Joining Grimsby Town Century Club was real 'no brainer'
THE Century Club is set for a bumper year with a growing list of businesses supporting the next generation of Grimsby Town stars.
The Club has been launched by the Grimsby Telegraph, in partnership with the Mariners, to help sustain the Town's Youth set-up.
The initiative calls on 100 businesses to pledge £200 each towards the set-up, which is led by Youth team boss Adam Smith and Academy boss Alan Lamb.
Since its launch, The Century Club has been a huge success, with companies from far and wide pledging their support for the Mighty Mariners.
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Two of the latest organisations to sign up are GRF Limited and the Mariners Trust.
Chris Parker, national business development manager at GRF and chairman of the Trust, described the initiative as "fantastic".
He said: "At GRF, while we work on a nationwide basis, we do work extensively locally. We do already sponsor local causes, including many sports teams so there is a sporting tie-in for us.
"The football club is an essential part of local life and we feel we're a big part of local business, so it was a natural move.
"For £200 it should be a 'no brainer' for companies. If that money can go some way to supporting the Youth set-up then it's definitely worth it.
"At Grimsby's current level, it's vital that we try to produce players that can progress into the first team.
"It saves the club money but it also buoys the crowd to see local lads in their team.
"Looking back over the decades, some of our most successful spells have been when we've had a number of local, home-grown players in the side. It would be great to get back to that again if possible.
"If, by signing up, we can help to achieve that, then we'll be delighted."
He added: "From the Mariners Trust perspective, it was a natural move for us to become involved.
"A lot of our members want us to see us supporting the Youth set-up and it's an important part of what we do."
With more than a quarter of The Century Club places already filled, the initiative has really captured the imagination.
And Parker urged businesses of all sizes to take advantage of the relatively low cost.
"I think the initiative is absolutely fantastic," he said.
"It is priced at a level where nearly every business can get involved.
"In the current climate, businesses cannot afford to throw around thousands of pounds.
"But setting membership at £200 opens it up to smaller businesses as well as the larger ones and that's fantastic."