TOWN supporters who braved the elements to make the trip to Grimsby didn't realise it.
But they were watching their side play a competitive game for the last time in more than two months.
An icy blast had hit most of the country, causing the postponement of the Boxing Day Division II clash between the teams at Leeds Road.
It wasn't to release its icy grip until March, decimating the nation's sporting schedule.
The Blundell Park match on December 29 was one of the few to survive that day, but the general view was that it should have been off.
The 1-1 draw attracted a crowd of 9,814, including Manchester United manager Matt Busby, whose side had been drawn against Town in the FA Cup third round.
The tie was scheduled for the following Saturday, although it didn't take place until March 4!
It was doubtful whether Busby gleaned anything useful from his trip to the East coast, because the conditions made playing proper football virtually impossible.
Eddie Boot's Town, having started the season relatively strongly, were desperate to hit back after a slump of three straight defeats, by Stoke (2-1 away), Sunderland (3-0 at home) and Derby (2-1 away).
Grimsby, under the leadership of future Town boss Tom Johnston, were finding it hard to adjust to life in English football's second tier after their promotion the season before.
But they had been willing to splash the cash in a bid to solve their problems, bringing in centre- forward George McLean from Norwich, inside-forward Ron Foster from Leyton Orient and utility man Brian Clifton from Southampton for a combined £30,000.
Clifton had picked up a leg injury on his Grimsby debut in October, but was back for the Town clash.
The Mariners had hauled themselves off the bottom of the table by drawing 1-1 in their derby at Scunthorpe, and were keen to continue their climb.
The first half failed to deliver any real chances as the players tried to find their feet on the tricky surface.
Town finally made the breakthrough a minute into the second half, with a Kevin McHale goal which had a freakish quality.
There was nothing wrong with his low drive, but Grimsby goalkeeper Malcolm White would surely have saved it had he not slipped as he shaped to dive.
Having gifted Town the goal, White responded to his blunder by pulling off a string of fine saves as the visitors piled on the pressure.
He twice denied centre-forward Derek Stokes, then dived bravely to block from tricky winger Mike O'Grady at point-blank range.
On the one occasion White was beaten, Brian Keeble cleared Les Massie's header off the line.
Having survived the onslaught, Grimsby rescued a point nine minutes from the end when inside-forward Cliff Portwood slotted home from close range.