August 2, 2022 11.38 am This story is over 22 months old

Grimsby Town lose star player to Championship side – but he’s back on loan

McAtee was influential in getting Grimsby promoted

By Local Democracy Reporter

John McAtee, the star of Grimsby Town’s promotion last season, has been sold to Championship side Luton Town for an undisclosed fee – but the Mariners will still be able to keep him for this campaign.

The 23-year-old forward joined Grimsby Town on a free transfer, following the expiry of his contract at Lincolnshire rivals Scunthorpe United, and his performances caught the attention of many.

In 39 appearances, McAtee scored 16 goals in all competitions, including the equaliser in Grimsby’s famous play-off final victory over Solihull Moors at the London Stadium in June – securing a return to the English Football League for 2022/23.

The Mayor of North East Lincolnshire with Grimsby Town player John McAtee. | Photo: North East Lincolnshire Council

This form did not go unnoticed, and Championship side Luton Town, a side who made the play-offs in England’s second tier last season, have reached an agreement with the Mariners for McAtee’s signature.

Thankfully for Grimsby fans it will not be the last you have seen of the forward, as he rejoins the club on loan until the end of the 2022/23 season.

A lot of love for John McAtee, one of the star men in this Grimsby side. | Photo: North East Lincolnshire Council

Grimsby Town’s chair Jason Stockwood told that the club “obviously really wanted” to keep hold of John McAtee, offering him a new deal in the summer, but his ambition to play at a higher level could not be ignored.

Mr Stockwood said: “We knew there was a good chance we’d probably end up losing John on a free at the end of the season, and so at least by letting him go now, the club has been able to benefit from his transfer.”

The Mariners kicked off their League Two campaign on Saturday, losing 2-0 away from home against Leyton Orient, and they will be hoping McAtee can maintain his scoring touch from last season.