Former Sheffield Wednesday and Lincoln City hot-shot Vadaine Oliver has opened his account for Crewe in the 2-2 draw against Peterborough United today.
Vadaine slid home a cross from Brad Inman to grab his first goal for the club in the 15th minute. Then Leitch-Smith touched home 30 yard Lee Molyneux’s pass to make it two. Tyrone Barnett, another of Simmo’s finds, gave Peterborough a lifeline after Mark Little’s shot was saved and then Michael Bostwick steered in Lee Tomlin’s corner in the last minute to share the spoils.
Vadaine also got an assist in the 3-3 draw with Rotherham in the League Cup and is starting to become a fist team fixture at the Railwaymen.
STMI wish you all the best Vadaine, keep clocking up the appearances and goal – because we need the cash for someone just like you!
Gary Simpson may have completed the first part of his mission, but he will be up at the crack of dawn today, as he and the chairman thrash out a budget for him to emulate what Graham Taylor has done at Watford, Aston Villa and of course Lincoln City, nearly four decades ago. Gary never got the credit he deserved at Peterborough and Macclesfield, but did Taylor at Wolves and England? Yet both are not ones that look back in anger when there is so much to look forward to. Neither Taylor nor Simpson were popular when they were given the Imps job – hardly a bed of roses for any managerial reputation. But the two are unique and brave, who do not crave a big budget, just a competitive one, plus a phone and a group of players prepared to listen, learn and believe in the common cause. They are straight talking old school and rarities nowadays – They are the Enticers.
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If one is fortunate enough to meet Graham Taylor, the warmth makes up for any, almost instant, realisation that he had to adapt and bite his tongue in the face of the media over the years. Yet he captivates, freely giving honest informed opinion, with an earthy charm took him from Worksop, to Watford and even the England job. He is a giver, both to the people’s game he respects as well as the charity sector. Did he, perhaps deservedly, overachieve? Never on a player level, that is to say, when he had day to day relationships with men in boots as opposed to a posse of suits.
Simpson and Taylor’s style is very much one of mud in the studs management, either at the training ground or clocking up the miles to find a gem. Both would shine their shoes on the back of their trousers before going in the posh bit after standing out in the rain to get a run-down in the flesh of the next weeks opposition. Bob Dorrian was probably smiling not so much at Saturday’s result, but more the recent drop in petrol prices last week.
So to phase two, post the great escape that saw 20 points garnered. It will begin this morning with a visit, not so much cap in hand, to see the Chairman. Not for the sacking that one of the many perpetual knockers suggested, but to discuss how to take the Mighty Imps forward. The Chairman appears prepared to listen and share the vision. he should after seeing almost 1,000 fans descend on a pub ground for a desperate last throw of the dice yesterday. Perhaps The Rise of The Imps is at hand fellow Imps? We have a manager and Chairman that want to see our club achieve the potential only we Imps seem to see and understand.
When Gary was given this job, he knew the financial pitfalls, the dressing-room disharmony and where the League form was taking us. But this was a challenge he relished because this was a club ingrained within him. Conscience, not money, would guide his decision and motives, with the shoulders and souls of Keith Alexander and Richard Butcher always there in spirit to inspire and guide him.
With the moaners removed from the squad and the addition of three more players (two really as Diagne became injured), he faced ‘more of the same’ comments from clueless individuals within the media and the message boards. Simmo accepts that you pay your money and make your choice, entitled to your opinion and the use of your voice, but in reality this is agenda based and, one that will never see our beloved club move forward.
It is playground stuff and the Imps in that dressing room have learned not to look back in anger, but at the current job in hand. Listening to the Chairman on the radio yesterday, it sounds as if Gary will get the realistic budget he needs to put us there or thereabouts next season. But we have to look a little further back than Keith Alexander, for what Gary is all about. Simmo is certainly part Colin Murphy and, part John Beck, but perhaps more importantly, he has The Enticer look about him. For like Graham Taylor OBE, Gary has both the skill to entice and then build a player that he can sell on for millions. That and fans through the turnstiles are what our football club needs.
Let us hope today’s discussions are fruitful then. The Fans have shown we are keen to respond, but the board need to do some enticing as well.
With a memorial to commemorate his life set to be unveiled next Sunday, here is an obituary for Lincoln City, Notts County, Peterborough United, Northampton Town and Macclesfield Town midfielder Richard Tony Butcher, who died at just 29 a year ago today on the 9th January.
On Saturday evening Gary Simpson dedicated the 2-2 draw against Bolton to Richard Butcher. His untimely death was of course the second tragedy to hit the Silkmen within a year, with manager Gary Simpson a friend of both Keith Alexander and ‘Butch’. In a further ironic twist Richard was the last Macc player to see Keith when he drove Maccs ex Imps back to Lincoln after the Notts County match on the night of his own tragic death.
Whilst managers up and down the country made multi million signings in the Summer Simmo snapped up an old mate as his big dream signing of the summer following a successful loan spell where the Silkmen evaded the drop last year in some style following the death of Keith Alexander.
Richard was found dead at his home yesterday after Macc officials became alarmed that he had not come into training. With his wife, Sarah, away on commitments great mate and Gaffer Gary Simpson rang to see if there was a problem. Butch was normally one of the first in and the last to leave, never missed a session and was a proactive role model for the youngsters.
Though a post mortem is yet to be carried out an enlarged heart may well be the source of the untimely death of a ‘brilliant bloke’ who had only recently married in July. Richard had collapsed over dinner about a year ago and spent time in Lincoln hospital but he was more than capable of continuing as a full time athlete.
Fans thrilled at the box to box skills of goal scoring midfielder Richard Butcher who never quite managed to play for home town club Northampton, moving instead to Rushden & Diamonds. He impressed in his debut withKettering Town who signed him at the end of the season after just 5 chances to impress. Gary then scouted him and Keith Alexander signed him for a Lincoln City side bouncing back from their brush with extinction. He debuted against Rushden on 23rd November 2002 and opened his account against Cambridge a month later.
Butch would be an instrumental part in 3 seasons that saw one semi and two playoff final defeats before Ronnie Moore signed him for Oldham Athletic on a free transfer. Butch had never commanded a fee, instead cleverly choosing to enjoy a larger signing on fee. Things did not work out and in the October he moved back to Lincoln City on loan. Ricky scored one goal in 4 before being recalled by his parent club to finish the season on 39 appearances and 4 goals.
Keith Alexander, then at Posh, signed Butch on 26/6/06 on a free where he would go on to become a popular terrace hero with his energetic box to box style. He would make 49 league and Cup appearances (inc 9 as sub) for Posh, scoring 5 times, before moving to Notts County. During a trying time for the club Ricky would make 87 league and Cup appearances (inc 6 as sub) scoring 19 times. That goal scoring rate is some average for a midfielder; many would argue it helped keep McParland’s magpies up.
Who can forget the headline Butcher Bounds Back into the Bank as Jacko made him his first summer signing as Joyous July oh month of rumour became reality. Butch was genuinely overjoyed to be back playing for a club and a City he had chosen to continue to live in despite his career commitments. It was not to be, Jacko departed and Chris Sutton arrived.
Butch was initially flavour of the month in the 4-5-1 formation before being discarded. Despite being ever polite he fell from grace to the extent that he would be set the task of running around the training ground as opposed to training with the first team. Fortunately his old mates at Macclesfield rescued him and took him on loan as he bagged 2 goals in eight appearances. before the Imps recalled him from their relegation rivals who were now higher in the table.
Butch featured in Lincoln’s final 13 games largely as a makeshift bit part player but things would look up this summer. With Sutton looking to free up a diminishing budget Richard negotiated a handsome but fair settlement for his services after a truly awful spell back at a club he deeply loved. It appeared to mark the beginning of a bright new dawn as he and love of his life Sarah, married in the July.
That Lincoln lump sum also allowed big mate Gary Simpson the chance to sign him on much reduced terms despite the advances of two higher paying offers. Despite two minor version of the once career threatening cruciate injuries, Richard scored a nifty close range effort against Bury on New Years day.
What a shame he will not be there with Gary to finish the mission for Keith this season. For despite the odds being stacked against football’s new crazy gang all at the Moss want to not only survive but prosper with perhaps even a playoff punt.
LCM’s thoughts are with his wife and family at this very difficult time and we would ask all at Sincil Bank to chant his name after the minute’s silence or applause.
A life in Stats
Full name Richard Tony Butcher
Date of birth 22 January 1981
Place of birth Northampton,
Date of death 9 January 2011
Place of death Manchester,
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Playing position Midfielder
340 games (Lge 315 FAC 15 LC 10)
47 Goals (Lge 45 FAC 2)
1999-2000 Northampton Town
1999–2000 Northampton Town 0 (0)
2000–2001 Rushden & Diamonds 2 (0)
2001–2002 Kettering Town 44 (13)
2002–2005 Lincoln City 110 (11)
2005–2006 Oldham Athletic 39 (4)
2005 Lincoln City (loan) 4 (1)
2006–2007 Peterborough United 49 (5)
2007–2009 Notts County 87 (19)
2009–2010 Lincoln City 15 (0)
2010 Macclesfield Town (loan) 8 (2)
2010–2011 Macclesfield Town 8 (1)