The Club can confirm that tomorrow’s match against AFC Wimbledon will be Shaun Pearson’s final game as a player.
After almost 300 appearances in the black and white shirt, the centre-back will move into a role within Paul Hurst’s football department ahead of next season.
The York-born 34-year-old first joined the Mariners in 2011 from Boston United to reunite with Hurst, a manager he played for while with the Pilgrims. That spell ended six years later, one season after Pearson helped Town return to the Football League through the National League Play-Offs to join Wrexham.
Four campaigns in non-league with the Welsh club came to an end after signing a two-year deal to return to Blundell Park and, in the first of those years, he helped Town make an immediate return to the EFL as part of last season’s incredible run through the Play-Offs.
While opportunities this season have been limited, Pearson has a short spell with Boston United before returning to the Town fold and his impact on the playing group has been without question. On the veteran centre-back’s career and his future role with the Club, manager Hurst had this to say.
“Firstly, I’ve managed Shaun for a few years and this is the second time at Grimsby. Prior to that, he was with me at Boston and that’s where I brought him from the first time and there were several reasons for that.
“One of those was that he did very well as a player. He is one of those that will always be popular with the fans because of how wholehearted and committed he is.
“Secondly, anyone who is ever in Shaun’s company will just understand and realise what a great, down to earth character he is. He’s very passionate about what he does and he’s very grateful, humble and has certainly been extremely committed to his profession.
“I think he epitomises someone that gets the most out of his career and doesn’t have any regrets. I’m sure he won’t be one of those that is stood in a pub in years to come where they’re going “I could have played higher and I could have done this…”
“I think he has got every ounce out of himself and he’s been great for the squads and the teams over the years. He’s not always been in the team, but he has been great for the squads – that was a big part of bringing him back to the football club last season because anyone who has got Shaun Pearson in the ranks is better for it.
“At the minute, his role in the football department – and it’s one that he has started already – is kind of scouting for us. He’s getting out, watching games, trying to identify targets sometimes and sometimes going to watch some targets that perhaps Joe (Hutchinson) or ourselves have identified.
“That’s not to say that will be his role all the time moving forward and he is already coaching in the Academy. I know that is a real passion for Shaun and that’s something that I will look at down the line as well.
“We’re absolutely not pigeon-holing him but, at the minute, the main bulk of his work is in the scouting and recruitment area.”
CEO Debbie Cook added: “It has been a pleasure working alongside Shaun and getting to know his wife Clarise over the last couple of years.
“Shaun has a genuine, authentic passion for Grimsby Town Football Club. His positive influence around the training ground with both our First Team and our Academy is hugely valued.
“I’m delighted that Shaun will be a part of future chapters to be written in the Club’s history.”
With Shaun anticipated to be involved at some stage tomorrow afternoon, we are sure we’re not alone in wanting to give him and his playing career the best send off we can in front of a packed Blundell Park.
Thanks for all of your efforts, Shaun!