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|Full name||Lincoln City Football Club|
|Ground||Sincil Bank, Lincoln|
|2013–14||Conference Premier, 14th|
|Full name||Lincoln City Football Club|
|Ground||Sincil Bank, Lincoln|
|2013–14||Conference Premier, 14th|
The club plays at the 10,120-capacity Sincil Bank, and are nicknamed the Imps after the legend of the Lincoln Imp. They have also been known as the Red Imps. Traditionally they play in red and white striped shirts with black shorts and red and white socks. Their most recent championship win was the Football Conference, in the 1987–88 season. This season saw the club set an all-time record attendance (which has since been beaten by Oxford United) for a Conference match, attracting 9,432 spectators in a game against Wycombe Wanderers, on 2 May 1988, the last game of the season. The game also decided the championship, as Lincoln had not occupied the top-spot at any point in the season prior to this 2–0 victory.
Their highest ever position achieved came in the 1901–02 season, where they reached 5th position in the English Division 2 (now known as the Championship). The last season that the club spent in this division was in 1960–61, they have never returned since. No team has played as many seasons in the Football League (Lincoln spent 104 seasons in the League) without ever reaching the top tier.
An unusual record held by Lincoln is that the club has suffered five demotions from the Football League, more than any other club: in 1908, 1911, 1920, 1987 and 2011. In all but the last case the club returned to the League the following season.
The club has reached the last 16 in the FA Cup three times, most recently over 100 years ago in the 1901–02 season. Their best performance in the League Cup came in 1967–68 when they reached the Fourth round before losing 0–3 at home to Derby County in a replay. In the Second round of the 2005–06 League Cup, Lincoln narrowly lost 5–4 to Premier League Fulham at Craven Cottage, being denied a draw in the last minute of extra time by a Brian McBride goal. This was after an impressive 5–1 home victory against Championship side Crewe Alexandra.
In recent history, the club have also been in the chase for promotion from the fourth tier via the play-offs five times, twice reaching the finals (2002–03 & 2004–05) and three times getting knocked out in the semi-finals (2003–04, 2005–06 & 2006–07), each time under the guidance of Keith Alexander with the exception of the 2006–07 play-offs. The failure to succeed in five successive play-off competitions is a record. The last time Lincoln were in a higher league than League Two was in the 1998–99 season where they played in the Division 2 (now League One), after they had gained automatic promotion via third position the previous season.
Having formed officially as an amateur association in 1884 after the disbanding of Lincoln Rovers (formerly Lincoln Recreation), football in the city of Lincoln had been prominent since the 1860s (although not strictly connected to the modern day club). The first game Lincoln played as an amateur team at the John O'Gaunts Ground, a ground that wealthy local brewer Robert Dawber provided and rented out to the club, was an emphatic 9–1 victory over local rivals Sleaford, on 4 October 1884. George Hallam set two records for the club that day. He scored the first ever goal for the club, and also the first ever hat-trick. Their first competitive game at home also ended in an emphatic manner, beating Boston Excelsior 11–0, with Edwin Teesdale scoring four goals. It was at this time, before the club gained entry into the Football League and professional status, that the County Cup was their main priority. They won it for the first time in the 1886–87 season with a 2–0 replay victory over neighbours Grimsby Town F.C., after the initial match had finished 2–2.
Lincoln soon helped to form what was then the Second Division in 1892–93 season, as an increasing number of clubs wished to join the Football League. Their first game in the Football League was a 4–2 away defeat to Sheffield United on 3 September 1892. Their first home game was also against Sheffield United, this time, however, Lincoln won 1–0. The first game at Sincil Bank in 1895, after moving from the John O'Gaunts Ground due to Dawber's death, was a 0–0 friendly draw with local rivals, Gainsborough Trinity. The first competitive fixture at the ground was against Arsenal, the game ended 1–1.
In January 1907 The Imps knocked Chelsea out of the FA Cup after a replay. Managed by David Calderhead, two late goals salvaged a home draw in the first leg. In the replay in London, an injury time goal by Norrie Fairgray took Lincoln through. Chelsea returned at the end of the season to poach Calderhead to become their manager.
Up until the 1920s Lincoln spent most of their time swinging between the Second Division and the more localised leagues, the Midland and also the Central league. After then, however, in the 1921–22 season, Lincoln, along with several other clubs from the Central and Midland leagues, founded the Third Division (North). The newly founded league and the Second Division would take turns in becoming Lincoln's home up until the early 1960s where they would drop a further division to the Fourth Division in the 1962–63 season. Formed in 1884 as an amateur association, Lincoln turned professional in the 1891–92 season. Originally they played at the John O'Gaunts ground, however, in 1895 they moved to their current ground, Sincil Bank.
Their championship honours include three Division 3 (North) championships in 1931–32, 1947–48 and 1951–52, a Division 4 (now League Two) championship in 1975–76 (when they were managed by future England manager Graham Taylor).
It was the 1975–76 season where the club broke the record for most points for a whole season when 2 instead of 3 points were awarded for a win with 74 points in total (this was and still is the record amount of points achieved under the 2-point system); the record of winning the most games (32) and losing the fewest (4), was also set. City also become the first club in nearly a decade to score over 100 league goals (111 in total). They also won 21 out of 23 home league games in this season (the other 2 were drawn) and also won 11 games away from home, another impressive bout from the club. It was the season where, Graham Taylor recalls, "teams were petrified of coming to Sincil Bank".
In 1982 and again in 1983, Lincoln narrowly missed out on promotion to the Second Division. In 1985, Lincoln were the opposition at Bradford City when the Bradford City stadium fire claimed the lives of 56 spectators – two of them, Bill Stacey and Jim West, were Lincoln fans, and subsequently these fans had the Stacey West stand named after them.
Lincoln were relegated on the last day of the following season, and the year after that they became the first team to suffer automatic relegation from the Football League. This was a dramatic decline for a club who had almost reached the Second Division four years earlier and has been linked to the trauma arising from the disaster. This marked the fourth occasion on which Lincoln were demoted from the Football League, a record that still stands. They regained their Football League place automatically via promotion as champions of the Conference (beforehand it was done by re-election) at the first attempt with a long ball game devised by eccentric manager Colin Murphy and held on to it until the end of season 2010–11. On 8 September 1990, Lincoln were the opposition when David Longhurst suffered a fatal heart attack during the first half of a game against York City at Bootham Crescent. The game was abandoned at halftime.
With Lincoln entering administration at the end of the 2001–02 season, Alan Buckley was relieved of his duties as manager on financial grounds with Keith Alexander placed in charge of all football matters. On 3 May 2002 Lincoln successfully petitioned to go into administration but the financial crisis would leave the first team squad bereft of players as the day saw five senior players – Jason Barnett, Grant Brown, David Cameron, Steve Holmes and Justin Walker – released at the end of their contracts with a sixth, Lee Thorpe, departing for Leyton Orient. A hectic day finished with confirmation of Alexander's official appointment as team manager.
In 2002–03, Alexander was given the task of keeping the team in the football league, he proved the many pundits and fans who believed that Lincoln would be relegated and sent out of business due to financial irregularities wrong. With a team made up of cheap ex-non-league players and the lower paid members of the previous seasons squad he managed to take them to the play-off final which they lost 5–2 to Bournemouth. The team were rewarded with a civil reception in Lincoln, and an open-top bus ride through Lincoln, an event usually preserved for the winners of such competitions, but was awarded to the team because of the massive achievement.
In 2003–04 Alexander again confounded the critics by coaching the Imps to another play-off position, this time losing to eventual winners Huddersfield Town in the semi-finals. Alexander, one of the very few black managers in the Football League, had a very serious brain injury (a cerebral aneurysm) halfway through the season, but made a full recovery. In the 2004–05 season they again qualified for the play-offs, for a third year running, and in the semi-finals Lincoln beat Macclesfield Town 2–1 on aggregate over two legs but lost in the final against Southend United 2–0 after extra time.
In the 2005–06 season Lincoln City again reached the play-offs after many fans and critics believed that they would finish in the mid-table after losing many of their first team regulars from the previous 3 campaigns. In January both Alexander and former Assistant Manager, Gary Simpson, were put on gardening leave by the board. Alexander was soon after reinstated, however, Simpson was never to return. Shortly after, over a disagreement with other board members over the way the club was being run and certain personnel, two prominent board members, Ray Trew and Keith Roe departed from the club. Lincoln brushed this saga to the side though, and finished 7th in League 2 after only losing 3 games since the new year. Lincoln were to face local neighbours Grimsby Town in the play-offs, a side they had beaten 5–0 at Sincil Bank earlier in the season. However, once again it was not to be, as Lincoln lost 3–1 on aggregate to become the first team ever to lose four consecutive play-off competitions.
After speculation that he would take up the vacant managerial role at Peterborough United, Keith Alexander left his position as manager of Lincoln City by mutual consent on 24 May 2006 stating that he could take the club no further, and shortly after on 15 June John Schofield was appointed his successor, with John Deehan as Director of Football. When John Deehan was the Director of Football, the club enjoyed a close link with Premier League outfit Aston Villa. As well as Villa hosting a behind closed-doors friendly with City earlier in the 2006–07 season, Paul Green, a promising youngster, made a permanent move to the club, whilst goalkeeper Robert Olejnik featured several times on the substitute bench during his loan spell at City. Deehan also brought in Ryan Amoo, a youth player who he worked with at Villa, who has since left the club since his contract expired. For the fifth year in a row, under a different manager, however, Lincoln City reached the League Two play-offs after finishing 5th in the league (the highest position that they have qualified for the play-offs in). Once again, however, they lost, this time to Bristol Rovers in the semi-finals courtesy of a 2–1 defeat away and a 3–5 defeat at home. The failure to succeed in five successive Play-off competitions is a record for any club.
The team started the 2007–08 campaign poorly, managing just two wins before a winless streak that lasted from 25 August to 24 November. During this winless streak the Managerial team of John Schofield and John Deehan were sacked, and replaced with former Huddersfield Town manager Peter Jackson. Jackson quickly earned the nickname "Lord of the Imps" due to his shared name with Peter Jackson the director who made the Lord of the Rings films. Jackson parted company with the club on 2 September 2009 due to poor home form in the previous season and a poor start to the 2009/10 season.
On 28 September 2009, the Lincoln hotseat was handed to former Chelsea, Blackburn Rovers, Celtic and England striker Chris Sutton. His assistant was named as Ian Pearce, another former Premier League player. The club had been managed by coach Simon Clark following the sacking of Peter Jackson and his assistant Iffy Onuora. It was announced that Sutton would take the reins from Clark on 30 September. Sutton led Lincoln City to the Third round of the FA Cup, after beating Northwich Victoria in a second round game televised live on ITV1. City were drawn with Premier League side Bolton Wanderers in the third round. The tie was played on 2 January 2010 at the Reebok Stadium, with Lincoln losing the game 4–0 and crashing out respectfully to the Premier League side. League form improved in January, with the team profiting from new loan and permanent signings. Loan signing Davide Somma became an instant hero, scoring 9 goals in his 14 games on loan and ending up being Lincoln's top goalscorer for the season.
Sutton resigned in September 2010, citing personal reasons. However, he later revealed it was due to disagreements over spending with the clubs board. On 15 October, the Imps hired Steve Tilson as the club's new manager. Under new management, things looked up for the Imps and by Christmas, Tilson's side were 11th. The good run ended abruptly, and Lincoln started to slip down the table. After a run of nine losses and a draw in the final ten games, Lincoln City were relegated from League Two on the last day of the end of the 2010–2011 season. They needed a win in their final game against Aldershot Town to survive, but lost 3–0. With relegation rivals Barnet winning their final game, Lincoln finished 23rd and were relegated. Almost 8,000 supporters watched the game, an attendance that had not been seen at the club in years.
Lincoln City have played in the Conference Premier since the season 2011–12. Following relegation, Tilson released all but three members of the squad, telling them they had no future at Sincil Bank. Tilson had very little success in the Conference Premier. By early October, Lincoln were one point above relegation zone and the management were coming under-fire after a run of one win in four, that being against Bath City F.C. On 10 October, little under a year since being appointed as manager and after losing 4–0 at Tamworth F.C., Tilson and assistant Paul Brush were sacked by chairman Bob Dorrian. Their reign was described as 'a year to forget'. Following the duo's sacking, Grant Brown was put in temporary charge. His first game was at home to Mansfield Town F.C.
Imps chairman Bob Dorrian told BBC Lincolnshire that Lincoln were going to appoint a manager on a contract until the end of the season. Many candidates were interviewed, but in the end, former Mansfield Town F.C. manager David Holdsworth was confirmed as manager.
Lincoln ended the season with a 5–1 away win against Hyde, guaranteeing their Conference status.
The club have played at Sincil Bank since 1895. Previously, Lincoln City had played at the nearby John O'Gaunts ground since the club's 1884 inception. Sincil Bank has an overall capacity of 10,120 and is colloquially known to fans as "The Bank". It is overlooked by Lincoln Cathedral. Former Lincoln City chairman John Reames re-purchased the ground from the local council in 2000 at a cost of £175,000. The club had sold it in 1982 for £225,000 to fend off the threat of eviction, arranging a 125-year lease.
Sincil Bank hosted England's 2–0 win over Scotland in the Victory Shield on 28 November 2008. Martin Peters paraded the FIFA World Cup Trophy at the ground in March 2010 as part of its global tour. FA WSL club Lincoln Ladies will play home games at Sincil Bank in their 2011 season. The Ladies' club had previously hosted Arsenal Ladies there in an FA Women's Cup semi-final in March 2008.
The Lincoln City mascot is called Poacher The Imp, after the old song 'The Lincolnshire Poacher'. He has been portrayed by Gary Hutchinson since he was first introduced to Imps fans in July 1999. In 2003, Poacher finished 12th in the Mascot Grand National, representing his best finish. However following claims that the event at Huntingdon allows professional athletes to compete in the guise of mascots, Poacher has decided to boycott the event in the future. Gary retired as Poacher after 16 seasons, with his last match being a FA Cup 1st Round game at home against Plymouth Argile which finished 0–0 on 9 November 2013. He is now portrayed by an anonymous person.
Peterborough United, Mansfield Town and York City are all clubs who have had some sort of local rivalry with The Imps in the past. The two other clubs in the City of Lincoln, Lincoln United and Lincoln Moorlands Railway are further down the footballing pyramid and are not considered rivals.
Up until recently the club's logo was very simple in design, with the historic City's heraldic shield having "L C F C" inside it and a marquee displaying the club's name below it. Since, however, Lincoln have opted to go with a more informal design, with the club's mascot and nickname replacing what was originally there.
|2004–2006||Lincoln City Collection|
Traditionally, the colours and design of the Lincoln City strip have been a red and white striped shirt along with black shorts and red socks. This has varied, however, as in the late 1960s and early 70s, the club opted to field a predominantly red strip with white shorts, and also in the 2000–01 season where the shirt was quartered red and white with white shorts. Their away kit has never retained any single pattern or design, and has varied vastly throughout the seasons.
In the 2006–07 season, Lincoln have retained their traditional home kit colours and style, and have a predominantly black away strip with red side stripes, also with red shorts and black socks. This has been the away strip of choice for two seasons now. Their current sponsors are Starglaze (home) and Haart (away), with their kit manufacturer being Uhlsport. Dennis Horton & Son, also sponsor Lincoln, with their logo appearing at the top centre on the reverse of their home kit.
|2004–2006||The Community Solutions Group|
|2013–2016||Bishop Grosseteste University|
The world-famous Dambusters theme is usually played during pre-match formalities. This is because The Dambusters were based just outside of Lincoln, being formed at the nearby RAF Scampton during World War II, and are therefore at the heart of the city's history.
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Nick Draper – Exeter City
|Assistant Manager||Grant Brown|
|First Team Coach||Chris Moyses|
|Youth Academy Manager||Damian Froggatt|
|Goalkeeping Coach||David Preece|
|David Calderhead||1 August 1900||1 August 1907||256||89||53||114||34.77%|
|John Henry Strawson||1 August 1907||31 May 1914||195||52||40||103||26.67%|
|George Fraser||1 August 1919||31 May 1921||46||10||10||26||21.74%|
|David Calderhead, Jnr.||1 April 1921||31 May 1924||118||37||28||53||31.36%|
|Horace Henshall||1 August 1924||1 May 1927||132||51||28||53||38.64%|
|Harry Parkes||1 May 1927||1 May 1936||395||187||78||130||47.34%|
|Joe McClelland||1 May 1936||1 January 1946||140||61||27||52||43.57%|
|Bill Anderson||1 January 1946||1 January 1965||855||307||189||359||35.91%|
|Con Moulson||1 January 1965||1 March 1965||8||0||0||8||00.00%|
|Roy Chapman||1 March 1965||31 May 1966||65||15||13||37||23.08%|
|Ron Gray||1 August 1966||1 July 1970||184||60||55||69||32.61%|
|Bert Loxley||1 July 1970||1 March 1971||32||12||4||16||37.50%|
|David Herd||1 March 1971||6 December 1972||82||30||30||22||36.59%|
|Graham Taylor||6 December 1972||20 June 1977||211||97||61||53||45.97%|
|George Kerr||20 June 1977||1 December 1977||18||5||4||9||27.78%|
|Willie Bell||21 December 1977||23 October 1978||40||11||13||16||27.50%|
|Colin Murphy||6 November 1978||1 May 1985||309||121||88||100||39.16%|
|John Pickering||1 July 1985||20 December 1985||24||4||6||14||16.67%|
|George Kerr||20 December 1985||7 March 1987||61||17||17||27||27.87%|
|Peter Daniel||7 March 1987||1 May 1987||12||2||5||5||16.67%|
|Colin Murphy||26 May 1987||20 May 1990||103||39||26||38||37.86%|
|Allan Clarke||3 June 1990||30 November 1990||18||3||6||9||16.67%|
|Steve Thompson||1 November 1990||31 May 1993||128||48||36||44||37.50%|
|Keith Alexander||1 August 1993||16 May 1994||48||13||13||22||27.08%|
|Sam Ellis||1 August 1994||4 September 1995||56||21||12||23||37.50%|
|Steve Wicks||4 September 1995||16 October 1995||7||0||2||5||00.00%|
|John Beck||16 October 1995||6 March 1998||130||48||42||40||36.92%|
|Shane Westley||7 March 1998||11 November 1998||30||9||5||16||30.00%|
|John Reames||11 November 1998||1 June 2000||87||30||21||36||34.48%|
|Phil Stant||1 June 2000||27 February 2001||38||12||10||16||31.58%|
|Alan Buckley||28 February 2001||25 April 2002||69||16||24||29||23.19%|
|Keith Alexander||5 May 2002||24 May 2006||213||81||69||63||38.03%|
|John Schofield||15 June 2006||15 October 2007||51||21||12||18||41.18%|
|Peter Jackson||30 October 2007||2 September 2009||92||32||21||39||34.78%|
|Chris Sutton||28 September 2009||28 September 2010||51||14||14||23||28.00%|
|Steve Tilson||15 October 2010||10 October 2011||37||11||7||19||29.73%|
|David Holdsworth||31 October 2011||17 February 2013||71||21||19||31||29.57%|
|Gary Simpson||27 February 2013||Present||58||23||15||20||39.65%|
To end of 2013–4 season
|Gareth McAuley||Northern Ireland||5||Germany (June 2005)|
Portugal (November 2005)
Estonia (March 2006)
Uruguay (May 2006)
Romania (May 2006)
|Delroy Facey||Grenada||5||Puerto Rico (October 2010)|
St. Kitts and Nevis (October 2010)
Guadeloupe (October 2010)
Martinique (November 2010)
Trinidad and Tobago (November 2010)
|George Moulson||Republic of Ireland||3||Portugal (May 1948)|
Spain (May 1948)
Switzerland (December 1948)
|David Pugh||Wales||3||Scotland (February 1900)|
Scotland (March 1901)
England (March 1901)
|Con Moulson||Republic of Ireland||2||Hungary (May 1936)|
Luxembourg (May 1936)
|Dean Walling||St. Kitts and Nevis||2||British Virgin Islands (April 1998)|
Guadeloupe (April 1998)
|Jeff Hughes||Northern Ireland||2||Uruguay (May 2006)|
Romania (May 2006)
|Arthur Fitzsimons||Republic of Ireland||1||Czechoslovakia (May 1959)|
|David Felgate||Wales||1||Romania (October 1983)|
|Albert Jarrett||Sierra Leone||1||Egypt (September 2010)|
Note: Italics denote that the player came on as a substitute
|This list of "famous" or "notable" sporting persons has no clear inclusion or exclusion criteria. Please help to define clear inclusion criteria and edit the list to contain only subjects that fit those criteria. (June 2012)|
|Ainsworth, Gareth||Now playing for Wycombe Wanderers|
Was sold to Port Vale for a then club record (and still official) fee of £500,000 and was voted 4th in Lincoln City's 100 League Legends
|Burnett, Mark||Also played for Royal Air Force|
|Black, Kingsley||Also played for Nottingham Forest, Sheffield United and Grimsby Town|
|Branfoot, Ian||Later Fulham, Southampton and Reading manager|
|Carbon, Matt||Also played for Derby County and West Bromwich Albion|
|Cort, Carl||Currently at Leicester City with past spells at Wolverhampton Wanderers, Wimbledon and Newcastle United|
|Croft, Gary||Also played for Ipswich and Blackburn as well as Grimsby Town|
Played a minor role in the 2007–08 season for the Imps after a season of injury
|Eaden, Nicky||Also played for Barnsley, Birmingham City and Wigan Athletic|
Helped the club reach their fifth successive League Two play-off campaign in the 2006–07 season
|Fashanu, John||Television presenter and ex-Millwall, Wimbledon, Norwich City and Aston Villaplayer.|
Played at Lincoln as a trainee
|Forrester, Jamie||Also played for Leeds United, AJ Auxerre and FC Utrecht|
Helped City reach the 2005–06 League Two play-off semi-finals, while on loan
Finished as top-scorer for Lincoln as a permanent signing in the 2006–07 campaign which also led to a play-off semi-final defeat
|Greaves, Ian||Also played for Manchester United|
|Grobbelaar, Bruce||Also played for Liverpool|
Saw out his latter days at Lincoln
|Harford, Mick||Also played for Newcastle United, Birmingham City and Chelsea|
|Harford, Ray||Later Blackburn Rovers, Queens Park Rangers and West Bromwich Albion manager|
|Hobbs, Jack||Signed for Liverpool at the end of the 2004–05 season|
Youngest ever player to play for Lincoln first team
|Huckerby, Darren||Currently at San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer, previously of Manchester City, Newcastle United, etc.|
Was an early product of City's youth set-up and was sold to Newcastle United
|Hughes, Jeff||Northern Ireland international, now playing for Notts County|
Helped to guide the club to two unsuccessful League Two play-off campaigns and was then sold to Crystal Palace
|McClaren, Steve||Later England and Middlesbrough manager|
|McGlen, Billy||Also played for Manchester United|
|Megson, Gary||Also played for Everton, Newcastle United and Manchester City|
|Moses, Adie||Also played for Barnsley|
|Neale, Phil, OBE||Also played for England cricket|
|Nicholson, Shane||Yongest ever League player and a former Derby County, West Bromwich Albion, Sheffield United player|
|Peake, Trevor||Also played for Coventry City, Luton Town|
Won the FA Cup with Coventry City
|Redfearn, Neil||Also played for Bolton Wanderers, Barnsley, Wigan Athletic, Charlton Athletic|
|Savage, Robert||Also played for Liverpool, Manchester United|
|Sinclair, Frank||Also played for Chelsea, Leicester City|
Won the FA Cup and League cup with Chelsea and Leicester respectively
|Sutton, Chris||Also played for Norwich City, Blackburn Rovers, Chelsea, Celtic, Birmingham City, Aston Villa|
Sutton scored over 150 career goals in over 400 league appearances spanning 16 years in the English and Scottish Premier Leagues. He was capped once by England
|Somma, Davide||Also played for Leeds United|
helped Lincoln avoid relegation with 9 goals in 14 games. His 9 goals saw him finish as Lincoln's top scorer
|Taylor, Graham||Later England, Watford, Aston Villa, Wolverhampton Wanderers manager|
Guided Lincoln to their most successful ever league campaign by winning Division Four (now League Two) in 1975–76
|Trueman, Fred||Also played cricket for England|
|Williams, Paul||Also played for Derby County, Coventry City, Southampton|
|Woodcock, Tony||Also played for England, 1. FC Köln, Nottingham Forest, Arsenal|
Note: Names in bold are still at the club
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