of Light at 2pm with fares priced at £30. Book your place here.
Where Can I Get The Sesh Started?
As Sunderland clattered through the trapdoor of two divisions, it gave me hope that one day I would be able to win a meat raffle in the social club of an opposing team before a match. A midweek adventure to Grimsby moves us one step closer. At the away end, the Mariners’ have supplied us with Scotties Bar, a “true football bar” complete with a sign featuring a faded Carlsberg logo - this is the bed we made so we better just lie in it.
Not far from the ground is Blundell Park Hotel where I have been reliably informed you can get some absolutely belting fish and chips for just £5. A little further up the road is the Rutland Arms - a popular choice with both home and away supporters - while if you want to sample a proper taste of Grimsby then you need to be Freeman Street.
The street has a run of five pubs starting with the Wellington Arms at the southern tip running up to Cottees Bar at the junction with Cleethorpe Road. They all look rough as owt but isn’t that the point of pre-season?
I’m Staying Owa, Is There Owt To Do?
There are times in our lives when we agree to something in a moment of ill-advised spontaneity that we instantly regret. Our brain has not properly engaged with our mouths and before you know it you’ve agreed to go white water rafting with a group of your work colleagues. I know this pain all too well after foolishly deciding that going to watch Frank Turner was a good idea.
Similarly, there will be some of you that have decided that a Tuesday night out in Grimsby is absolutely what normal people to do. I hear you and I’m desperately trying to help but, brothers and sisters, I am fresh out of post-match activities for you to do in northeastern Lincolnshire.
One thing Grimsby is good at is making fish and chips. For a town so proud of its maritime and fishing heritage, it stands to reason that they make a mean fish supper. According to the Grimsby Telegraph’s Best Chippy Awards 2017, premier eateries such as Mariners Chippy, Pea Bung Chippy (WHAT A NAME) and Russells are the plaice to be.
And should this not satisfy your insatiable lust for all things fishy then pay the Grimsby Fishing Heritage Centre a visit on Wednesday morning.
What’s The Ground Like?
Perched immediately on the banks of the Humber River, Blundell Park is almost exclusively freezing at all points of the year. However, given this summer’s insufferable heatwave you may not have to take that extra jacket. In lieu of the Baltic winds whipping in from the North Sea, there will be a feint waft of seafood on the breeze.
The stadium is a fairly pleasant affair with the Osmond Stand reserved for away supporters facing the Pontoon Stand (named after the fish docks apparently). You’ll be wondering why you made the trip but, again, that’s what it’s all about.