Club History

Gainsborough Trinity Football Club was formed in 1873 as Trinity Recreationists, set up by the vicar of the Holy Trinity Church for young parishioners. In 1889 they became members of the Midland Counties League, losing their first match 1-2 to Lincoln City and going on to finish 7th out of eleven clubs. The club quickly became well known, and won their first Midland League championship in 1890/91 and after finishing runners-up the following season were elected to the Football League Second Division.

Their first match was against Newton Heath, who went bankrupt ten years later before reforming as Manchester United. Trinity held on to their place in Division Two but based in an area with a small population it was always a struggle and the club returned to the Midland League in 1912.

Here they were to settle and earn more success, winning the championship in 1927/28, 1948/49 and 1966/67, also finishing in second place on two occasions. In 1960/61 the league was suspended for one season and Trinity competed in the Central Alliance. On returning to the Midland League the club remained there until becoming founder members of the Northern Premier League in 1969.

Gainsborough have never won the NPL although the club twice finished in 4th place and have taken league cup honours on two occasions along with the Chairman’s Charity Shield. Trinity was the longest-serving member of the NPL, ending a 36-year stay after finishing tenth in the Premier Division to earn a place in the extended Conference Nationwide North for 2004/05.

Last year started with Steve Charles as manager for his first full season and with much optimism about a hoped for place in the play offs, but this was not to materialise owing to a lack of wins at home and a disappointing run in.

In spring 2009, there was a major change in the management of Gainsborough Trinity with Peter Swan buying out his fellow directors and taking overall charge of the club.  His ambition for Gainsborough and for Trinity is high and this was first seen last season through the arrival of Luke Beckett; Huddersfield’s Town top scorer who quickly became Trinity’s top scorer.  The pace has continued with the close season being very busy through an influx of 10 new players, many with recent Football League/Conference experience.  

At the beginning of this season, it would have been fair to say that there was another bout of optimism in the town and amongst Trinity supporters.  However after very few games in which the lack of success was noticeable, especially at home, the new owner dispensed with the services of manager Steve Charles and his coaching staff and appointed the very experienced manager, Brian Little, in his place.  He brings with him a wide and successful experience as manager:  his previous clubs include Aston Villa, Leicester and Hull and it is hoped he can bring the same success to Gainsborough Trinity.

Trinity has long been noted for finding players who have gone on to play in the Football League and the man who was to become their Honorary Manager for over 30 years, Charles Caldicott, arranged the transfers to League clubs of 19 players in the 1930’s and 40’s.  Several former Trinity stars went on to play for England; goalkeeper Ronnie Sewell, who also played for Burnley, Jackie Morton who was sold to West Ham United and left winger Fred Spicksley who went to Sheffield Wednesday and played seven times for his country, twice scoring hat tricks against Scotland.

Trinity also has a proud record in the FA Cup, and between 1927 and 1939 established a non-league record by appearing eight times in the Second Round Proper. In the season 2006 - 2007 the club reached the First Round Proper for the 36th time in their history before losing at home to Hartlepool. As a Midland League side they have recorded five victories against Football League opposition, beating Crewe twice in 1928 and 1931, Port Vale in 1937 and Gateshead the following year. The first competition after the Second World War saw most rounds played over two legs, and Trinity recorded a First Round aggregate victory over Mansfield Town.

The club’s best performance in the FA Trophy saw them reach the Fourth Round in 2002/03 before losing at home to Forest Green Rovers whilst the Lincolnshire Senior Cup has been won on 18 occasions, the most recent success coming last year.

Trinity’s Northolme ground has been a home of sport for nearly 150 years, beginning life as a cricket ground, later sharing it with Trinity before it became owned by the Trinity Supporters Club. The record attendance for a football match was recorded in the Midland League during the 1940’s when 9760 witnessed a game against near neighbours Scunthorpe United.

However, the ambitious Chairman has recently put forward a planning application to create a new sports complex in association with a local school.  This would provide a new ground, improved parking, a social club as well as multi-weather training pitches for use by the club, the school and other local sports clubs.  The initial application was turned down, but watch this space!

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Visit our online shop for all your Gainsborough Trinity Merchandise. We have a large range of products available including mugs, official team shirts scarfs and much more!Order via email currently, Online shop coming soon!!
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