STATEMENT RELEASED ON BEHALF OF PAUL HURST:
"It is with deep sadness that I write this after leaving Grimsby Town Football Club. The club has been a big part of my life, as I have spent almost eight and a half years there over two spells.
"People often say that you shouldn’t go back in life but I’m glad I ignored that! Since re-joining the club at the beginning of 2020, it has been mainly a successful time. There has been many highlights and I feel very privileged to have been part of those. It is difficult to enjoy them fully when you are in the job but I am now able to reflect and look back at some incredible moments. On returning to the club I spoke about creating more memories and we certainly did that.
"The play-off campaign which culminated in promotion back to the Football League was the most extraordinary set of games I have ever been involved in. I am not sure many people will ever experience such a dramatic run of games.
"Our first season back in the EFL saw us achieve our best league position in 17 years, finishing in 11th place, this is something I am very proud of. However, that paled into insignificance with our history making FA Cup run. Reaching the quarter-finals of arguably the biggest cup competition in the World was an outstanding achievement from the players. We became only the sixth fourth tier club to reach that stage and the first team in history to beat five teams from higher divisions along the way.
"Those experiences were fantastic but were only made special by sharing them with a number of people, who I would like to thank.
"Firstly, a big thank you to the owners Jason and Andrew. Along with Chief Executive, Debbie Cook, they have given me great support during my tenure and I am thankful for the faith they put in me. As Grimsby Town fans, they have the best interests of the club at heart and will continue to improve it.
"Secondly, I would like to thank the staff, both football and club, that have made the experience both successful and enjoyable. I have to give special mention and thanks to Dave Moore, Steve Croudson, Ben Davies, Shaun Pearson, Greg Howard, Joe Hutchinson, Ben Mortlock, Ollie Howard and Mason Cook for all their hard work, providing much laughter along the way. There are so many other good people at the club and I will miss them.
"To the players, I hope you prove me right and show people that you are a talented squad. I am sure you will climb the table and bring happiness to those that follow you. Also, a special mention to all the players that I have worked with during my time at GTFC. It was a pleasure to be your manager and get to know you all.
"Thank you to the fans who are the constant and make the club what it is. I know how much the club means to its supporters and they make the highs more enjoyable. When I first came back it was during COVID times and playing games with no fans was not an enjoyable experience. I have received some very nice messages from fans which I am very grateful for. We have had some great times together and have memories which will last a lifetime.
"Last but not least, a massive thank you to my assistant Chris Doig. I couldn’t ask for a more dedicated person and he has played a big part in the success we have all enjoyed.
"Now for me it is a time for reflection and to see what the future holds. I am sad to leave but also extremely proud of my time at GTFC. With the help of many of the people I have mentioned, the club has significantly improved since I returned, and I am sure it will continue to do so.
"I will always call myself a Mariner and I wish the club every success in the future. I am sure there will be exciting times ahead. Up The Mariners!"