Grimsby Town | John Fenty
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John Fenty







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At 18 John Shelton Fenty took charge of the family haulage business built by his father. It had seen better days but fortunately for those in its employ it enjoyed synergies with a company he was set to build from scratch named Five Star Fish. The company dealt with the processing of fish and other food, as well as its distribution to a retail, restaurant and catering client base. Over the next 27 years entrepreneurial lad went on to more than make a fist of it to become Fenty the Fish Baron on Millionaires Row.

John sold the business in April 2004 to the Real Good Food Company for 22 millions, but continued as Chairman until August 2007. During 2007 the business was again sold to British Seafood for 35 million netting the Fish baron a further treasure trove. Despite British Seafood overstretching them this March, 5 Star is now part of the Harry Ramsdens Empire and still employs 330 Grimbarians.

John`s association with the Mariners stems back to boyhood terrace dreams. It became more of a financial interest when he purchased some shares in the late nineties and was then approached to join the board by Tony Richardson and Bill Carr. He served under chairman Doug Everitt and then succeeded Peter Furneaux in 2003 as the clubs debts mounted following the collapse of ITV Digital in 2001 and arguments over a proposed stadium move involving B & Q.

Successive relegations and the loss of a central retail partner saw John almost single handedly handle the burden of keeping the club afloat as any potential ground move stalled and Newell frittered away creditable budgets aforded by the board. That was until industry colleague Mike Parker joined last November and then in May the two lifelong fans halved the load and presumably the ownership of the club.

No one can foretell whether the easing of the debt will allow us to bounce back first time. However with two fans with deep pockets on our side in the current economic climate the signs are much better for the Mariners than most.

Vital would like to thank John for the millions he has put into the Mariners so far. It should not be forgotten, for without him an institution might not just have left the league but disappeared for good years ago. Both he and Mike have been on record as saying they are Grimsby born and bred, lifelong fans, who want to put something back.

In May 2008 Fenty was elected as a Conservative Party councillor for the Humberston and New Waltham ward of North East Lincolnshire Council. Wonder if that will help with the Conoco Stadium?

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League Table (view table)

Team P W D L GD Pts
7. Barnet 20 7 9 4 1 30
8. Wycombe 19 8 4 7 1 28
9. Cambridge 20 8 4 8 0 28
10. Grimsby 19 7 5 7 2 26
11. Crewe 19 6 8 5 -3 26
12. Mansfield 19 6 7 6 -4 25
13. Yeovil 18 7 4 7 -4 25

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