Former Walsall, Grimsby & Imp Legend Alan Buckley Sheds some light

A Walsall FC and Grimsby Town legend, Alan Buckley would play over 400 games for the Saddlers, become record goal scorer with 205 strikes and manage them for over 300 matches. His tenure at Grimsby Town heralded a decade that saw Mariners fans experience some incredible highs as well as lows. He would also be a help in the Imps survival quest during the dark days of administration.

Thanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs

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‘Pass and Move – My Story’ tells of Mr Buckley’s forty-five years in the people’s game, from his formative years as a player at Nottingham Forest to his record-breaking feats at Walsall.   It also covers his managerial tenures at West Bromwich Albion, Lincoln and Rochdale, where he is credited with transforming the Mariners’ fortunes.  Alan, is one of just over a dozen managers to reach the 1000 matches mark and the only one never to have managed in the top flight. His full playing and managerial stats can be found at the end of the article.

Alan Buckley spent a short but turbulent 14 month period at Lincoln, ultimately losing his job due to the clubs financial plight in the 2001/2 season.  Despite the club finishing 22nd a club  statement at the time said the decision had been made following advice from administrators Begbies Traynor,  The Imps were attempting to raise the funds needed to facilitate their survival after being placed in administration due to the collapse of ITV Digital. Mr Buckley was very reasonable to the club at the time taking payment in shares which he gave to the Trust along with the huge number gifted by Chairman John Reames (those are the ones that have gone into Lincoln City Holdings without fans even getting to vote!).

But we do not want to ruin what could potentially be a very interesting ‘darkest before the dawn’ chapter for Imps and well worth a read. The Imps did survive as Keith Alexander took temporary charge before being given the job permanently the following season.  That 2002/3 season will be covered match by match in a book about the life of Richard Butcher that is also going through the publishing process at the moment and will be due out in mid November.

Pass and Move – My Story is published by Troubador and released on November 11. You can get a copy before that by attending the Mariners Trust launch event on Friday in McMenemy’s bar at Blundell Park or by ordering from

Managerial Honours


Kettering Town

GMAC Cup winner: 1987

Grimsby Town

Division 4, runners up & promoted: 1990
Division 3, 3rd place & promoted: 1991
Auto Windscreens Shield winners: 1998
Division 2 Play-off winners: 1998
Johnstones Paint Trophy runners up: 2008

Club From To Alan’s Record
G W L D Win %
Walsall 27 June 1979 1 July 1981 93 36 24 33 38.70
Walsall 1 July 1981 1 January 1982 18 9 4 5 50.00
Walsall 1 July 1982 1 August 1986 201 87 66 48 43.28
Grimsby Town 6 June 1988 20 October 1994 327 130 109 88 39.75
West Bromwich Albion 20 October 1994 22 January 1997 118 39 45 34 33.05
Grimsby Town 21 May 1997 22 August 2000 175 67 63 45 38.28
Lincoln City 28 February 2001 25 April 2002 69 16 29 24 23.18
Rochdale 1 June 2003 30 December 2003 28 8 15 5 28.57
Grimsby Town 9 November 2006 15 September 2008 97 33 41 23 34.02

STMI Biopic
Full name Alan Peter Buckley
Date of birth 20 April 1951 (age 62)
Place of birth Mansfield, England, UK
Height 5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)
Playing position Striker
Current gig in the game
Grimsby Town Youth Development (U17s)
Senior Stats
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1967–1973 Nottingham Forest 18 (1)
1973–1978 Walsall 241 (125)
1978–1979 Birmingham City 28 (8)
1979–1984 Walsall 178 (49)
1984-1986 Stourbridge  n/a  (?)
1986–1987 Tamworth 3 (0

Posted on October 16, 2013, in Ex Imps, Writers - Neil Gentleman-Hobbs and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Just like to point out Alan scored 205 goals in all for Walsall.

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