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Buckley Memories #7

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 19/11/2000

We've collected the thoughts and recollections of Town fans across the world's about their favourite memories of the Buckley era. Alan Buckley had two spells in charge of the Mariners before he was sensationally sacked on 22nd August 2000.

To gauge Alan Buckley's contribution not just to Grimsby but to football outside the Premiership, it is worth thinking back to conventional wisdom at the time he was appointed. Wimbledon had just won the FA Cup and all the pundits said that the lesson was clear: the only way out of the lower divisions was to kick and hack your way up.

For that reason, I'd point to the FA Cup run in his first year in charge: Home wins against the 3rd division leaders, the 4th division leaders, a win at top division Middlesbrough and a thrilling replay at Reading to set up a highly symbolic match at Plough Lane: symbolic not just that Town were on the way back, but that there was more than one model for small clubs wanting to succeed.

Buckley's Grimsby teams combined the determination that teams like Wimbledon brought to the game with good footballing principles: for that above all he deserves our thanks and best wishes.

Pat Bell


1988 I think when Town were in the old 4th Division. The game was Maidstone away and we were 2-0 down at half-time. Avery young lad called Warren Barton at full back and a big awkward sod called Butler up front, I seem to recall.

Town were mid table and came out 2nd half and stormed to a 2-2 draw.

That was THE turning point for the club as I recall. We went from strength to strenth and gained promotion that year.

Alan, you may be brash, opinionated and seemingly aloof and arrogant, but you were and are the most succesful Grimsby manager ever and took the club as far as the board, and the lack of fans, would let you.

Lee Freeman

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