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The Greatest?
The Greatest?

Who is the Greatest Grimsby Manager?

By: Geoff Bartholomew
Date: 26/10/2009 (Last updated: 13/12/2009)

I HAVEN'T answered the question of who is the greatest ever Grimsby Town manager. But from your list, I'd make the following points.

Wilf Gillow was manager for 8 seasons (1924-32) and took Town from Division 3 to Division 1.

Frank Womack won the division 2 League Championship (1933-34), achieved the Mariners highest ever league finish of 5th in Division 1 (1934-35) and reached the F.A. Cup Semi-Finals (1936).

Charlie Spencer had 14 seasons (including war-time) as manager. He reached the F.A. Cup Semi-Finals in 1939 and was the last Grimsby Town manager to finish in top half of Division 1 (10th in 1938-39) but in his last four seasons saw Town drop from Division 1 to Division 3 North.

Allenby Chilton (as above)

Tim Ward won promotion from Division 3 to Division 2 (1961-62) but left for Derby County before the new season.

Lawrie McMenemy won Division 4 League Championship in 1971-72 but unlike other post-war managers (Allenby Chilton, Tim Ward, George Kerr, Alan Buckley 1 and Alan Buckley 2) he did not achieve promotion to Division 2.

John Newman won promotion from Division 4 to Division 3 (1978-79) but like Tim Ward left for Derby County.

George Kerr won consecutive double promotion as assistant manager (1978-79) and then as manager (Division 3 League Champions 1979-80) and gained the club s highest finishing position, 7th in Division 2 (1980-81) since club dropped out of Division 1 in 1948.

Dave Booth gave Town their highest finishing position in the Football League between 1948 and 2009 (5th in Division 2 in 1983-84)

Alan Buckley I was the first post-war GTFC manager to win double promotions as manager and these were in consecutive seasons from Division 4 to 3 (1989-90) and then to Division 2 (1990-91). He had three seasons at the second level (1991-94) before moving to West Brom. This included a finishing position of 9th in 1992-93.

This first spell at the club (1988-94) was the longest tenure by any Grimsby Town manager in the period from 1951 to 2009. Alan s three years as manager at the second level is the longest without a relegation by any manager who has won promotion with Grimsby Town.

Alan Buckley II, by achieving promotion in his first season back (1997-98), when combined with his previous successes

(a) made Alan the first manager to gain three promotions for Grimsby Town

(b) gave Town fans 11 seasons out of 12 at the second level of English football as well as the three promotions.

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