What are the chances of reigniting the Humber Derby on a regular basis?

Image source: Scunthorpe United FC via Facebook 

The Humber derby is one of the forgotten rivalries in English football, as nowadays it is so rarely contested. 

In the past, the matches between Scunthorpe United, Hull City, and Grimsby Town were considered derby matches, as all three sides were located in the former county of Humberside. 

But these days, with the Tigers residing in the Championship, the Iron in League One, and the Mariners in League Two, the three sides have to rely on cup draws in order to meet one another.


Iron fans did get a taste of days gone by recently, when Scunthorpe were drawn against Grimsby in the October EFL Trophy match at Glanford Park.

The result was a 2-1 home victory, thanks to goals in each half from Tom Hopper. It was a closely-fought tie with all the makings of a derby, but in the end the superior side won and progressed to the next round of the Checkatrade Trophy with a game to spare.

Prior to that meeting, the two sides met twice in the FA Cup in the 2013-14 campaign. That year, thanks to a goalless stalemate at Blundell Park in the first meeting, they played again in North Lincolnshire and Grimsby prevailed with a 2-1 win. The Iron had to wait four years for revenge.


Graham Alexander’s side have been waiting even longer to make amends for the last occasion they met Hull City.

The most recent time the two sides were in the same league was in the 2010-11 season when they were both in the second tier of English football.

In the Glanford Park fixture of that campaign Nigel Pearson’s side demolished the Iron 5-1, and Matty Fryatt scored a hat-trick while Aaron McLean bagged a brace.

Scunthorpe were ultimately relegated into the third tier at the end of the season and haven’t met Hull since.

But now that the East Yorkshire club are back in the Championship, there is a chance that the rivalry between the two sides could be reignited in the years to come.

The Iron came agonisingly close to promotion last time out, and bookies have them at a 7-1 chance of going up this season.

If they do get promoted, it is likely that Leonid Slutsky’s charges will be waiting for them in the second tier.

The KCOM Stadium outfit have had a mixed start to proceedings and after 11 matches played Hull were at 16/1 in the Championship betting to gain promotion to the Premier League at the end of this season.

The ideal situation would be for Alexander’s charges to put in another strong promotion push and meet Hull in the Championship for the next Humber derby fixture.

There is a chance, though, that the recent fallen giants could drop down another level and meet Scunthorpe in League One.

Unfortunately, Grimsby’s chances of escaping League Two this term look slim, and reinvigorating the derby in the near future among all three teams seems unlikely.  

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