Grimsby fans hit with inflatable ban

Football fans with inflatables during a match

Grimsby Town fans have been banned from taking inflatables into their match this weekend at Barnet after they took hundreds to the same fixture two years ago.

“Please note that we have been informed by Barnet that inflatables will not be allowed into the ground on the day of the fixture,” said a statement [1]on Grimsby’s website.

Two years ago Grimsby fans threw dozens of beach balls and blow up footballs onto the pitch at Barnet when both teams were in the Conference.

One fan was later found guilty[2] of assaulting a football steward with an inflatable shark.

A Grimsby Town fan with an inflatable shark at Wembley during the National League play-off final against Forest Green Rovers<!–

The display was part of a protest after a fan was ejected from the ground[3] at Forest Green Rovers for failing to hand over an inflatable football.

Grimsby, who are 14th in League Two, have been allocated 700 tickets for Barnet, who sit one place and seven points behind the Mariners. They play on Saturday, 29 April at 15:00 BST.

When Harry Haddock invaded Plough Lane

Grimsby fans have a long history of taking inflatables to away grounds.

In 1989, thousands of their supporters descended on Plough Lane when Grimsby, then in the old Fourth Division, played top-flight Wimbledon in the fifth round of the FA Cup.

Grimsby lost the game 3-1 but attracted headlines for a huge shoal of inflatable ‘Harry Haddock’ fish which filled the terraces.

Grimsby’s run to the last-16 of the competition had included a third round win over top-flight Middlesbrough.

A Grimsby Town fan with an inflatable 'Harry Haddock' during the club's Johnstone's Paint Trophy final against MK Dons at Wembley in 2008<!–

When Man City went bananas

The craze of taking inflatables to football ground took a real hold during the 1988-89 season.

Stoke City fans took 3,000 blow-up Pink Panthers to Manchester City that season, while inflatable bananas have become associated with City.

According to City’s website, inflatable bananas[4] have become part of “the club’s folklore and have been a staple part of matchdays for City fans for almost 30 years”.

Everton keeper Joel Robles removes an inflatable banana from the pitch during the League Cup semi-final against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium in 2016<!–
A young Manchester City fan with an inflatable banana in 1989<!–


  1. ^ said a statement (
  2. ^ found guilty (
  3. ^ ejected from the ground (
  4. ^ inflatable bananas (

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