Category Archives: Ex Imps
West Bromwich Albion and Reading FC both fancied Percy Freeman but it was only Lincoln City that could get the best out of him. The Baggies ended up giving him away whilst The Royals actually gave him back to us for £10,000 less than they paid for him, despite him averaging a goal in every four matches simply because he lost his taste for the game. Percy Freeman aka Big Perce, enigma, gentle giant, goal machine and gracious god of Impdom died today our condolences go to his family. This obituary is the least STMI can do for the legend.
Thank-you for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs
Freeman was old school, a living god to any Imp the right side of their late thirties to fourties. Big, strong and as direct as a Lincoln Loco express train he had a shot like a cannon and a forehead as tough as Hemswell Cliff. Carved from local stone in Newark the legend the left returned and was part of the hospitality team until recently. But Big Perce a gentleman giant in every sense of the word will be a part of the fixtures, fittings and legends of this City forever more.
Alas, he was plucked from his Newark home by Stourbridge before big timers West Brom signed him in 1968 as understudy to England international Jeff Astle (174 goals in 361 games is incredible and he got 31 for Notts County). The apprentice was unable to displace the sorcerer making just three appearances for the First Division side before the late Bert Loxley snared the Lincoln poacher on a free. Percy scored on his debut against Cambridge, settled a huge cup tie against Sunderland (10,789) and got two more to start with a goal in his first four consecutive games. The all action style and towering aerial presence were idolised on a Clanford end starved by a decade of demise (the Imps had been a bedrock of the old second division through the 50s and early 60s). Though we would still finish twenty-first on the bottom rung his 16 goals and 5 braces (Brentford, 2-0, Grimsby 3-0, Bradford 4-1, Torquay A 3-4 and Aldershot 4-4) lit the season and suggested better was to come in the seventies.
Percy got 14 the following season as the Imps flirted with promotion to finish fifth, as the talisman led the line. He got a Hat trick against Exeter (4-1) and brilliant Braces against Colchester away (2-5) and Darlington away (3-3). The crowds returned as Herds rejuvenated Imps played to 16,498 V Scunthorpe (1-0), 15,015 V Cods (3-0 ), where Big Perce waded in with a goal and man of the match performance; and another 12,199 V Southend in a stalemate. Typical gates that season were 7,500, with 2 over eight thousand and another 2 in the nines. The intimidating Clanford End and atmosphere of the Bank had seen the Sincil siege mentality return. Get that this season and we are half way there.
Despite the Imps making the top three at one stage of the season controversy was to rip through the Bank. The popular David Herd was removed (potential legal issues forbid us saying exactly why – so keep that one in your trousers so to speak) with Graham Taylor coming in on 10th December. The young man’s first job was to sell Percy, already on 9 goals including a hat-trick against Bury (4-0), for a whopping £11,500 to Reading. This despite the fact that gates were pretty good too with 7,425 V Burnley Watney Cup (0-1) and 6.657 V Northampton (1-1). Naturally the turbulence and the lack of big Perce had an affect as crowds fluctuated from 3k – 4K when we had enjoyed 4 successive 6k crowds when we were in top 3 prior to Hurdgate.
Percy played regular first team football for a season and a half at Reading but his heart wasn’t in it any more. He became disillusioned and left football completely to work as a scaffolder. He then returned in an hour of need for the Royals to play a dozen games (Played 60 times with 13 goals) before the Imps came in for him. This floated Freeman’s boat and he jumped at the chance. Taylor and the Imps board were pretty chuffed when Reading reluctantly accepted a £1500 fee and a ten grand loss on the deal. They looked on in utter disbelief as Percy’s hunger returned. He and the Imps would ransack the Fourth Division bagging more records than Woolworth’s. Percy would get 23 (plus 2 Cup) and John Ward would hit 29 goals as as the Imps clinched the championship in record-breaking style.
Imagine turning up to Sincil Bank and seeing 71 home goals (an average of more than three a game!), 111 in all and 74 points (equivalent to 106 with three points for a win). Just like the Keith Alexander era from 202 – 2006 the strength was at the front and back with Ward and Freeman up front; Ian Branfoot (5 goals) and Sam Ellis at the back. That’s not forgetting the work of midfield maestro John Fleming who scored 9 that season (indeed Ellis got 15, Graham 12, Smith 9 and Harding 9.
The highest gate of the season saw us take over 5,000 to Reading (15,900), but with Big Perce pulling out with an injury Wardy got the equaliser in a 1-1 draw. The gates that season were huge with 14,092 witnessing his brace against Doncaster in a 4-2 win. Another 13,880 rolled up for the neutering of Northampton 3-1 and Stoke were humbled 2-1 in front of 13,742. Typical gates were 7,500 plus with 6 gates over 10k. The tide of optimism was infectious and gripped the city. Doubtless GT the young fabulous manager could have played but for his career ending ankle injury. At the tender age of 31 , he was just a year older than Percy and the youngest manager ever to land a football League Championship.
The following season in the 3rd Division saw us finish ninth, going briefly third after a 2-2 draw at home toRotherhamin front of 9,318, with Freeman and Hubbard getting ours. Despite the old bones giving him grief Percy would bag a brace against Tranmere and a memorable equaliser in front of a huge 14,706 at the Bank againstSheffieldWednesday (1-1). Percy would hang up his boots at the end of the season grabbing 9 goals in 27 appearances with 3 as a sub.
The Bank saw some great crowds that year with a 3rd Round FA Cup replay (novelty value) defeat against Burnley (0-1) enticing 11,414; and typical gates of 6,400 with 6 gates over 7K, 2 in the 8’s and 2 in the 9K’s. Both GT and Big Perce left Sincil Bank in the summer of 1977 with Graham going to join Elton John at Watford on the way to a glittering career culminating in the England Manager’s job. Percy got a deserved testimonial before he retired from the professional game to concentrate on his roofing business. He turned out for Boston for a season or two before managing Nettleham, Boston FC and Stamford. Big Perce finally managed local pub team Ivy Tavern FC a watering hole Chris Moyses often frequented.
A quick video of the legend and then a season by season bio
Full Name: Freeman, Ronald Peter
Date Of Birth : 04/07/1945
Birthplace : Newark
Apps : 166 ( League 138) ; Subs : 15 (league 14) ; Goals : 76 (league 64)
Season by Season
1970/1971 : 21st Div 4
Apps : 29 ; Subs : 0 ; Goals : 16
Hat tricks: n/a
Braces: Brentford (2-0),Grimsby(3-0), Bradford (4-1), Torquay A (3-4),Aldershot(4-4).
Highest gates: 10,849 V Notts Co (0-1), 10,789 V Sunderland LC2 (2-1)
Typical gates 3,500 – 4K as we struggled bright start though with 3 7k plus crowds & 8k V Cods.
Season 1971/1972 : 5th Div 4
Apps : 35 ; Subs : 5 ; Goals : 14
Hat tricks: Exeter (4-1)
Braces: Colchester A (2-5) Darlington A (3-3)
Highest gates: 16,498 V Scunthorpe (1-0) 15,015 V Cods (3-0 Scored 1) 12,199 V Southend (0-0)
Typical gates 7,500 with 2 x 8K’s & 2 x 9Ks
Season 1972/1973 : 10th Div 4
Transferred in Dec
Apps : 27 ; Subs : 0 ; Goals : 9
Hat tricks: Bury (4-0)
Highest gates: 7,425 V Burnley Watney Cup (0-1) 6.657 V Northampton (1-1)
Typical gates. Fluctuated from 3k – 4K though 4 successive 6k crowds when we were in top 3.
Season 1974/1975 : 5th Div 4
Apps : 11 ; Subs : 2 ; Goals : 3
Highest gates: Mansfield (0-0) 13,108, 8579 V Shrews (3-0) 8,291 V Cambridge (0-0), 8,032 V Rotherham (2-0)
Typical gates: 2700- 3000 until Nov then 5k –6k with 1 x 7k and 2 x 8K.
Season 1975/1976 : 1st Div 4
Apps : 37 ; Subs : 5 ; Goals : 25
Hat tricks: n/a
Braces:Cambridge (4-2), Scunthorpe (3-0), Doncaster (4-2) Watford (5-1), Bradford A (5-1)Doncaster(5-0) 9 in 6.
Highest gates: Doncaster 14,092 (4-2 bagged a brace) 13,880 V Northampton (3-1) Stoke LC 13.472 (2-1)
Typical gates: 7,500 with 6 gates over 10k.
Season 1976/1977 : 8th Div 3
Apps : 27 ; Subs : 3 ; Goals : 9
Braces: Tranmere H (2-2)
Highest gates: Sheff Wednesday 14,706 (scored in 1-1 draw)Burnley FA Cup 3R replay 11,414 (0-1)
Typical gates 6,400 with 6 gates over 7K, 2 in the 8K’s 2 in the 9K’s
Sheffield Wednesday have sent former Huddersfield Town and Lincoln City idol Gary Taylor-Fletcher back to Leicester City after an unsuccessful loan spell.
The 33 year-old played his final game for the Owls against Huddersfield, of all clubs, although he was substituted in favour of Atdhe Nuhiu during the second half. GT-F started two of his four games but failed to galvanise a Wednesday side that is having no luck in front of goal. A particularly poor (stonewall penalty) decision and the crossbar denied them in a 0-0 draw that is becoming symptomatic of a side that has the potential to be there or thereabouts despite the financial inequalities in ‘the Premier two’ in all but name.
GT-F would be just the job for Lincoln City during the autumn of a career that has seen him score in the top five divisions of English football. GT-F bagged 30 goals in 93 appearances in all competitions for Big Keith’s Imps and is another of ex-manager Simmo’s finds that have gone on to play in the top flight. With 19 goals in all competitions he finished his first season as the 2003/4 player of the year. Gary then broke a 106 year record scoring in our opening 6 games of the 04/05 season before Peter Jackson, lured him to Huddersfield Town, playing him largely as a winger (Abbot and Booth both took some dislodging in their prime) in a first season that yielded 15 goals and then 11 the season after.
Blackpool signed the mercurial front-man in their first Championship season with his début coming in a 1-0 win over his current club Leicester City. He capped his rise from non-league to the Premier League with a 30 million 39th minute strike in the 09/10 play-off final at Wembley to wipe out those sad memories for the Imps against Southend. Blackpool released him in the summer of 2013 with Leicester offering him a one year deal. Promotion as Champions saw GT-F get a years extention, although he failed to get a look in and then failed to shine at Sheffield Wednesday on loan.
He will be a free agent in the summer (34 in June) and would be a talismanic addition to any ambitious lower Football League or Conference side. Gary averages a goal every four games (101 in 398 League games plus 16 in 51 Cup appearances) not bad for someone who has spent most of his time cutting in. He would put 500-1000 on the gate at Lincoln – good business surely?
|Full name||Gary Taylor-Fletcher|
|Date of birth||4 June 1981|
|Place of birth||Widnes, England|
|Height||1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|Club gig in the game|
|2001||Hull City (loan)||5||(0)|
|2001–2002||Grays Athletic (loan)||4||(3)|
|2002||Dagenham & Redbridge (loan)||3||(1)|
|2002–2003||Dagenham & Redbridge (loan)||5||(0)|
|2014||Sheffield Wednesday (loan)||4||(0)|
A legend at Leicester City, Chelsea, Burnley, Huddersfield, Wrexham and Lincoln, fans will always have a soft spot for Frank Sinclair – own goals and all. But having played at the highest level for the red, the blues and all, he is currently cutting his teeth as manager of Colwyn Bay and doing well if your ask the opinion of his chairman and left back Louis Moss
Thanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs
During his Leicester City and Chelsea days Frank played for Jamaica before making 92 league appearances for Burnley and then 42 for Huddersfield as a loan turned into a permanent deal. He was a suave defender although his own goals meant he got more in the wrong end than the seven he got throughout his glittering career. But his dedication and, sense of humour got the lad a long way from those harsh Lambeth roots (See full biopic at the bottom).
Frank was a dark horse for the Wrexham job last season having turned the tiny club from also-rans to a team just 3 points from the play-offs again this season, with a game in hand. Sinclair, the 42-year-old player gaffer, is building a useful young squad with a terrific shut-out to earn a point against the Division’s money club North Ferriby last Saturday. This followed hot on the heels of a 4-1 win against Gainsborough and a 3-0 away at Leamington. Case in point young Moss who is as good with the assists as he is getting back to help and a chip off the old block so to speak. The full-back is simply chuffed to have received an international call up for Barbados against Haiti in the Concacaf Gold Cup in October.
Despite the lad missing two games during his international jaunt Frank, a gentleman of the game, is chuffed
“He will be a big miss for us, but I am happy his early season form has been recognised and he has an opportunity maybe to play in the prestigious Gold Cup against the likes of Brazil and Mexico.
“I played in that for Jamaica so I know the standard of the tournament.”
Rob Duffy scored goals aplenty at Oxford United and Mansfield Town, as well as pitching in with 9 at Grimsby Town. An injury at the start of the 2011/12 season for The Imps, saw him him needing an operation for Rob to have any chance of continuing to earn a living from the game. When he left City the pay-off was understood to see the caring Imps foot the bill for the operation. STMI takes a look at the career of another quality player that saw the fates deny him a chance to prove his undeniable ability…. or have they?.
No they haven’t it seems for Rob Duffy has overcome that career threatening injury and rewarded Ilkeston manager Kevin Wilson’s faith on two counts so far this season. Not only has he rammed home eight goals in eight games, but, he has also rejected an offer to join Goole AFC. Lincoln City were good enough to stretch to an operation on an ankle injury, allowing the 31-year-old to make a slow but sure comeback at Kings Lynn last season before Wilson signed him for NPL rivals Ilkeston at the start of the season.
In two seasons he cracked 25 goals in 60 appearances for Oxford despite two months out with a broken arm. The Stags almost missed him, trialling him before The Exiles stepped in. However in the January of that season they came to their senses and brother Dean Holdsworth allowed David to take him on an eighteen month deal. David gave him a two year deal where he bagged 28 League goals in 81 BSP appearances, that effectively saved the Stags who were hanging on by their antlers that year. Grimsby, awash with money as ever, came in with an undisclosed fee in the winter window and offered terms that the Stags were unable to match at the time. The deal was completed three days before the January window closed.
Rob – a hero at Oxford United and Mansfield has had some tough knocks in the last couple of years. Mariners’ chairman John Fenty even tagged him as a ‘mistake’ – the Mariners are looking for a striker too after all up front have reported to sick bay. But David Holdsworth always rated him as a lad with ability, who had the track record and hunger to prove the doubters wrong. His strike rate – 9 goals in all competitions or 1 every 140 mins – as a bit part-player a The Mariners, suggested Rob was indeed the landmark signing in 2011/12 for Lincoln along with miss-firing mercurial Adam Smith.
Under Holdsworth at Mansfield Town, the striker had duly helped to steer them away from relegation at a time when the club had no cash. Rob certainly looked to have the pedigree and the prowess we needed at 6′ 2″ and 13 stone 10lb. The former Wales U21 may have a laid back style but he is still the composed and quiet battler. He failed to dislodge hit-man-Hearn and Elding at Grimsby, despite 9 goals from his 19 starts and 20 substitute appearances. Alas just 3 games in after a decent start next to Taylor, he was forced off with an ankle injury just 44 minutes into an away game at Newport. Rob, one of the highest earners at the club, was destined to become a financial albatross during a frustrating season as that early doors ankle injury in the 2011/12 season appeared to end his career.
|Full name||Robert Duffy|
|Date of birth||2 December 1982|
|Place of birth||Swansea, Wales|
|Height||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|2001–2005||Rushden & Diamonds||30||(1)|
|2005||→ Stamford (loan)||2||(2)|
|2008||→ Wrexham (loan)||6||(0)|
|2013-2014||King’s Lynn Town||7||(6)|
Ex-Leeds United winger Gboly Ariyibi, has joined Chesterfield FC after they failed to land Mansfield Town and ex-Lincoln City winger Sam Clucas. Ariyibi has been on trial with the Spireites and has an impressive pedigree, having graduated through the Southampton youth system before joining Leeds last season, making one appearance against of all clubs, Nottingham Forest.
Thanks for reading STMI
So Mansfield Town continue to hold onto the services of the flying winger who never got the breaks at the Imps. His dream move from Debenham’s shelf stacker to a full-time contract at his home town club yielded just the one start against Darlington, the last game of Peter Jackson’s tenure.
Sam went on star at Hereford before going from strength to strength at the Stags (he opted for them over Crewe because he could return to his Lincoln roots). This time last year he was the subject of interest from Nottingham Forest, but injury stopped a second improved bid from Forest, currently, top of the Championship table.
The Forest bid had been rumoured to be excess of £500,000, even Chesterfield cannot afford that, particularly as a central striker appears to be also on the cards over the next few days. The Spireites also had a bid knocked back but will not follow up with a second after signing Ex-Leeds United winger Gboly Ariyibi, today.
Billy Dinsdale debuted for Aston Villa against Arsenal in 1925 in front of over 60,000 flat caps with the woodbines puffing into the Easter Skies. Five appearances later the season ended along with his dreams, wafting like a puff of smoke so to speak. Despite spending most of his time in their reserves big brutal Bill still hammered in the goals and made the odd first team appearance the following season, but he was seen as lacking the necessary finesse for the First Division according to legendary manager George Ramsay. The Beast of the Bank would crack 103 goals in 136 appearances and illustrate that a beast can be just as popular as a bonny beauty.
Aston Villa paid a ‘handsome fee’ for a lad that had bagged 42 goals in 35 games for Crook Town and he was a regular for the final 5 games of the season. He got just three more opportunities as manager George Ramsay felt he hust did not have the fitness to go with his bravery. Ramsay, did know a thing or two, for he had been manager of Villa for 42 years winning 6 FA Cups and 6 Division One championships, but in 1926 he sold him, indeed it was one of the last things he did at Villa Park Horace Henshall, his Lincoln counterpart, on the other hand, was a man in hurry and not one for airs and graces. After just three spy missions at the end of the 25/26 season the Imps made a small undisclosed bid and thus we signed our fifth highest League scorer and fourth highest overall scorer, of all time. Only 4 Imps have broken 100 goals in all competitions and Dinsdale did it in just 127. He would finish top scorer in each of his four seasons at the Bank and bag 103 goals from 133 appearances. The great Billy Dinsdale was also in our elusive 20-goal club in each of those four seasons.
A shy and very private man off the field Billy was a man mountain on it. The strong athletic Dinsdale was a true beast of the Imps with a bullet header and a shot like a cannon ball, offering raw strength, aggression and work rate as opposed to the prettier side of the game. He scored on his debut againstSouthportbut after 3 blanks was dropped for Harry Andrews. Having hammered in the goals for the reserves Horace Henshall was forced to bring him back into the side in early December to save hisLincolnshirebacon (Henshall was replaced by Harry Parkes at the end of the season). He did not disappoint hammering 25 goals in the next 27 League and Cup games. He also scored 4 (2 with his head and 2 with his right peg) in a 5-0 win overDurhamCityin April 1927.
Billy finished as leading scorer again in 1927/28 with 29 goals as we narrowly failed to failed to get promotion finishing second. He bagged 6 braces against Crewe, Barrow x 2, Accrington, Rochdale and Wrexham as well as netting the winner in a 2-1 over Champions Bradford Park Avenue in front of 9785. He would net. The following season they would return to buy him in the March with the City board only to happy to get their hands on a much needed £1500, despite home gates of 16,000 gate in the cup against Leicester and 10,000 against Wrexham. We would finish 6th as a consequence though not before Billy hit a hat trick against Hartlepool and 6 braces. He helped himself to two healthy portions over Christmas getting 5 in 2 days against the monkey hangers on Christmas and Boxing Day. He was back in the May when having failed to fit as Imps manager Harry Parks stole him back for £250 – or rather a tenner a goal.
He duly banged in 25 from 36 appearances in the 1930/31 season including two Hat tricks against Barrow andCarlisleplus a Barrow brace. With the Imps leading the Division for the whole season a draw and a home defeat to Rotherham saw the city empty and head over to rivals for the crown Chesterfield. We lost 2-3 with Billy scoring once as we were leapfrogged for top and Billy hung up his hanging up his boots and returned to the North East as the Imps became Champions the following season with a new hero.
Billy meanwhile settled back in Darlington and worked in the fitting shop of Stephenson’s Locomotives for many years. Sadly he suffered from ill health in later years and was a shadow of the powerful athletic figure of his youth, crippled by arthritis he could hardly straighten his back. Billy died aged 80 on 21st February 1984.
LCFC career record :
Apps : 136 ; Subs : 0 ; Goals : 103
LCFC Football League record :
Apps : 126 ; Subs : 0 ; Goals : 89
Debut : 28/08/1926, Southport (h) 1-1, FL Division 3N (Scored)
Last Game : 02/05/1931Wigan Borough (a) 1-0, FL Division 3N
Season 1926/1927 : Div 3 N.
Apps : 27 ; Subs : 0 ; Goals : 25
Braces;Coventry, Bradford PA,Rotherham
Highest Gate 7861 V Stoke (1-3)
Typical gate 5,300 with 4 over 7K, 6 over 6K,
Season 1927/1928 : Div 3 N
Apps : 43 ; Subs : 0 ; Goals : 29
Braces Crewe, Barrow x 2, Accrington,Rochdale, Wrexham
Highest Gate 9785 V Bradford PA (2-1) got the winner.
Typical gate 5,600 2 over 9k, 1 over 8k, 4 over 7k
Season 1928/1929 : Div 3 N
Apps : 30 ; Subs : 0 ; Goals : 24 Sold In March
Hat trick V Hartlepool 3
Braces: Halifax, Bradford City x 2, Accrington, Lancaster, Hartlepool 2
Got 5 in 2 days against the monkey hangers on Christmas and Boxing Day.
Highest Gate FA Cup 16,849 Leicester (0-1) 10,625 V Wrexham (1-1)
Typical Gates 5,600 – 1 over 9k, 1 over 8k, 1 over 7k, 4 over 6K.
Season 1930/1931 :
Apps : 36 ; Subs : 0 ; Goals : 25
Hat tricks V Barrow, Carlisle
Brace V Scarborough
Highest Gate V Chesterfield 10,840.
Typical Gate 5,800 – 2 over 9k, 2 over 8k, 5 over 7k, 5 over 6K.
1 Andy Graver (50/51-54/55,55/56,58/59-60/61) Apps : 289 ; Goals : 150
2 Johnny Campbell (33/34-38/39) Aps 198(0) Goals 110
3 Gordon Hobson (77/78-84/85,88/89-89/90 Aps 372 (14) Goals 105
4 John Ward (70/71-78/79,81/82) Aps 243 (20) Goals 99
5 Billy Dinsdale (26/27-28/29 and 30/31) Aps 136 Goals 103
6 Johnny Garvie (50/51-55/56) Aps 192 (0) Goals 80
7 Roy Chapman (57/58-60/61, 64/65-66/67) Aps 186 (1) Goals 81
8 Allan Hall (1931/32-1932/33) Aps 76 (0) Goals 68
9 Percy Freeman (70/71-72/73, 74/75-76/77 Aps 166 (15) Goals 76
10 Ernie Whittle (1949/50-1953/54 151 aps 64 goals
Since joining Leicester City from Blackpool FC on a one year deal in September, 32 year old Imps legend Gary Taylor Fletcher has struggled to get into the Foxes side. GTF has managed just 26 minutes of League action for the third placed Foxes, which is such a waste for a talent who is winding down his career. It would be lift-off if the Foxes would lend him to the cash strapped Imps for a month!
Thanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs
GTF got 25 minutes against Blackpool on his debut, then an hour in the 2-1 League Cup win over Derby, however things have been downward since then. The Right-winger came on in the 90th minute of the 2-1 win over Barnsley, but failed to even make the bench in the next two games before being an unused sub at the weekend. GTF is behind 21 year old Anthony Knockaert in the pecking order, who was replaced by Matty James, another talented midfielder who is just 22, in the 2-1 win over Huddersfield at the weekend. As for up top they have an embarrassment of riches in Nugent, Vardy and Hopper.
With the Foxes third and continuing to look Premiership bound and capable of at least a play-off berth if not better, Gary Taylor Fletcher could do with a loan to get match fit. Lincoln might be way down the League but we are just down the road and the return of GTF is just what we need. Lincoln need a winger and a talisman to kick-start a return to the League. Just imagine if he signed for a month – it would put a thousand on the gate if he signed, it would spark a stampede for replica shirt sales.
Dreams and ambition are a great thing, but the realities of life suggest the Imps will be unlikely to get such a massive favour from the Foxes. That said if you don’t ask you don’t get, oh to live the dream and see such a legend another 2-3 times at Sincil Bank before he hangs up his boots. His Lincoln career came courtesy of Keith Alexander who signed a lad he knew from his Northwich Victoria days in 2003. GTF would mesmerise defences and go on to become Supporters Player of the Year in 2003–04 with 19 goals.
GTF then equalled a 106 year old club record when he scored in our six opening games in 2004/5 but finished the season with 11 goals from 45 appearances as the Lincolnshire poacher turned gamekeeper. Jacko spied and applied, nicking him on a free, taking him to Huddersfield where he had to make his mark as a right winger getting 15 in his first season and 11 in his second. During his spell at the Terriers he scored the 500,000 football League goal with a 25-yard beauty into the top corner against the Millers.
Blackpool signed him in 2007 and he would be instrumental in the promotion from the Championship to the Premiership. GTF never broke double figures during his Tangerine period but the artist was certainly a creator and scorer of great goals as opposed to being the great goal-scorer we Imps knew him to be. We could do with either at the moment to catapult this club back to where it belongs. The Nucleus of the side is there but Taylor-Fletcher would give waht the club and the city have been looking for for some time.
Former Millwall FC, Leicester City, Rangers FC and Lincoln City Winger Dany N’Guessan bagged his 5th League goal in 7 games for Swindon Town as the Robins stormed to 6th in the table. STMI suggested he could fly at the Robins under shrewd dude Cooper and so far La Fusee Rouge is blazing a trail across the sky.
Danny has put Leicester City and Millwall rejection behind him to prove that even if the Championship might be a step too far he certainly has what it takes to star at league 1 level. His 28th minute penalty secured a 2-0 result against Notts County, the third league win on the bounce. Danny scored in the previous 4-0 thumping of Rotherham and got the only goal against Tranmere. He also scored in the 1-2 defeat at Preston, so La Fusee Rouge (the red Flare) is on a hot-streak with 4 in 4 games.
Swindon’s Mark Cooper is certainly getting the best out of an immensely talented winger, who even as a 21 year old Imp, was unplayable on his day. Danny got 17 goals in 75 starts for the Imps and gave us some terrific memories as he made the 2008-9 League 2 team of the year. That is the way with wingers turned centre-forwards, luxury players who will win you games, but when a side fails to find them they effectively take you down to ten men. His early season criticism of Millwall’s long ball football during a winless start now looks a thing of the past with Dany perhaps finally set to will deliver and prove the potential Glasgow Rangers saw in him all those years ago.
For those who missed our N’Guessan’s No Fox Or Lion – Can He Fly As A Robin? and bio back on September 5th click HERE
A quality player in his AFC Bournemouth, Gillingham FC and Lincoln days, Kidderminster Harriers life and soul Centre-back Josh Gowling is set to lock horns with Ben Tomlinson tomorrow. It will be an interesting contest pitching the current Imps gladiator, determined to get back on the goal trail, against an ex-Imp who always seemed to struggle against the BSP hard-men.
Thanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs
Saturday 19th Oct KO 3PM
Josh’s 90 match career at the Cherries was almost over before it gained momentum, as he sustained a serious knee injury in the first minute of a game at Brentford. The ligament damage would keep him out for the season, but typically he battled back, making 30 often towering appearances. Carlisle snapped him up on a two year deal but loaned him to Hereford where he played like a bull in a china shop before Mark Stimpson took a chance with a loan deal. The Gills gave him a permanent deal as he became one of the few heroes in a season of turmoil that saw the Gills drop to League 2. Despite being half-way through a two year deal he agreed to join the Imps on a two year tenure before leaving us on transfer deadline day thanks to a by mutual consent pay-off that paved the way to him joining the Harriers.
Josh Gowling still has a soft spot for Lincoln, but the move saw his and the Harriers form go though the roof as soon as he joined the heart of the defence. He has been tough to beat, but Josh, without doubt a thinking man’s centre-half, does not like in your face centre-forwards, suggesting Tomlinson could strike lucky tomorrow. Josh and James Grimes will certainly win the battle in the air against Tomlinson but Andrew Boyce will be a different kettle of fish for the central defensive pair at set-pieces with brave Ben the favourite to feed on any scraps. Tommo is not frightened to get in amongst the flying boots in the six-yard box, the traditional hunting ground of the poacher.
That is where one feels the Lincoln threat will come from tomorrow with Kidderminster’s local media claiming Lincoln will come for a point and attempt to strangle the game. In truth the Imps have little option given a tough away trip to the second placed team in the division, possessing a budget twice our own with plenty of quality all over the park. Despite injuries The Harriers have plenty of experience in depth to counter the Lincoln never say die attitude that has seen them punch above their financial weight so far this season.