The Borough Story So Far
Grimsby Borough F.C. began life in the “Lord Tennyson” public house in Louth, Lincolnshire on a Sunday evening July 21st 2003. When a group consisting of Martin Blades, Nigel Fanthorpe, Ken Holmes, Tony Hopper, Albany Jordan and Paul Storer gathered together to discuss the lack of good quality non-league football in the area. Those present formed a football club as yet without a name, kit, ground or indeed a league to compete in but a determination to get at least one team in to a league for season 2003 / 2004.
With the addition of Steve Newby who became Borough’s football manager supported by Nigel Fanthorpe and Ken Vincent along with Sean Hall to the committee later in the month the work began, with a great deal of assistance from the local North East Lincolnshire Council who worked to find Borough a suitable ground but to no avail, however they did give us a grant of £500.00 to help defray start-up costs. Borough’s first sponsorship deal was with Nicol UK Limited, who supplied the club’s first kit and sufficient funding to ensure Borough could apply to compete in the Lincolnshire Football League; who’s management committee and members worked very hard on Borough’s behalf to ensure the club could compete in the league for the season 2003 / 04.
Borough’s first season was a success on the field, as playing from King George V stadium the team finished in second place behind Sleaford Town in the Lincolnshire football league, thus giving Borough the option of applying to join the Abacus Lighting Central Midlands Football League. During the first season and close season the Borough committee worked to ensure that the club would not only be in a position to move up a league but would also be able to enter a reserve team in to the Lincolnshire League. Paul Storer, Martin Blades and Darren Williams assisted by Tony Hopper were appointed as the Borough Reserves management team and with the close work of Nicol UK Limited and the Grimsby Telegraph who became joint main sponsors for the second season the Borough committee felt confident enough to apply for entrance in to the Abacus Lighting Central Midlands Football League whilst maintaining their good relationship with the Lincolnshire Football League and Borough were accepted in to both leagues for season 2004 / 2005.
However all was not to be plain sailing, as the King George V Stadium’s playing surface was found to be too small for the Abacus Lighting Central Midlands Football League. As the playing surface could not be enlarged, due to the close proximity of the athletics facilities, despite great efforts from the North East Lincolnshire Council a new home ground would need to be found for both teams. Fortunately the committee bolstered by the addition Sheila Rodden were able to find the required facilities for the Abacus Lighting Central Midlands Football League at the Grimsby Institute of Further & Higher Education and for the Lincolnshire League at The Chartdale Club, where both teams were able to train midweek.
The 2004 / 2005 season was also a success with the club finishing in second place behind AFC Barnsley in the Abacus Lighting Central Midlands Football League Vipond Fire Protection Premier Division ensuring that the club was eligible for promotion in to the Buckingham Insurance Supreme Division, however the facilities at the Grimsby Institute of Further & Higher Education were not deemed acceptable for the promotion and Borough maintained their position in both leagues for the season 2005 / 2006.
The disappointment of loosing out on promotion sparked off an intensive search for a permanent home, which would ensure that the correct facilities could be built, to ensure the club could move up the non league pyramid.
Season 2005/ 2006 was one of consolidation on and off the field, with the resignation of Albany Jordan and Sheila Rodden from the committee, whilst facilities were improved at the Grimsby Institute of Further & Higher Education to ensure stability and the reserve team continued to compete in the Lincolnshire league from their Chartdale club base with a new management team of Dave Smith and Steve Welsh. Meanwhile the search for a permanent home went on but no permanent base could be secured in the short term and as Borough finished some five places and fifteen points off the top spot, promotion and therefore a better facility was not required.
Season 2006 / 2007 was a season in which the club bounced back off the field with changes on the committee as Tony Hopper resigned his place but maintained a less official supporting role, however the appointment of Daren Williams and Rona Simons to the committee ensured strong support for the on field activities. With Borough occupying the top spot in the Abacus Lighting Central Midlands Football League Vipond Fire Protection Premier Division until February 2007 the strength of the club was reflected on the field. However they could not maintain this form and eventually finished in the runners up spot three points behind champions Hatfield Main and some seven points ahead of Bentley Colliery in third spot. The league position of Borough has maintained the pressure to find suitable playing facilities, which continue at a pace.