Grimsby Town FC

Grimsby Town have condemned the behaviour of “a minority” of fans after an investigative feature into football hooliganism appeared to show Mariners supporters engaging in drugs, underage drinking and anti-social behaviour.

On Thursday, February 10, The Times published an investigation piece into hooliganism culture in football, which features clips of Grimsby Town fans during their away match against Notts County on Saturday, February 5.

The article makes reference to drug use and general disorder from a range of supporters, including some as young as 12-years-old, describing it as “the new face of hooliganism”.

A journalist shadowed Nottinghamshire Police last weekend to look into the behaviours of football fans during Grimsby’s game with Notts County, and Nottingham Forest’s FA Cup tie with East Midlands rivals Leicester City.

The situation came to a head during the Forest vs Leicester game, when a 19-year-old Foxes fan ran onto the pitch and punched an opposition player during the celebrations for Nottingham Forest’s third goal.

It was an incident which brought shame to the nation’s favourite sport, but it was one of just many criminal acts on a weekend of madness in Nottinghamshire’s football circles.

In a statement posted online on Thursday, Grimsby Town said they were “extremely disappointed” by the footage of fans’ regular run-ins with the police, but said the tone of the article “distorts” the image of Grimsby as a town.

The statement reads: “It is regrettable that a minority of individuals continue to behave in such a way as to taint our fan-base generally.

“The perspective of the journalist highlights an important societal issue but once again distorts the picture of our town and negates the positive efforts of many in our community.

“As a club, we will be working with the Football Supporters’ Association and our partner agencies, aiming to eradicate poor fan behaviour, taking a tough position but also supporting any of our fans with alcohol and substance abuse issues.

“We will always do our utmost to get the best possible away ticket allocation for our fans, and resist changes to kick-off times, but footage of this nature directly impacts our efforts. Thank you to the vast majority of our fan base who continue to represent our club in a positive way.”

Grimsby Town will officially change the club crest for the first time in 50 years, after fans voted to approve the alterations to the original badge – despite initial anger.

Grimsby Town announced the reimagined badge with subtle changes on January 1, to mark the beginning of 2022 and to ignite hopes of the football club entering a new era, following their relegation from the English Football League last season.

Poignantly named “New Year, New Era, Brand New”, the logo, created by Apple designer and Mariners fan Rich Lyons, was redefined with a flag atop the trawler with the club’s founding year of 1878 on it, as well as having an altered font and thicker outlines.

The idea was to create a modern-looking crest that will serve as a staple of the club for the coming decades, but not all fans were on board with it.

The board were criticised by supporters for a lack of communication and dialogue about the plans, something which they promptly apologised for and then sought to make amends.

Fans were given the chance to vote on whether the changes would go ahead, or if the club reverted back to its old badge.

The results were announced on Tuesday, January 25, and with 62.05% of the votes, the new crest design came out on top.

A spokesperson for Grimsby Town said in a statement: “The implementation of our new crest, in line with our first ever GTFC brand guidelines, will be recognisable over the coming months as we ‘drip feed’ our rebranding efforts.

“As previously stated, examples of the former crest and brand will be visible across the club for some time whilst we continue to make these changes. Our current kit and existing merchandise will remain unchanged until next season.

“We would like to thank all supporters who took the time to cast their vote, Sandii Raithby, secretary of the Mariners Trust and our staff members for assisting with the verification of our voting process.”

COVID-19 vaccinations will be available at Blundell Park on Saturday during Grimsby Town’s match against Wealdstone in an ambitious attempt to make the jabs more accessible to the community.

The Mariners face Wealdstone at home on Saturday, January 29, and while the game is taking place there will be availability for fans to get their coronavirus vaccine.

The volunteers will be offering first, second, and booster doses for people aged 16 and over without the need for appointment. The jab site can be found next to the executive entrance, which is across the main club car park directly behind McDonald’s.

Pfizer vaccinations will be offered at Blundell Park from 1pm to 5.30pm on Saturday, as Grimsby kick off against Wealdstone at 3pm, and you don’t need a match ticket to get jabbed.

Lincoln City’s LNER Stadium was used as a COVID-19 rapid testing site at the start of 2021, but it was never operational while the team played their matches, making Grimsby’s move a Lincolnshire first.

North East Lincolnshire acting director of public health, Geoff Barnes, said: “With schools now well into the new term, North East Lincolnshire is starting to see a rise again in cases amongst children, which is inevitably spreading to their parents and older relatives.

“All the figures suggest that whilst the Omicron variant is less severe in its symptoms it does still pose a significant risk to older and more vulnerable people. That alone is a vital reason for everyone to be fully vaccinated. Whether it’s your first, second or booster dose, we urge you to go along either on Saturday or to one of the many clinics.”

As well as the vaccinations at the football ground, there will also be a host of walk-in clinics across Grimsby for anyone wanting either a first, second or booster jab.

Pfizer doses will be available for people aged 16 and over wanting a first or second dose, as well as boosters for over 16s who had their second dose at least three months ago.

There will also be a select few of the sites that offer first and second doses for 12 to 15-year-olds, so long as the gap between jabs is at least 12 weeks and they are 12 weeks clear after testing positive for COVID-19.

The local walk-in dates are:

  • Sunday, January 30 – 10am to 2pm: Drugs4Delivery, Acorn Business Park, Moss Road*
  • Sunday, January 30 – 10am to 2pm: Freshney Place Shopping Centre (opposite the HMV store)*
  • Monday, January 31 – 9am to 1.30pm: Periville Pharmacy, Cromwell Primary Care Centre, Cromwell Road
  • Monday, January 31 – 9am to 5pm: Drugs4Delivery, Acorn Business Park, Moss Road*
  • Monday, January 31 – 10am to 2pm: Freshney Place Shopping Centre (opposite the HMV store)*
  • Tuesday, February 1 – 9am to 1.30pm: Periville Pharmacy, Cromwell Primary Care Centre, Cromwell Road
  • Tuesday, February 1 – 10am to 6pm: Centre4, 17a Wootton Road
  • Wednesday, February 2 – 9am to 1.30pm: Periville Pharmacy, Cromwell Primary Care Centre, Cromwell Road
  • Thursday, February 3 – 9am to 1.30pm: Periville Pharmacy, Cromwell Primary Care Centre, Cromwell Road
  • Thursday, February 3 – 4pm to 7pm: Open Door, Albion Street*
  • Friday, February 4 – 9am to 1.30pm: Periville Pharmacy, Cromwell Primary Care Centre, Cromwell Road
  • Friday, February 4 – 4pm to 7pm: Open Door, Albion Street*
  • Saturday, February 5 – 8.30am to 4pm: Open Door, Albion Street*

* = doses for 12 to 15-year-olds

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