The biggest news of the week? FA Cup draw? Nah. Scott brown injured? Nah. Lenny’s goalscoring heroics? Nope. Grimsby Town set to immortalise their playing staff in the form of a sticker book? Absolutely!
Fresh from the success of Panini’s World Cup stickers this summer, the Mariners have announced they’re doing a version of their own. I blogged in the summer about my minor addiction to collecting football stickers, as men in their 30s recreated their childhoods by buying fistfuls of Panini packets. It’s something I even wrote about three years ago. In short, it’s a great idea – what else could be better than having 14 Shaun Pearsons and a desperate need for a Paul Walker to finish your collection?!
“The initial idea to develop a sticker book came out a meeting with our new programme printers Wyndeham Gait,” according to the club’s commercial assistant Jack Johnson. “We were kicking around ideas and, because of the huge success of Panini’s 2014 World Cup sticker book, we thought a Grimsby Town one would go down well with supporters. It’s been something I’ve always thought would be a really cool thing to do. As soon as Wyndeham Gait said they would be able to do it, I jumped at the chance.”
Jack, a seasoned collector himself (“I remember getting a bit giddy whenever I got a Town player in a pack; even if he was someone I’d already got. I’m pretty sure I had about a dozen Jamie Forresters at one point! I didn’t mind though!”), admitted Town’s playing staff were already getting ‘stuck in’. “Put it this way, last week I took about 20 copies of the album down to the training ground and I didn’t have to take any back with me!”
The bad news, however, is the Grimsby Town sticker book won’t feature any ‘shinys’. “This was something I was very keen on when the initially discussions began but it quickly became apparent that shiny foils weren’t an option; which was disappointing. However, sticker number one in the album is the equivalent of a shiny. You’ll just have to wait to see what it is!”
The club has already seen a fantastic reaction on social media and officials are hoping people will bring their swaps to Blundell Park on a matchday. They’ve also started the hashtag #gotgotneedGTFC to be used on Twitter. “The idea is for fans to tweet which players they have to swap, include that hashtag, and we’ll make sure we retweet it to all of our 12,000 followers. That way supporters from Humberston to Helsinki can trade GTFC stickers.”
So how can grown men pick one up and pretend it’s for their children? The album is available on a one-for-one basis from the club shop with a voucher in the Grimsby Telegraph. Supporters who live outside of the North East Lincolnshire area can ‘order’ their copy online at the end of the week. They won’t be charged for the album but there will be a small postage and packing fee to pay.
“In total there are 60 stickers to collect,” Jack added. “Initially you’ll receive four with your album as a kind of starter pack. Then, starting in Saturday’s programme for the Dartford game, four new stickers will be included in every edition of The Mariner for the rest of the season. So, if you buy a copy of the programme each home game, you’ll fill up the whole album for free! If you don’t want to complete your book like that we will be selling packs of five stickers for £1 from this weekend. That way you will be able to get a few ‘swapsies’ and trade them with your mates – If you want to be proper authentic!”