06. Luke Waterfall
DATE OF BIRTH
Luke joined the Mariners in 2019, signing a two-year deal in August after leaving Shrewsbury Town.
Prior to that move, Waterfall’s career saw him take in spells with no fewer than ten clubs after spending his youth in Barnsley’s system. He signed for Tranmere Rovers, then in League One, after being released by the Oakwell club and made his debut on 12th August 2008 in a 2-0 defeat away to the Mariners in the League Cup.
He made one appearance on loan with Altrincham after making the move in October 2008 before Tranmere released him at the end of that season. A move to Ilkeston followed for the 2009-10 season and, after making thirty-five league appearances and scoring two goals, he spend the following three seasons with Gainsborough Trinity in the Conference North where he made over a century of league appearances.
His efforts with them earned him a move to the EFL with our rivals Scunthorpe United ahead of their return to League Two. Shortly after signing with the Iron, he made a loan switch to Macclesfield Town in August and, three months later, made another temporary move to Mansfield Town.
January 2015 saw him sign for Wrexham on a one-and-a-half year contract but only spent half a season with the Welsh club before joining their National League rivals Lincoln City in June on a two-year deal.
A regular fixture with the Imps, he made over a hundred league appearances with them and played a key role in their run to the Quarter-Finals of the Emirates FA Cup – becoming the first non-league team in over a century to reach the last eight before being defeated by Arsenal.
He was a mainstay in the campaign that saw Lincoln return to the Football League by winning the National League that season and, in their first campaign back in the EFL, he lifted the Football League Trophy at Wembley after Lincoln defeated Shrewsbury in April 2018.
Months later, Salop would meet the release clause in his contract and present Waterfall with the “toughest decision” of his career, one he eventually opted to make with the offer of a three-year deal and League One football too much to turn down.
One year into that deal, however, his contract was terminated and he joined the Mariners on the very same day.
While he was unable to help the Mariners avoid relegation in the 2020-21 season, he played a key role in helping the team earn an immediate return to the EFL after winning the National League Play-Offs.
Last season saw him captain the Mariners to our best league finish for almost two decades while also leading the team out at Southampton and Brighton & Hove Albion in our run to the Quarter-Finals of the Emirates FA Cup.