The best, worst and weirdest Grimsby Town moments in 2021

Grimsby Town fans have endured a tough 2021

The best, worst and weirdest Grimsby Town moments in 2021

New owners, relegation and over 50 players, 2021 has been one of the strangest years in Grimsby’s storied history, but which moments stand out?

Best – New owners

Without a doubt, the best moment of the season was the news that Grimsby would finally have new owners, something fans have cried for since the turn of the 21st century.

A deal was announced between a consortium of Jason Stockwood, Andrew Pettit and Tom Shutes in December 2020, despite some Christmas shenanigans by John Fenty, the deal was finalised in May after Shutes’ late withdrawal.

At the time fans were jubilated with the move, with many fans saying “the future is bright for our club” and “I’m sure these men can take us up”.

It ended years of “Fenty Out” calls which, even during lockdown in 2020, seemed to gain traction while the team were struggling on the pitch and many fans touted their social media profiles with pirate flags to show their dismay at the former regime.

Worst – Relegation

Relegation is one of the hardest things a football fan will have to go through and a second relegation down into non-league in a decade was heart-breaking for Grimsby fans.

The club finished bottom of the EFL for the first time in their history and used more players (44) than got points (43).

Paul Hurst took charge on the eve of the year but could not prevent relegation and the Mariners’ fate was sealed during a cruel 3-2 defeat to promotion-challenging Exeter City.

Other contenders for the worst moment included a bewildering refereeing performance at Salford, which Paul Hurst called 2unacceptable” at the time.

The relegation hurt, but the blow was softened by the new ownership which heralded a ‘new dawn’ at Blundell Park.

Weirdest moment – Payne head-butting his own teammate

Someone who the DN35 Podcast describe as a “living statue and part-time striker” Stefan Payne headbutted his own teammate, winger Filipe Morais during a defeat to Bradford City.

The Grimsby Town FC twitter account labelled it as “unforgiveable” and neither would play for the club again.

The last time the fans would see the striker in a Grimsby shirt was when referee James Bell showed him a red card outside the away team dressing room.

Other notable mentions also come from players signed in the doomed relegation season, midfielder Danny Rose – now on loan at Darlington – took to Instagram to spread a theory of weather modification causing a snowfall in April.

Montel Gibson also shot his Grimsby career in the foot when he held a gender reveal party during lockdown, which he apologised for.

‘Feel good’ moment – Fans back at Blundell Park

Without a doubt the best feel good moment of the year was at James McKeown’s testimonial in the Summer, when fans finally returned to see their side in action at home.

Blundell Park had been silent for over a year but the relief and community feel returned when the club paid tribute to a club icon.

Town lost the game 1-0 to League One Rotherham, but the result was not important as the owners finally saw their fans at their club and Paul Hurst finally saw fans welcome him back after half a year in charge.

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