Wednesday, 15 June 2011



Gainsborough Trinity FC
DN21 2QW

The Holy Blues, The Recreationists, Trinity

But we call them

Gainsboring, Tinpot Trinity

Billy basics

Managers: Brian Little, Gavin Ward
Founded: 1873
2010/11: 18th, Conf North
2009/10: 14th, Conf North
2008/09: 13th, Conf North
Highest position: 2004/05, 2006/07: 11th, Conf North
Average attendance 2010/11: 378

Who are Gainsboring?

Pub teams? In the Conference North? Nuh-uh! Only if you're Droylsden. Gainsboring can be considered summin' else entirely: a church team. A frackin' posh church team of that, set up by Old Harrovian vicar G.L. Hodgkinson. And did this bring them riches? Did the Northolme become holy ground? Read on, dear non-leaguer.

Gainsboring were precocious in the little success they've had, earning a Third Round tie in the FA Cup way back in 1887, and ever since they've regularly met the giants in the FA Cup, but just haven't got around to killing them yet. Just a couple of years later they also won the Lincolnshire Senior Cup, and have repeated this success another seventeen times. They always have won the odd regional trophy and little beyond. In the league however, they have the most average of stories.

Previously on this "Alternative" Away Guide, I mentioned Spartizan Blythe have never been relegated. Well, Gainsbore haven't either. And neither have they been promoted. Gainsboring joined the Midland League in 1889, earning election to the old Division Two in 1896. They became non-league again six years later after being voted out, rejoining the Midland League. Over the decades they were champions of the Midland League thrice, but to football's decision-makers at the time, actual promotion was something that happened to other teams in other leagues. They were founder members of the Northern Premier League in 1969, where they stayed like dry rot until becoming founder members of the Conference North in 2004. In recent times the Bores have cried "Enough!" to this mediocrity, bringing a few professionals in including new gaffer Brian Little. The result? Further mediocrity that included last season's relegation battle.

Nonetheless, the money carries on being pumped through by the shilling at Gainsborough. Fresh, cherub-like youthful faces have been added to the squad's make-up as well as Football League dropouts, and in a completely unwarranted move, plans are being made by chairman Peter Swann to build a 4,000-seater stadium elsewhere in Gainsborough. After a few years of planning it over and still without a site in mind, this move smacks of optimism.

Among the Grimsby, Boston, Lincoln and Scunthorpe rejects, a young Neil Warnock once ran laps at the Northolme.

The ground

Sources 1 2
Moving seamlessly on, it seems a shame to let a stadium like this go to waste. At 138 years of age, The Northolme must be one of Britain's oldest intact footballing venues. The size is decent and mighty spacious for Gainsboring's 300 or so home fans, and even the parades of Shaymen may appear dotted over its terraces. We also get a sorta two-tier main stand and a promise of decent views. Plans to transport the few home fans they've got to a vast and somehow "self-sustaining" cavern elsewhere in the town would even make Park Ave's Bob Blackburn smile and nod pitifully.

Models pose in an artist's impression of the new stadium.
The town

Gainsborough is an historic market town on the River Trent home to 20,000 or so lapsed spud-farmers, and almost became England's capital city as recently as 1013. Since then it has resisted change to become a new town with tenuous links to Sheffield.

Aside from the club house, two pubs can be found in the town: the Horse & Jockey and Elm Cottage, both on Church St. Trains can be taken from Leeds to Gainsborough with a transfer at either Meadowhall or Doncaster.

Will we need to segregate?

That's just mean.

Break the awkward silence, leave a comment.


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