“The most disappointing signing” is a topic which is often debated by Lincoln City fans. This could be down to the poor tactics of the manager at the time or the general merit of the player.
With a squad full of names being thrown around on Lincoln City Banter, it’s about time someone decided the top five Sincil Bank let downs.
I speak to a number of fans and journalists about the worst player they have seen (in some cases try to) play at Sincil Bank.
The following players are not in any specific order.
- BEN HUTCHINSON – IMPS FAN COLIN GREEN
“Several fans claim the forward directed abuse at them during the 2-0 defeat by Northampton Town at Sincil Bank.” The opening sentence to the BBC’s report about Ben Hutchinson’s comments made towards City fans.
Hutchinson is remembered more for his abuse towards Lincoln City fans than he is for scoring goals…well all four of them.
The former Celtic striker was reported to have said the club has “the worst fans in the world”, which probably wasn’t the best thing to say after only being at the club for three months.
The striker showed promise in his early days at Sincil Bank after playing for Middlesborough and Celtic but he never lived up to the potential he once showed and after 36 appearances for the club, Hutchinson was involved in Lincoln’s relegation to the National League at the end of the 2010/11 season.
After Hutchinson’s loan finished, Kilmarnock snapped the player up on a six month deal. The striker was unable to establish himself in Scotland which lead to the player leaving the club at the end of his contract.
The former Imp loanee joined Mansfield Town in January 2012. Hutchinson said that this move was to get his career, “back on track.” Hutchinson spent two years at Field Mill where he scored seven goals in 38 appearances.
Following a brief spell at Nuneaton, the striker joined Basford Town ahead of the 2015/16 season.
Colin Green, the fan who nominated Hutchinson as his most disappointing signing said, “Hutchinson had the worst attitude and work ethic I have ever seen from a professional footballer.
“I saw him have one solitary good game against Hereford, where he also scored – but this aside he was awful.
“He certainly didn’t live up to his reputation of an exciting new prospect who had played for Middlesbrough in the Premier League and at Celtic.
“Not only was he accused of swearing at a fan in the Co-op stand, he got himself needlessly sent off against Macclesfield late in the game when we were a goal in front.
“We ended up conceding an equaliser in stoppage time which denied us the three points – three points that would have made us safe come the last game of the season, where instead we were relegated.
“Needless to say, I’ve never forgiven him. How he managed to get a contract at Kilmarnock after leaving us I will never know.”
- ELLIOT PARISH -LINCOLNSHIRE ECHO SPORT EDITOR JOHN PAKEY
Elliot Parish, arrived at Sincil Bank on loan from Aston Villa in 2011 as Lincoln City were trying to win a relegation battle. During this time Imps boss, Steve Tilson had lost the dressing room whilst Parish conceeded 23 goals in nine appearances. This included the memorable 6-0 thrashing by Rotherham United.
Sports editor John Pakey said, “Parish was too young to be put into that situation
“He shipped a lot of goals as he had 10 players in front of him who had no leadership.”
This was Parish’s first loan spell away from Villa Park. It was very difficult for a young player to have lots of pressure placed upon his shoulders as he was expected to come in and try to help a corrupt Lincoln City side keep their Football League status with no first team experience to his name.
The player would have done much better if he was to be loaned to a Non-League side. We saw this in young goalkeeper, Nick Townsend who joined the club from Birmingham on a youth loan in 2014 to replace an injured Paul Farman.
Townsend earned the number one spot ahead of a Farman after an impressive spell with the club. Unfortunately Townsend’s parent club, Birmingham were not prepared for the player to become cup tied which lead to Farman regaining his first team status.
Townsend has worked his way up from the National League and is now starting for Barnsley FC in League One. This is something Parish should have done.
- PATRICK KANYUKA – IMPS FAN MATT HARRIS
Patrick Kanyuka played over 20 times for QPR between 2004 and 2008.
The Imps snapped the defender up on a free transfer during the 2011 January transfer window. Before this Kanyuka had played for clubs such as Swindon Town, Northampton Town and Romanian club CFR Cluj.
Lincoln had 11 defenders registered on their books during the 2010/11 season but in the same situation as goalkeeper, Parish this was a squad with no leadership.
The former QPR man made his City debut against Bradford shortly after signing in January 2011. The 6ft 2 centre back only lasted 45 minutes before being substituted.
Kanyuka was sent off in a 6-0 thrashing by Rotherham during his one season at Sincil Bank. Many fans have said this is the worse performance by a player in the clubs history.
After a heated debate on Twitter with City fans, Kanyuka decided to reply to one fan saying, “Good one mate! I’m sure you’ve got something better to do in your life than tweet me. PS: I’m laughing all the way to the BANK!”
Matt Harris’ brief comment, “laughing all the way to bank did it for me…” sums up how most people view the player after his disappointing spell at Sincil Bank.
- DREWE BROUGHTON – IMPS FAN CHRIS HANN
Broughton joined Lincoln City on loan from Rotherham during the 2009/10 season. The striker joined the club permanently in June 2010.
After a lack of first team football the former Norwich City player joined AFC Wimbledon in 2011 on a loan deal. He managed to score twice whilst playing for The Wombles.
Broughton was recalled at the beginning of April 2011 as City’s other forwards, Ashley Grimes and Delroy Facey both picked up injuries.
At the end of the 2010/11 season Broughton was released following the clubs relegation out of the Football League. The striker did not score once during his time at Sincil Bank.
One reason why the forward may not have performed to his potential was again due to an oversized squad which we saw during the 2010/11 season.
There were eight strikers who made appearances for the Imps under Chris Sutton, Scott Lindsey and Tilson during the 2010/11 season.
Supporter Chris Hann said, “I think we paid the lad £1,500 a week and we got zero goals in return. He was an absolute donkey of a player, and one who never looked interested.”
- JOE ALLON – IMPS FAN AND SPORTS JOURNALIST ALAN JOHNSON
I recently spoke to journalist and Lincoln fan, Alan Johnson about his Ultimate City XI.
This time round I speak about the opposite of this, the most disappointing player to wear a Lincoln shirt.
Johnson has picked a name who played at Sincil Bank in the 90’s, former Newcastle, Hartlepool and Chelsea striker, Joe Allon.
Allon joined the Imps for £42,500 in July 1995. The forward spent three months at Sincil Bank and made five appearances for City before returning to Hartlepool for £40,000.
When speaking to the journalist about Allon, he said, “Lincoln have had a habit of signing proven goal scorers over the years and turning them useless. Joe Allon is one of those.
“A prolific spell at Hartlepool even convinced Chelsea to sign him in the early 90’s. So when he signed for the Imps in 1995 we thought we had the man to fire us to promotion.
“It wasn’t to be though, he was awful and only lasted a handful of games failing to score.
“What happened next? He returned to Hartlepool where, of course, he was once again prolific in front of goal.”
Who would you name as Lincoln’s most disappointing player?