After looking at Lincoln City’s five most disappointing signings, I speak to a number of City fans and a current player, as they name their number one Imp to have worn the red and white of Lincoln City.
- Gareth Ainsworth – In the words of Imps fan and Journalist Alan Johnson.
For me it has to be Gareth Ainsworth. John Beck signed Ainsworth from Preston in 1995. The former Imp played a key role in turning the Imps’ fortunes around in 1995-96, with the club rising from bottom of the league to mid table safety.
1996-97 was a memorable season for City supporters and my personal favourite in 25 years at the Bank.
Ainsworth’s remarkable achievement of not missing a minute of the season ensured he finished as the league’s second highest scorer with 22 goals, even though he played on the wing. As well as that, he provided countless assists for Phil Stant, who I think finished as the league’s fourth highest scorer himself, despite only joining the Imps in January! Sadly the Imps missed out on the playoffs on the final day of the season.
Thankfully the Imps managed to hold on to their prize asset over that summer.
Ainsworth then scored a hat trick in what would be his penultimate home game in a City shirt – a 3-3 draw with Scarborough. Shortly afterwards, following a 3-1 defeat at Rotherham, Ainsworth made it clear that he would be leaving the Imps as he made his way over to salute the travelling supporters.
Sure enough the Echo reported the next day that the club had accepted a record £500,000 bid from Port Vale. 18 years on, that transfer fee has never been topped.
- Gareth Ainsworth (Again) – In the words of Imps fan, Colin Green.
This one is easy for me! Gareth Ainsworth. His never say die, chase every lost cause attitude endeared him to the fans straight away.
You could tell that he would play in the top flight, and he has left me with some wonderful memories.
When Ainsworth and Stant destroyed Scarborough in front of 2,000 travelling Imps fans at the seaside, springs to mind.
I was devastated when Port Vale eventually signed him for half a million, but it was always going to happen.
There was no-one quite like Gareth. Little did I know as a 15-year-old, I would see him sign for my second team, QPR around five years later. It was just as enthralling to watch him at a much higher level!
- Gareth McAuley – In the words of Imps fan, Chris Hann.
For me it has to be Gareth McAuley. He was plucked out by Keith Alexander and was an integral part of our playoff push.
He was also solid at the back, strong and chipped in with goals too, he’s proved that he had the potential which Keith saw and he is now a Premier League regular.
McAuley will be representing his country at the Euros this summer which is a huge achievement for the former Imp.
- Paul Farman – In the words of Imps fan, Ronan Howsham.
Farman has been at the club for the best part of four years now. He has played over 100 games for the club and has progressed massively.
He wasn’t the best player when he first joined City but he has come on a heck of a lot.
His determination was shown when Nick Townsend came in. He went out on loan to Boston and put in some hard work which allowed him to come back as a much better player.
He’s shown great loyalty to the club in the past few seasons and he has also won us vital points in many games. He is rightly so a fans’ favourite.
He has performed well when the team in front of him hasn’t been great and I believe he will be key to us gaining success in the near future.
- Scott Kerr – In the words of Lincoln City midfielder Kegan Everington.
It has to be Scott Kerr for me. The way he controlled the midfield was brilliant. He was very underrated and I think that if he didn’t go to York in the January transfer window during the year we got relegated, we would have stayed in the Football League.
Proof read by Callum Langlois, Alex Crowther, Jake Pointon and Millie Franklin.