Now over to a guest contributor, Matt Wilson. He penned an open letter to the club in the aftermath of our 3-2 victory of FGR and I’m honoured and delighted he has chosen my blog as the place to put it out there. Heartfelt and honest words that I’m sure will resonate with each and every one of my readers.
My name is Matt Wilson and I’m a Lincoln City fan. I really shouldn’t be either, I wasn’t born here. A fact I’m pretty sure will make the purists choke on their half time bovril. I moved here when I could barely walk, a choice my parents made on my behalf and for approximately 89.4736842% of my life, Lincoln has been my home. By birth right I should be a Hull City fan, and given their recent dalliances with the very top flight of English football perhaps I could be forgiven for jumping on that band wagon. Like most, I have a premier league team I follow but Lincoln is where I live and I feel I have a duty to support City.
My first taste of Sincil Bank, I think, was on a school trip. My memory is fuzzy but it might have been after the old St Andrews stand was demolished in the late 80’s. For most of my adult life though it’s fair to say I’ve been a casual Imps supporter. I did, however, enjoy a purple patch of attendance around the time City made the old 3rd division play-off finals in 2003. My oldest and best mate and me made the trip to Cardiff in my first works van. Red and white bunting out the windows all the way there only to find the sides of the van had turned pink by the time we arrived! To date, that was easily my best experience as a football supporter. Seeing friends, family and other familiar faces far away from home but all brought together for the same reason was amazing and stirs very fond memories. When all is said and done that wasn’t that long ago and there has of course been other play-off runs and relative successes since but that was when I last remember unashamedly feeling like a real City fan. Until now.
Apologies, it all got a bit “jumpers for goalposts” there but that’s kind of my point. I’m an emotional person and that is probably what has lead to me writing this at 2am on a very wet Tuesday morning. I’m not a journalist, I’m a fan. I’ve never felt the urge to even think about writing a piece like this let alone put it out there for the world to judge but something has me motivated. That something is Lincoln City Football Club.
For the previous 2-3 seasons I’ve been coming to Sincil Bank on and off with my 9 year old son Lewis. Admittedly at first this was something Lewis had little or no say in and more a case of me forcing it on him. As he has grown older though it is very much a different story and certainly in recent times I think this is largely down to one thing and that’s the feel good factor returning to Sincil Bank.
Lewis, like me is an emotional person. He loves his Saturday afternoon out with Dad complete with cone of chips from BOTN chippy on Scorer street. His eyes sparkled when he showed his Mum his new kit he got for his birthday from the club shop the week before last.
He couldn’t believe his luck when I promised him if he got his homework done we could watch the game last Saturday on TV. “What? Lincoln are on tele Dad?” We both punched the air in delight as Alex Woodyard’s well taken strike rippled the net against Forest Green and we leapt in arms around our front room when Luke Waterfall smashed home his volley.. Imagine the scenes when Sean Raggett sprung like a salmon to head home the winner! We were watching Lincoln City, on TV and they were absolutely smashing it.
Undoubtedly this is down to the incredible job Danny and Nicky Cowley are doing with the football club. I was a very relieved supporter when I watched Danny’s message reassuring the fans following the speculation about certain other local teams being interested in acquiring his services. It’s plain to see Danny believes in the team and the club. I can’t be the only one thinking exactly the same and why shouldn’t I? Ask anyone attending a home game how the general atmosphere has changed around the place and even the most dour of supporters will have to agree, it’s for the better. The sense of optimism is palpable. That never say die, never give up attitude is filtering into the stands and making us believe again. You can talk about managing expectations all day long but I’m going all in on this, I dare to dream.
City till I die? Yeah actually, I am.
Thank you Danny, Nicky and all at Lincoln City FC