Grimsby Town Football Club is a professional football club based in Cleethorpes, North East Lincolnshire, England, that competes in League Two, the fourth tier of the English football league system. Nicknamed "the Mariners", the club was founded as Grimsby Pelham Football Club in 1878, changed its name to Grimsby Town a year later, and moved to its current stadium, Blundell Park, in 1898.
Grimsby Town were the most successful pre-war team of the three professional clubs in historic Lincolnshire, being the only one to play top-flight English football. It is also the only club of the three to reach an FA Cup semi-final (doing so on two occasions, both times during the 1930's). It has also spent more time in the English game's first and second tiers than any other club from Lincolnshire. Notable former managers include Bill Shankly, who went on to guide Liverpool to three League titles, two FA Cups and a UEFA Cup triumph, and Lawrie McMenemy who, after securing promotion to the then Third Division in 1972, moved to Southampton where he won the FA Cup in 1976. Alan Buckley is the club's most successful manager; he had three spells between 1988 and 2008, guiding the club to three promotions and two appearances at Wembley Stadium during the 1997–98 season, winning both the Football League Trophy and the Football League Second Division play-off Final. In 2008 Buckley took Grimsby to the capital again, but lost out to MK Dons in the final of the Football League Trophy. The Mariners had also reached the Football League Two play-off Final in 2006 at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, but lost the match 1–0 to Cheltenham Town, Later trips to Wembley in 2013 and 2016 saw them defeated in the FA Trophy final by Wrexham and F.C. Halifax Town respectively, having also lost at the venue in the 2015 National League play-off final to Bristol Rovers before finally gaining promotion by winning the 2016 final against Forest Green Rovers. In 2021, relegation to the National League was confirmed for a second time, following a 3-2 defeat at Exeter City.
Grimsby Town's relegation in 2010 made them the fourth club to compete in all top five divisions of English football (after Carlisle United, Oxford United and Luton Town, and before Leyton Orient and Notts County). Grimsby's 1939 FA Cup semi-final attendance of 76,962 versus Wolverhampton Wanderers is still a record at Manchester United's Old Trafford stadium. In 1954 they became the first English club to appoint a foreign manager, Hungarian Elemér Berkessy. The club's record appearance holder is John McDermott, who made 754 appearances between 1987 and 2007, while their leading scorer is Pat Glover, with 180 goals (1930–39).