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Sheffield Wednesday, Millwall & Peterborough trailing Striker

Scouts from Sheffield WednesdayMillwall FC and Peterborough United were at the Kidderminster Harriers V Lincoln City match on Saturday keen to keep tabs on Joe Lolley. They must have been licking their lips as the 3 goals in 11 striker was only denied his fourth of the campaign due to his 55th minute effort being put down as an own goal for Andrew Boyce.

Kidderminsterbadge.pngBadge of Sheffield WednesdayBlue rampant lion above the word Millwall in blue letters.Peterborough United.svg

The Owls, The Posh and The Lions will need to get in quick ahead of the winter window with Steve Burr’s find of the season having another life and soul performance on the right against Newton, the finest left back in the Skrill Premier Division.  The 21 year-old winger cum centre-forward was playing for Littleton in the Midlands Combination up until last season banging in an incredible 88 goals in 83 games.

Burr signed him for an undisclosed fee on July 31st, he has bridged the gap with aplomb and, although Harriers could well be playing League football next season, Joe could well beat them to it by six months.  Burr would probably prefer to keep hold of the lad but with several other clubs interested a big fee will surely test the harriers resolve sooner rather than later.  Take a look at this entry on his growing CV.

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Video: Richard Butcher’s Goals & Book

Rejected by Northampton Town, Richard played for Kettering Town, Lincoln City, Oldham Athletic, Peterborough United and Macclesfield Town.  Butch was the Notts County top scorer in both his seasons at the club and got a beauty against Bournemouth to guarantee a play-off spot in his first season at the Imps. His untimely death in 2011 at the age of 29 was heartbreaking.

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The Richard Butcher Memorial Charity has commissioned a book celebrating Richard’s life from his formative years  to his final season at Macclesfield Town. Contributors include:-

Gail, Richard and Glenn Butcher, Managers, Mentors & Coaches. Gary Simpson, Kevin Wilson, Carl Shutt, BIG Keith RIP, Ronnie Moore, Darren Ferguson, Peter Jackson and Keith Oakes. Northampton Ali Gibb, Andy Morrow, Carl Heggs, David Savage, Gary Hughes, Gary Thompson, Matthew Finlay, Kevin, Wilson and Paul Curtis. Rushden. Carl Heggs. Kettering, Ian Bowling, Lee Howarth, Carl Shutt and Dale Watkins. Lincoln City, Ian Bowling, Peter Gain, Ben Futcher, Paul Morgan, Keith Oakes, Gary Simpson and Simon Yeo. Oldham Athletic, Mark Hughes, Andy Liddell, Ronnie Moore and Chris Porter. Peterborough United, Darren Ferguson,  Ben Futcher, Peter Gain, Keith Oakes, Gary Simpson and Gavin Strachan. Notts County Lawrie Dudfield, Ali Gibb, Jason Lee, Gavin Strachan. Macclesfield Town Paul Morgan, Gary Simpson and Simon Yeo. Darren MacKenzie, Michael Hortin (BBC) and, David Mackintosh (Leader Northamptonshire Council have also added memories.

The book will go on sale in October and is a moving yet optimistic tribute to  a gentleman who saw playing football as a privilege.  Written with the fan in mind readers can follow a season with insights from those behind the scenes during the gruelling up & downs of the 50+ match marathon and the miles a Football League box-to-box midfielder tread.   Butch’s respect for the fans filled us with warmth and great memories,,, and then there were the goals……………

Simon Yeo Taking Coaching Badges

Former Peterborough United, Macclesfield Town, Chester FC, Hyde FC and dead-shot darling of the Stacey West, Simon Yeo, will start his coaching badges in September.  Simon, a born goal machine, incredibly poached 195 goals in 444 appearances, many from the bench, to become the last Imp to join a somewhat elusive twenty goal club.

thanks for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs.

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Simon came into professional football late, at 28, leaving Hyde FC and the army after a distinguished and decorated career. The modest man often talks about his dream come true.

‘You treasure the great times you’ve been privileged to be able to enjoy. But I think I need to learn the ropes properly before I try to get back into the game. Tactics are just as important as desire and being willing to get your foot, knee, chest, head and nose in the way at the right time’.

Simon’s first taste of coaching came under Simmo at Macc as he wound down his career prior to taking his current job at Manchester airport. This he will continue whilst getting qualified.

“I will fit the course around my current job, you see not everyone realises that football does not set most players up for life.  So I,m gonna have bags under my eyes as well as in front of them for the foreseeable future as we help to get everyone’s holiday luggage to and from. Well there or thereabouts as the late great KA would say”

Paul Morgan, meanwhile, is at the other end of the scale after finishing his physio degree at the University of Salford. His first posting sees him tending to the walking wounded at Accrington Stanley. STMI wonder if he had any experience with released frontman, trialist and new signing Bohan Dixon, who certainly looks a find?

Good luck Simon & Paul Morgan – two Lincoln Legend who could yet make a return in a couple of seasons?

STMI Biopic
Full name Simon John Yeo
Date of birth 10 August 1973 (age 39)
Place of birth Stockport,
Height / Weight 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m) / No comment lol!
Playing position Forward
Senior Stats
Years Team Apps
(Gls)
1997 Ards 4 (1)
1997 Curzon Ashton 4 (4)
1997–1998 Coleraine 0 (0)
1998–2002 Hyde United 168 (111)
1998–1999 Atherton Collieries (loan) 3 (5)
2002–2005 Lincoln City 127 (46)
2005 New Zealand Knights 11 (4)
2005–2006 Lincoln City 14 (5)
2006–2007 Peterborough United 16 (2)
2007–2008 Chester City 35 (8)
2008 Bury (loan) 8 (0)
2008–2009 Macclesfield Town 36 (7)
2009 Droylsden 12  (5)
2009–2010 Harrogate Town 9 (1)
2010–2011 New Mills
2011 Macclesfield Town 0 (0)
Total 444 (195)

3 Years On Keith Still Looms large At Lincoln

Three years ago today Keith Alexander died leaving his family and of course extended family –  the fans of Lincoln City, Grimsby Town, Peterborough United and Macclesfield Town with a massive void that we can never ever fill. He died having just returned from  a game at Notts County, leaving Gary Simpson his friend and confidant to show the sort of character only a genuine and modest man could.  Gary was in bits when he rang me, with Sky TV et al to deal with, Keith having died  in the early hours of the morning, as a result of a brain bleed from a long standing condition. Simmo, Brownie and Butch had dropped him off  fit and well having only returned to work two weeks before. He was and still is a giant of the working mans game and on Saturday old yellow socks will be remembered by Imps and Silkmen as they too don a pair of those famous lucky yellow socks (should be a score draw then).  After all Yellow is the colour of sun-rays –  and from Keith hope will always spring eternal – RIP Keith

Thank you for reading – Neil Gentleman-Hobbs. 

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Matt Alexander: “If he was looking down and saw the reaction that followed his death and how valuable people thought he was, he would be smiling. He would realise that all his hard work had paid off.”

thanks to Richard Butcher’s mum – http://www.richardbutcherfamilymemorial.com

Stanno Park Football Socks - Yellow

Keith Alexander, a pioneer and legend in Lincolnshire and beyond crossed the red and white and black and white divide. He bridged football’s racial boundaries as well as those of great rivals Grimsby and Lincoln fans, alike. Keef,  was a man who made financial mountains from Football molehills. Simmo reckoned he had the weekly wage bill to a penny in his head. A true football man, magician and gentleman, with an eye for talent in a game that offers few chances to overcome the odds. He finally gave to in the early hours of 3rd March 2010, aged 53. Irony upon ironies, that his long term condition would finally defeat him after a match against his first Chairman of Football`s new club Notts County. This match on a day when another of his jewels, wide boy Boyd had left Peterborough to go to Nottingham Forest for “big money”, shows that Keith`s footprint as a man and a manager will loom large over football for years to come. It is perhaps just for a pioneering crusader, for being in the service of Football was his life from cradle to grave.

Stanno Park Football Socks - Yellow

“Keith’ as Gary Simpson said to me today ‘is a brilliant bloke, a friend to everyone and a trail blazer for the black community. Keith`s been overcoming the odds all his life when you think about it.”

Stanno Park Football Socks - Yellow

Amen to that as the 6 foot four inch no nonsense centre forward spent 21 seasons as a player taking in 23 football clubs, making regular Football League appearances at Lincoln, Grimsby Town and Stockport County, before temporarily suspending his playing career with the Imps after the 1992-93 season. After a short spell as manager where we played some passing though unsuccessful football, he played a few more games for Mansfield Town before popping over to Northern Ireland with Cliftonville. It was here that he would get a good understanding of the Irish game which would serve him well in management. His career highlights include scoring as Stamford won the FA Vase in 1980 in a 2-0 win at Wembley as well as playing 3 internationals for St. Lucia in 1990.

Stanno Park Football Socks - Yellow

Keith was handed his first managerial role by Imps chairman John Reames (RIP) but after less than a year in charge he was replaced by the chairman himself with KA returning to playing. Though the spell gave no real indication of his great managerial skills it did set a landmark with KA becoming the first black professional football manager in British football. When Keith finally hung up his boots as a semi pro his final club Ilkeston Town gave him the manager`s job in 1995. In 1997-98 he got them promoted as runner-up from the Southern Midland Division to the Premier Division. Northwich Victoria then poached Keith over to Cheshire in 2000-01 which is where he formed knowledge of the local leagues that he would extend to the Mid Lincs league as Alan Buckley brought him in as assistant manager of the Imps just in time for the admin.Stanno Park Football Socks - Yellow

Keith stayed on and took the hot seat in May 2002 and was unfazed by the cull as high earners Ian Hamilton, Kingsley Black and Justin Walker were moved on along with record appearance holder Grant Brown and the experienced David Cameron and Steve Holmes. This time he would be able to draw on non League expertise and an eye for talent that would serve him well throughout his managerial career. Simon Yeo came in with Ben Futcher and Simon Weaver, Richard Butcher and Dene Cropper joining the five players Keith was able to retain – Mazza, Morgs, Gainy and our gallivanting wingbacks Bimmo and Bailey. The attacking direct style ensured we battled our way back finishing the season with a playoff final defeat 2-5 to Bournemouth. Rob Bradley who put his house up still has tears in his eyes (as do I as I pen this) when he recalls the 15,000 Imps who poured into the Millennium stadium when they opened the gates that day. We didn`t lose we proved we had survived and come back from the dead.

Stanno Park Football Socks - Yellow

We started the following season slowly with the unpopular sales of Mayo to Watford and Bimmo choosing to go to Cambridge United, but Keith and sidekick Simmo knew what they were doing with McCombe, Richardson, GTF (Gary Taylor-Fletcher), Franny Green and Kevin yes Ellison on loan. In the November Gary Simpson, himself a knowledgeable football man, would come into his own when Keith suffered the cerebral aneurysm that would sadly prove his ultimate undoing. A lifesaving operation saw him return to work in the February (2004) as a Sincil surge saw us make the playoff semi finals losing out to Peter Jackson`s Huddersfield. The following season Keith brought in Gareth McAuley and Ciaran Toner as we again made the play off final losing this time to Southend, with both goals coming in extra time. While Keith signed a three year deal that summer Yeo, Butcher, Gain, and GTF left the club. Despite this and Keith being put on gardening leave we still made the playoffs this time losing to Grimsby in the semis.

Stanno Park Football Socks - Yellow

It was of little surprise to see KA become the new Peterborough manager on May 30th 2006 on a 4 year deal. He joined old friend and ex boss Barry Fry who always had a soft spot for the lad even when his desire to stay match fit got beyond a joke. Such was Keith`s love for the game that back in 87 Barry had to ban him from playing for a local Lincolnshire team every Sunday. You can see Keith enjoying playing uphill at Barnet such was his determination throughout his life to overcome adversity. Peterborough would see that Keith Alexander and Gary had not lost their touch when it came to unearthing talent as George Boyd, Aaron Mclean, Craig Mackail-Smith and Craig Morgan were signed. It was a travesty that Posh`s owner sacked him on 15 January 2007 following 6 straight league defeats that saw them sit 8th in the league.

Stanno Park Football Socks - Yellow

Keith was then hired as a director of Football to advise rookie Bury manager Chris Casper in May 2007 a tenure that lasted until14 January 2008. A month later Keith and Gary Simpson were back together proving miracles can still happen in football at Macclesfield Town. One point from relegation with the smallest budget in League football they astounded the 1500 faithful and the critics. Four wins three draws and two defeats ensured they stayed up and confounded the critics with a mixture of youth loans and chewing gum and string.

Stanno Park Football Socks - Yellow

Going back to what Simmo said at the start of this obituary ‘He`s s a brilliant bloke, a friend to everyone and a trail blazer for the black community. Keith`s been overcoming the odds all his life’

Stanno Park Football Socks - Yellow

How many managers could do what Keith did in his life? From no money at Lincoln to a £500,000 a year budget at Macclesfield, knowing what he had inside him would defeat him in the end. Keith just got on with what he was given, inspired others and succeeded. Surely one of our own should be honoured with a Cathedral service and a civic send off, for those yellow socks will never be seen at Sincil Bank again.

Stanno Park Football Socks - Yellow

RIP Keith – Imp, Role model inspiration to all and loving father.

Having just lost my father a pen this with two tears in my eyes and my thoughts go out to Keith’s wife Helen their two children Jack and Jenny and his two other sons Paul and Matt.

Stanno Park Football Socks - Yellow

thanks to clubline for the lucky yellow socks images click to buy at £3-£4)There or Thereabouts: The Keith Alexander Story

Keith’s book ‘There or Thereabouts c, written by father of the Imps Rob Bradley with a forward by Sir Trevor Brooking CBE is still available

Club Managed Tenure Played Won Drawn Lost Win Rate
Lincoln City 1/8/93-16/5/94 48 13 13 22 27%
Lincoln City 1/5/02- 24/5/06 213 81 69 63 38%
Peterborough 30/5/06-15/1/07 34 14 7 13 41%
Macclesfield Town 27/2/08-3/3/10 80 25 40 20 29%
Keith Alexander 2.png
PERSONAL INFORMATION
FULL NAME Keith Alexander
DATE OF BIRTH 14 November 1958
PLACE OF BIRTH Nottingham, England
DATE OF DEATH 3 March 2010 (aged 53)
PLACE OF DEATH Lincoln, England
HEIGHT 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
PLAYING POSITION Centre forward
SENIOR CAREER (LEAGUE GAMES ONLY)
YEARS Team Apps (Gls)
1974 Notts County 0 (0)
1975 Wisbech Town
1975–1976 Arnold Town
1976–1977 Worksop Town
1977 Clifton
1977 Attenborough
1977–1978 Ilkeston Town 17 (1)
1978 Kimberley Town
1978–1979 Alfreton Town 7 (0)
1979–1980 Stamford 51 (13)
1980–1981 Boston United 7 (0)
1981 King’s Lynn 12 (3)
1981–1982 Stamford 43 (11)
1982 Corby Town 2 (1)
1982–1983 Spalding United 37 (18)
1983 Boston Town 0 (0)
1983 Grantham Town 2 (0)
1983–1984 King’s Lynn 12 (1)
1984–1986 Kettering Town 74 (11)
1986 → Wisbech Town (loan) 6 (4)
1986–1988 Barnet 72 (22)
1988–1990 Grimsby Town 83 (26)
1990 Stockport County 11 (0)
1990–1994 Lincoln City 45 (4)
1994–1996 Mansfield Town 3 (0)
1995 → Cliftonville (loan) 7 (2)
1996 Ilkeston Town 0 (0)
NATIONAL TEAM
1990 Saint Lucia 3 (0)
TEAMS MANAGED
1993–1994 Lincoln City
1995–2000 Ilkeston Town
2000–2001 Northwich Victoria
2002–2006 Lincoln City
2006–2007 Peterborough United
2008–2010 Macclesfield Town

Andy Scott – Macc & Talent-Spotter Simmo A Gordon Banks Spot

Gary Simpson has paved the way for Peterborough United and Macclesfield Town’s transfer success.  Spotted by Stoke City scout and England legend Gordon Banks, the left-footed Boston midfield maestro took rejection at Stoke on the chin and followed Dad Ken’s advice  (a veteran of Sheffield United and Rotherham who played the day Nobby Noble missed a penalty that cost the Millers promotion to the first Division) to become a centre midfielder. He may have lacked the pace for the flank, but his heart, passing and tackling served him well at England C, Boston, Stafford Rangers and Gainsborough Trinity, where he became player manager. Gary then became an assistant and scout at former Pilgrims guru Ray O’Brien at Arnold St Mary. Keith Alexander then asked him to help out at Ilkeston and the partnership flourished as they moved up in the world at Lincoln, Peterborough and of course Macc. Keith certainly missed him in his director of football capacity at Bury,  just as Gary missed him and later Butch, having stepped  nervously and emotionally into his shoes.

 

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 STMI caught up with former Macclesfield Town Vice-Chairman and busy retail entrepreneur Andy Scott over the weekend and it turns out that Gary deserves better credit. for his time at the Silkmen, than many realise. 

*****

Q:   You worked with Gary through some good times and some bad Andy, it must have taken something to lift the club after both Keith and Richard Butcher’s premature passing as you successfully battled against relegation.

‘I doubt if many football clubs have ever had to endure two tragedies in just under twelve months quite like MacclesfieldTown. The fact that both Keith and Butch were so close to Gary, made it an incredibly difficult and emotional time for him personally, let alone the football club. The announcement of Keith’s death was such a massive shock to us all. I was having a drink with him in the NottsCounty boardroom after the game the night before he died and it was the same old Keith, such a wonderful, warm football man. The chairman called me at 8am the next morning to deliver the bad news. I was shell shocked. I called Gary immediately and did my best to console him, and if I was to be honest, had serious doubts that Gary would be able to carry on in the game, such was his close friendship to Keith. Later that morning he called me and said ”Andy, I have spoken to Helen, Keith’s wife, and there is no way the Gaffer wouldn’t have want the game to go ahead on Saturday (Hereford away)”. How he pulled it together and kept his devastated young squad focussed enough to pull off an amazing 2-0 victory will live with me for many a day. It told me so much about Gary Simpson the individual.’

This was then followed 10 months later with the sad passing of Butch, and yet again Gary kept it together with incredible strength and dignity. To this day I don’t know how he coped with the death of Richard so soon after losing his best friend Keith. But he did, and almost single handed, with the support of the Chairman and myself, steered the club to safety that season winning five, drawing four and losing only three of the remaining Twelve games.

*****

Q That young side Gary built looked great and for a while the Silkmen looked genuine play-off contenders. What do you think went wrong after a glorious 2-1 win against local rivals Port Vale? Any memories and regrets following the heroic tussle with Bolton?

‘Football I suppose has this great habit of hitting you where it hurts, when you least expect it! Everything was going so well last season and after the Bolton FA Cup draw the boys put in another great performance in the Reebok replay. After losing 2-0 to a full strength Premiership side in that replay, the Chairman and I were in the process of preparing a three and a half year contract for Gary, and why not? In the first tie at the Moss Rose we were beating Bolton 2-1 with 12 minutes to go and, with six key players out injured, Gary conjured up a fantastic display of attacking football that came within a whisker of creating the shock of the round. We had beaten Port Vale, our local rivals, 2-1 on New Years Eve, sitting comfortably mid-table and ready for a push towards the play offs. The month of January was a disaster for Gary and the squad and nobody saw it coming. With six players already out injured we then lost another six players to long term injuries that decimated the squad. Many of the injuries were not short term and most were to key players, Morgan, Draper, Chalmers, Hewitt, Fairhurst and Tomlinson to name but a few. I have no doubt that had these guys stayed fit we would still be in the Football League and  building for an exciting  future with Gary Simpson at the helm. Due to the limited finances at the club, whilst delving into the loan market was a necessity, we simply couldn’t afford the calibre of player required to get our season back on track. In adversity, Gary was fully aware of the financial restraint on the club and never once did he come to the board and ask for money for players that he knew the club simply couldn’t afford. He is a thrifty Yorkshireman and spent the clubs money like his own!! It was that terrible injury crisis and a lot of bad luck put paid to our league status.

*****

Q  Gary has a great eye for talent but just how big an impact does transfer income play in the sustainability of clubs like Macc?

“It’s a fact of life, on gates of around 2000 and to compete against the bigger league clubs we have to be a selling club. Gary and Keith knew full well when they took the position at the Moss Rose that if the right offer came along for our better players, the club would have to sell to balance the books. Not once did Gary complain about having to sell some of the fantastic footballers that he brought to our club. He knew the situation, he was a realist, and took the view that if it helped to progress the players career and the club benefited financially, then so be it. I think it is already well known about Gary’s ”eye” for a player and God knows where he would end up scouting on a freezing Tuesday night in November!! Goole, Matlock, Buxton and Halifax to name but a few!! He used to call me sometimes at 10pm on a Tuesday evening from the middle of nowhere with his famous catchphrase, ” Andy, I think I’ve spotted one”. Never before has MTFC done so well in the transfer market as the last two seasons, all talent that was recognised and brought to the football club by Gary. Sinclair, Barnett, Hewitt, Bencheriff, Daniel and Brisley netted the club in excess of 750k, a fantastic return that has helped to make the club financially solid, certainly for this season.” 

*****

Q; It has been alleged that Horton’s wage was half the weekly playing budget that had been allocated before his arrival. Clearly you can’t comment on that but given he only took two points from a possible 27, do you feel retaining Simmo would have kept Macc up if he had been given until the end of the season?

“Who knows, and I certainly can’t comment on the Brian Horton deal. But I never wanted Gary to leave, it was a decision made by the owners of the football club. I knew having worked with him for four years; we had a football man who was the perfect ”fit” for our club, and a guy who knows what it takes to punch above our weight. Remember Gary drew 5 and lost only one game in his last six, which included draws against Crawley at home and Bristol Rovers and Oxford away, all with an injury ravaged squad. With 27 points to play for I still felt Gary had the ability, skill set and desire to pull us out of the mire, but I suppose we will never know.”

*****

Q: The injury list at Macc was awful, with a dozen out during that 13 game spell and how frustrating was it when on-loan Dwayne Mattis was injured after an hour of his scoring debut at Wimbledon?

“The injury to Mattis was a reflection of the bad luck to hit the club as we lost 8 games by a goal and drew 5. He was a great signing for us and having controlled the game for the first hour against Wimbledon away he suffered a bad ankle injury and was out for the season. He had captained Chesterfield to promotion the previous season so we knew what a great player he could have been for us. It was a big blow losing him.

*****

Q What do you see as Gary’s best qualities as a coach, manager and bloke?

“His Man Management of players is excellent and he always manages get the best out them. Whilst he will always put his arm around them and support them, the players know not to step over the line. He is an honest no nonsense sort of guy and doesn’t suffer fools. As a person you couldn’t wish to meet a more passionate and devoted lover of his sport. It was a pleasure working with Gary, I had a vision of him being the bedrock of Macclesfield town for years to come, it’s a real shame it didn’t work out for both parties.”

*****

Q With Gary now assistant at Parkgate and doing things for the love do you think it will be long before he gets back into the game?

“I certainly hope so. No disrespect to Parkgate but I hope Gary can manage again at  Football League or Conference level, that’s where he belongs. If and when he is appointed at another football club I wish him well and I’m sure he will be great success.

*****

Q Have you any plans to get back into football ownership and would you employ Gary again?

“No I haven’t got any plans to get back into football just yet, I am looking forward to spending a little more time with my family on a Saturday afternoon!! I would have no hesitation in employing Gary again, I enjoyed working with him, he is a true footballing gent and I’m sure success awaits him.”

*****

Q With the BSP 3 up 3 down vote an agenda item for The League Club’s at the end of the season what are your views on this and the gulf between the standard and style of football in League 2 and the BSP?

“One hundred percent yes for 3 up 3 down because it is sustaining an unfair gulf. My early observations lead me to believe there is a 25-40% gap between the respective positions in the two Leagues.” 

Posh to Parkgate-Talent Spotter Simmo On The Rise Again?

Gary Simpson? Who you ask? But his talent stretches to Blackpool (Taylor Fletcher), Ipswich Town (Hewitt) Peterborough (McLean, Mackail-Smith) and Brighton. Indeed it spans the top five Leagues. Peterborough United and Macclesfield are still reaping the rewards of Gary Simpson’s eye for talent spotting, but it is his not so Posh return to grass roots with Parkgate that illustrates his ability to do it again and again.

Thank you for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs

Peterborough United.svgBlackpool FC logo.svgIpswich Town.svgMacclesfield Town FC.svgLincoln City F.C. badge.pngBoston United FC logo.svg

The quiet man in the partnership with Keith Alexander, Gary’s love of the game, judgement and ability to work with what he has got, is as touching as his deep and genuine love for the way the game should truly be played, coached and managed.  You need fresh mud in your studs and a desire to do the miles, give the smiles and to convert young lads by teaching and gently preaching.  Not only can Simmo turn water into rapidly maturing wine, but Sheffield’s softly spoken son  has what is really needed in the current harsh environment  – he can turn a quid into seven, which with add-ons can even exceed a bakers dozen. At Parkgate he has a few more in the oven.

Gary learned to take rejection at Stoke before going on to be a legend at Boston as a player. He finished at Gainsborough and was eager to take his coaching badges.  Initially the managership mantel was thrust upon him at Gainsborough Trinity whilst still a player, then Lincoln and Macclesfield Town.  Simmo was caretaker at the Imps and Silkmen, before getting the job full-time at Macc, filling the blues shoes vacated by legend, mate and mentor Keith. Gary’s eleven match spell at the Imps saw five wins, four draws and two defeats. His 45% success rate, is something they would dearly love now, not to mention the talent spotting that turns pennies into pounds and truly astounds.

Peterborough have made millions from selling players he spotted and coached, as well as no doubt benefiting from two more of his Macc prodigal sons this season, having signed Sinclair and Brisley.  Macc also received fees for Hewitt (Ipswich),  Donnelly (Rochdale), Daniel and Tomlinson, that paved the way for new silkmen supremo and successor King’s spending splurge.

Much was made of Gary’s sacking from Macc. Having been forced to sell seven in the window, he then had 12 injured from January onwards. A win at local rivals and comparable giants,Port Vale, heralding play-off aspirations, would turn to dust thanks to a 16 match winless run.  Mike Rance and Andy Scott were ‘truly gutted’ to see him go, although the politics at Macc, especially after the latter top two’s departure, is set to run a while yet.

Club logo

But to the sunny climbs of Parkgate,  the Steelmen of Rotherham. With a stand of 300 and a  capacity of 1,000, they are a side on the rise, despite crowds of just a hundred or so. The facilities are good with Rotherham United electing to train there in exchange for some vital cash. The Steelmen play at level 9 of the football pyramid in the Baris North Counties East Football League Premier Division along with Lincoln Moorlands Railway, Worksop and Scarborough.  Simmo’s lad’s can go top tonight if they beat  17th placed Pickering. Then there is a  home clash against the League’s big spenders Staveley Miners Welfare at the weekend.

Gary has always been keen to train sides, to put something back at youth and amateur level. he is certainly not doing this for the money.  Having no goalkeeper available,  cost them progression in the FA Cup (bless’em) and their only defeat of the season. A win in the FA Vase at Worsbrough Bridge Athletic has brought in the petrol money for a few more away trips yet.  Just 75 witnessed it, as Nathan Forbes-Swindells settled things in the fifth minute. That could be a costly shirt one day, although if the strikers had finished it could easily have been ten.  Make that eleven with one brave defender left to ‘count them’. The talent spotting never fails with one tender 18 year-old in particular set for a very bright future indeed. Gary has also charmed in some real quality to form the U-19’s who will provide the future conveyor belt that has always been so central to his coaching concept and character.  With Tommy Docherty turning up for Dinner on 4th October to swell the campaign war chest, it is surely worth the entry for some minted wisdom, rumour and humour.

NCEL Prem PLD PTS GD
1 Worksop Parmre 7 18 11
2 Scarborough Ath 7 16 10
3 Parkgate 6 16 9
4 Brighouse Town 6 13 6
17 Pickering Town 4 4 2

Simmo & Yeo: All Fans Welcome To Keith’s Book Launch Tonight.

Simon Yeo and Gary Simpson were with Keith at Lincoln, Peterborough United and Macclesfield Town. Both would like to confirm that all fans are welcome – be they Imps, Silkmen or the Posh folk; to the launch of There or Thereabouts this evening, at 7.30 PM in the Imps Trust Suite.

Simmo, Yeo, father of the Imps Rob Bradley and many of the  team that facilitated the Rise of the Imps from the jaws of administration, will be there to sign copies of the great man’s life story for the fans these true football men see more as friends.

There or Thereabouts: The Keith Alexander Story

Keith’s book ‘There or Thereabouts comes out today, written by father of the Imps Rob Bradley with a forward by Sir Trevor Brooking CBE

Club Managed Tenure Played Won Drawn Lost Win Rate
Lincoln City 1/8/93-16/5/94 48 13 13 22 27%
Lincoln City 1/5/02- 24/5/06 213 81 69 63 38%
Peterborough 30/5/06-15/1/07 34 14 7 13 41%
Macclesfield Town 27/2/08-3/3/10 80 25 40 20 29%

Lucky Yellow Socks – KA legend to Lincoln City, Grimsby , Peterborough & Macclesfield Town

Nearly thirty months ago,  I penned an obituary for Keith Alexander who had died leaving his family and of course extended family –  the fans of Lincoln City, Grimsby Town, Peterborough United and Macclesfield Town with a massive void that we can never ever fill. He died having just returned from  a game at Notts County, leaving Gary Simpson his friend and confidant to show the sort of character only a genuine and modest man could.  Gary was in bits when he rang me, with Sky TV et al to deal with, Keith having died  in the early hours of the morning, as a result of a brain bleed from a long standing condition. Simmo, Brownie and Butch had dropped him off  fit and well having only returned to work two weeks before. He was and still is a giant of the working mans game and on Saturday old yellow socks will be remembered by Imps and Silkmen as they too don a pair of those famous lucky yellow socks (should be a score draw then).  After all Yellow is the colour of sun-rays –  and from Keith hope will always spring eternal – RIP Keith

Thank you for reading – Neil Gentleman-Hobbs. 

Keith Alexander 2.png

Matt Alexander: “If he was looking down and saw the reaction that followed his death and how valuable people thought he was, he would be smiling. He would realise that all his hard work had paid off.”

thanks to Richard Butcher’s mum – http://www.richardbutcherfamilymemorial.com

Stanno Park Football Socks - Yellow Keith Alexander, a pioneer and legend in Lincolnshire and beyond crossed the red and white and black and white divide. He bridged football’s racial boundaries as well as those of great rivals Grimsby and Lincoln fans, alike. Keef,  was a man who made financial mountains from Football molehills. Simmo reckoned he had the weekly wage bill to a penny in his head. A true football man, magician and gentleman, with an eye for talent in a game that offers few chances to overcome the odds. He finally gave to in the early hours of 3rd March 2010, aged 53. Irony upon ironies, that his long term condition would finally defeat him after a match against his first Chairman of Football`s new club Notts County. This match on a day when another of his jewels, wide boy Boyd had left Peterborough to go to Nottingham Forest for “big money”, shows that Keith`s footprint as a man and a manager will loom large over football for years to come. It is perhaps just for a pioneering crusader, for being in the service of Football was his life from cradle to grave. Stanno Park Football Socks - Yellow ‘Keith’ as Gary Simpson said to me today ‘is a brilliant bloke, a friend to everyone and a trail blazer for the black community. Keith`s been overcoming the odds all his life when you think about it.’ Stanno Park Football Socks - Yellow Amen to that as the 6 foot four inch no nonsense centre forward spent 21 seasons as a player taking in 23 football clubs, making regular Football League appearances at Lincoln, Grimsby Town and Stockport County, before temporarily suspending his playing career with the Imps after the 1992-93 season. After a short spell as manager where we played some passing though unsuccessful football, he played a few more games for Mansfield Town before popping over to Northern Ireland with Cliftonville. It was here that he would get a good understanding of the Irish game which would serve him well in management. His career highlights include scoring as Stamford won the FA Vase in 1980 in a 2-0 win at Wembley as well as playing 3 internationals for St. Lucia in 1990. Stanno Park Football Socks - Yellow Keith was handed his first managerial role by Imps chairman John Reames (RIP) but after less than a year in charge he was replaced by the chairman himself with KA returning to playing. Though the spell gave no real indication of his great managerial skills it did set a landmark with KA becoming the first black professional football manager in British football. When Keith finally hung up his boots as a semi pro his final club Ilkeston Town gave him the manager`s job in 1995. In 1997-98 he got them promoted as runner-up from the Southern Midland Division to the Premier Division. Northwich Victoria then poached Keith over to Cheshire in 2000-01 which is where he formed knowledge of the local leagues that he would extend to the Mid Lincs league as Alan Buckley brought him in as assistant manager of the Imps just in time for the admin. Stanno Park Football Socks - Yellow Keith stayed on and took the hot seat in May 2002 and was unfazed by the cull as high earners Ian Hamilton, Kingsley Black and Justin Walker were moved on along with record appearance holder Grant Brown and the experienced David Cameron and Steve Holmes. This time he would be able to draw on non League expertise and an eye for talent that would serve him well throughout his managerial career. Simon Yeo came in with Ben Futcher and Simon Weaver, Richard Butcher and Dene Cropper joining the five players Keith was able to retain – Mazza, Morgs, Gainy and our gallivanting wingbacks Bimmo and Bailey. The attacking direct style ensured we battled our way back finishing the season with a playoff final defeat 2-5 to Bournemouth. Rob Bradley who put his house up still has tears in his eyes (as do I as I pen this) when he recalls the 15,000 Imps who poured into the Millennium stadium when they opened the gates that day. We didn`t lose we proved we had survived and come back from the dead. Stanno Park Football Socks - Yellow We started the following season slowly with the unpopular sales of Mayo to Watford and Bimmo choosing to go to Cambridge United, but Keith and sidekick Simmo knew what they were doing with McCombe, Richardson, GTF (Gary Taylor-Fletcher), Franny Green and Kevin yes Ellison on loan. In the November Gary Simpson, himself a knowledgeable football man, would come into his own when Keith suffered the cerebral aneurysm that would sadly prove his ultimate undoing. A lifesaving operation saw him return to work in the February (2004) as a Sincil surge saw us make the playoff semi finals losing out to Peter Jackson`s Huddersfield. The following season Keith brought in Gareth McAuley and Ciaran Toner as we again made the play off final losing this time to Southend, with both goals coming in extra time. While Keith signed a three year deal that summer Yeo, Butcher, Gain, and GTF left the club. Despite this and Keith being put on gardening leave we still made the playoffs this time losing to Grimsby in the semis. Stanno Park Football Socks - Yellow It was of little surprise to see KA become the new Peterborough manager on May 30th 2006 on a 4 year deal. He joined old friend and ex boss Barry Fry who always had a soft spot for the lad even when his desire to stay match fit got beyond a joke. Such was Keith`s love for the game that back in 87 Barry had to ban him from playing for a local Lincolnshire team every Sunday. You can see Keith enjoying playing uphill at Barnet such was his determination throughout his life to overcome adversity. Peterborough would see that Keith Alexander and Gary had not lost their touch when it came to unearthing talent as George Boyd, Aaron Mclean, Craig Mackail-Smith and Craig Morgan were signed. It was a travesty that Posh`s owner sacked him on 15 January 2007 following 6 straight league defeats that saw them sit 8th in the league. Stanno Park Football Socks - Yellow Keith was then hired as a director of Football to advise rookie Bury manager Chris Casper in May 2007 a tenure that lasted until14 January 2008. A month later Keith and Gary Simpson were back together proving miracles can still happen in football at Macclesfield Town. One point from relegation with the smallest budget in League football they astounded the 1500 faithful and the critics. Four wins three draws and two defeats ensured they stayed up and confounded the critics with a mixture of youth loans and chewing gum and string. Stanno Park Football Socks - Yellow Going back to what Simmo said at the start of this obituary ‘He`s s a brilliant bloke, a friend to everyone and a trail blazer for the black community. Keith`s been overcoming the odds all his life’ Stanno Park Football Socks - YellowHow many managers could do what Keith did in his life? From no money at Lincoln to a £500,000 a year budget at Macclesfield, knowing what he had inside him would defeat him in the end. Keith just got on with what he was given, inspired others and succeeded. Surely one of our own should be honoured with a Cathedral service and a civic send off, for those yellow socks will never be seen at Sincil Bank again.

Stanno Park Football Socks - Yellow

RIP Keith – Imp, Role model inspiration to all and loving father.

Having just lost my father a pen this with two tears in my eyes and my thoughts go out to Keith’s wife Helen their two children Jack and Jenny and his two other sons Paul and Matt.

Stanno Park Football Socks - Yellowthanks to clubline for the lucky yellow socks images click to buy at £3-£4) There or Thereabouts: The Keith Alexander StoryKeith’s book ‘There or Thereabouts comes out this Thursday, written by father of the Imps Rob Bradley with a forward by Sir Trevor Brooking CBE

Club Managed Tenure Played Won Drawn Lost Win Rate
Lincoln City 1/8/93-16/5/94 48 13 13 22 27%
Lincoln City 1/5/02- 24/5/06 213 81 69 63 38%
Peterborough 30/5/06-15/1/07 34 14 7 13 41%
Macclesfield Town 27/2/08-3/3/10 80 25 40 20 29%
Keith Alexander 2.png BIG Keith Alexander RIP
PERSONAL INFORMATION
FULL NAME Keith Alexander
DATE OF BIRTH 14 November 1958
PLACE OF BIRTH Nottingham, England
DATE OF DEATH 3 March 2010 (aged 53)
PLACE OF DEATH Lincoln, England
HEIGHT 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
PLAYING POSITION Centre forward
SENIOR CAREER (LEAGUE GAMES ONLY)
YEARS Team Apps (Gls)
1974 Notts County 0 (0)
1975 Wisbech Town
1975–1976 Arnold Town
1976–1977 Worksop Town
1977 Clifton
1977 Attenborough
1977–1978 Ilkeston Town 17 (1)
1978 Kimberley Town
1978–1979 Alfreton Town 7 (0)
1979–1980 Stamford 51 (13)
1980–1981 Boston United 7 (0)
1981 King’s Lynn 12 (3)
1981–1982 Stamford 43 (11)
1982 Corby Town 2 (1)
1982–1983 Spalding United 37 (18)
1983 Boston Town 0 (0)
1983 Grantham Town 2 (0)
1983–1984 King’s Lynn 12 (1)
1984–1986 Kettering Town 74 (11)
1986 → Wisbech Town (loan) 6 (4)
1986–1988 Barnet 72 (22)
1988–1990 Grimsby Town 83 (26)
1990 Stockport County 11 (0)
1990–1994 Lincoln City 45 (4)
1994–1996 Mansfield Town 3 (0)
1995 → Cliftonville (loan) 7 (2)
1996 Ilkeston Town 0 (0)
NATIONAL TEAM
1990 Saint Lucia 3 (0)
TEAMS MANAGED
1993–1994 Lincoln City
1995–2000 Ilkeston Town
2000–2001 Northwich Victoria
2002–2006 Lincoln City
2006–2007 Peterborough United
2008–2010 Macclesfield Town

Christmas Crackers: Peterborough UTD 1 Imps 2 And 2300 Santa Imps saw it

Just before we get into this the second of the 3 Christmas Derby Kings , a quick pause please Imps for 2 ex Peterbough United, but forever Imps, Keith Alexander and Richard Butcher who both figured in this one. Thoughts to their families and Gary Simpson the Macclesfield Town manager who was up at the Cathedral on Monday, lighting a candle,  laying a wreath and paying his dues to a mentor and a mate.

Amoo! Amoo! Amoos on fire –Posh 1 Imps 2 A view from the Moyes Terrace (23/12/06)

Deehan & Schofield’s master plan to replace suspended Frecktanian, the doyen of the Imps four midfield musketeers, with oft-called lightweight Ryan ‘Jade Goody tamer’ Amooooooooooo acting as the central fulcrum for a change, worked a treat.  A faltering 4-4-2 became  4-3-3 as we went atPeterboroughex Imps KA, Simmo et al in their own back yard  full of festive glee. The message that ‘The Imps are going up’ must have carried down every Chimney in Cambridgeshire. Such was the cacophony of noise bellowed from the Moyes Terrace by 2000 of the 2,323 jubilant SantaImps.

First the Teams & schemes

Posh 4-4-2

Rachubka

Holden Branston Arber Morgan

Newton Smith Butcher (RIP) Gain

McLean Yeo

Substitutions: Huke (Y) Replaced Newton, 78 Benjamin Replaced Branston, 87 Day Replaced Smith

Substitutes:  Opara, Stirling,  Day, Benjamin, Huke

The Mighty Imps 4-3-3

Marriott

Eaden  Morgan Brown (Y) Beevers (Y)

Kerr Amoo Nicholson

Forrester (Y) Stallard Gritton

Substitutions: 61 Hughes Replaced Gritton  On 76 Moses replaced kerr

Substitutes:  Rayner, Birley, Mettam, Moses, Hughes

To the game fellow footy fans to the game…………..

The Imps have now dominated their last four games and just perhaps they got all their bad luck in that farce at Chester.  Let us hope – and feel free to write a letter to Santa if you wish –  the luck that has eluded them since the kiss of death Manager of the Month award for October, has still not returned.  Boston be warned this was hard fought, and a Monster monster win for the Pride of Lincolnshire!

A battle of the Somme style whipping, saw Santa Imps and beautiful football, rise from the trenches and burst through Keith’s new troops after an early heavy bombardment,  to fight for the right to play poetic passing fuotball, thanks to the mincemeat sweet feet of the one they call Ryan Amoo, a lover not a fighter.  Perhaps it was the cacophonous carols ringing from the Santa Imps that saw a Posh wimper at the beginning of the second half as the evenly balanced match swung the Imps was again and for good once the away following had sucked the winner home. They battled hard, tried to out muscle us, but the Doorman’s first 11 with guest appearances from ex Imps including Simon Yeo, had to concede the football team won. Keith will continually try to prove a point to us that his teams can play football, but rest assured Posh fans you’ll be back to route one on Tuesday. We Imps meanwhile seem sublimely blessed by Schofields vision of the beautiful game.  Hard hats chaps it’s an incoming from Sterling!
Mazza did his bit, again looking to throw to start moves. Nicholson put in his sharpest dentures to chew upMcLean. But Beavers, Brown and terrier Kerr were huge and always at the centre of the battle with the giants. And then Amoo grew too ; confident he could carry the mantle of the suspended Freck. A quarter of this passionate end-to-end advert for League two football had flown by. Then halleluiah Gritton won the ball. Better still the Christmas fairy turned him into Grittonia,Lincolns new advanced midfield playmaker. A superb flick that none of us thought he possssed and Lee Beevers was away. He played the ball to Forrester who dummied and Goal as  Amoo finished things off by slotting home from 15 yards with aplomb.

It was like a Santa’s knees up, after the Shopping centre closes Christmas Eve, for the travelling 2323 Imps as the Moyes terrace shook from roof to rafters. The raucous red and white army then asked Mr Yeo, until now forlornly & furtively furrowing on the wing, “Prey  Simon Simon whats the score?”  He obliged although, perhaps in error, he gave the impression it was two, judging by the hand signal.

Oh no ho ho!  The Posh scored completely against the run of play. They took us by surprise, electing for a change, to play the ball along the ground for; you’ve guessed it Peter Gain. That’s you off the Christmas card list then Gainy! After an early onslaught in the second half they were outfoxed though. Yo ho ho here’s Hughesie. The flowing total football arrived atLondon Road as the Imps came at the travelling Santa hordes on The Moyes Terrace,  sending the hip flask alcohol and adrenalin coursing through the veins of every living Imp. One aim, one voice and one passion.  Nicholson centred, Stallard flicked on and Amooooo controlled and drilled home a straight lace beauty oh so full of grace for his brace. Two goals and a virtuoso performance by a prancing, passing prince as rampant Ryan ran the show… Amoo, Amoo, Amoo’s on Fire rang round the ground and all the way up theLondon Road to Impdom.

This team can do it. They’ve had their wobble, taken the flack on and off the pitch. Then gone quietly, but with some style, about their business. Oh Yeo! Oh Yeo! The gospel according to the two Johns is getting through and spreading like wild fire. Role up, Role up the entertainers are in town. The certainly did at Posh with 8,405 by far their best crowd of the season, in Christmas week as well. KA had put an edge on this one by stating that all was greener at the Posh Paradise. WellLincoln’s huge banks of fantastic fans laughed last, loudest and longest in this one. Damnbusters saw Imps flying freely in the Moyes.  It was laugh out loud atLondon Road –  E-I-E-I-E-I-O Up the football league we go and all  firm favourites and christmas carols & old chestnuts – and then the heavenly final whistle greeted by a roar that would have lifted the roof off of any of the big terraces of old. Yeo Yeo what’s the score boomed across at the deserted home sections as the team came over for the encore.  Simon sportingly clapped up too suggesting some unfinished business back in Impdom some time in the future perhaps.

Bring on the Boston and a brilliant Boxing Day at the Bank? Mmmm Sincil Salivates……….

Match Facts & Stats

Peterborough United 1 Lincoln City 2 (H/T 11)

Scorers

Posh Gain 42

Imps  Amoo 23 & 72

Ref: Lee Att 8,405 (2323 IMPS)

Possession

Posh 49% Imps 51%

Shots on target

Posh  2 Imps 10

Shots off target

Posh 9 Imps 5

Saves

Posh 4 Imps 1

Corners

Posh  5 Imps 5

Offsides

Posh 4 Imps 5

Fouls

Posh 7 Imps 12

Yellows

Posh 1 Imps 3