Stephen Wearne was released by Sunderland at the end of the season, having scored a winner against Manchester United in the Football League Trophy earlier in the campaign

Grimsby Town signing says holidaying fan prompted move

Having been released by Sunderland at the end of the season, midfielder Stephen Wearne was at a crossroads regarding his football career.

That was until a chance meeting, while on holiday in Mexico, convinced the 21-year-old to make a snap decision.

There were a number of offers on the table, but one moment persuaded Stockton-born Wearne the right move was to join League Two side Grimsby Town.

“We were out one night and I said to my girlfriend, ‘I don’t know what the right thing to do is here’,” Wearne told BBC Radio Humberside.

“Other managers were pressuring me to make a decision. I said to her – I need a sign.”

“I went to bed that night, next morning, I came out of the lift and the first guy I see has a Grimsby top on.

“And I just said, ‘That’s the sign’. It’s done.”

Wearne had spoken to Mariners boss Paul Hurst during the holiday but had yet to receive a concrete offer, however the encounter with the unknown supporter cemented his decision.

The former Middlesbrough trainee is happy to have made the switch to Blundell Park, and has offered a personal thank you to the unknowing fan.

“It just shows how many fans there are [supporting Grimsby],” Wearne added.

“I didn’t speak to the guy, he was quite a young lad, but if you were in Cancun, Mexico – reach out and I’ll send you something.

“Because that’s the reason why I’m here. He probably thought I was a bit of a weirdo because me and my girlfriend were just staring at him.”

Original article published 29.06.2022 on the BBC Sport website.

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