Yesterday on Twitter I started the search for the Stacey West readers all time Lincoln City XI, beginning with keepers. Of the responses, I’ve formulated a list of the favourite keepers of all time. All you have to do, is vote for your favourite.
Every single one of the people nominated on Twitter will be eligible to receive your vote unless they played less than five times for the club and were clearly crap. We’ll have no Boaty McBoatface or Bruce Grobbelaar winning here.
There’s a look at the three favourites, then you can place your vote. The voting will stay open for a week or so before we begin to put the team together.
If you already know who you’re voting for and have no need to read the top candidates, please scroll down and get on with it!
— Kevin Tilson (@KevinTilson5) March 12, 2018
Felgate joined City from Bolton Wanderers in 1980 and in the next five years went on to make 198 appearances for the club. He was a superb keeper, a real rock in front of which Colin Murphy’s team were formed. In his first season we won promotion to Division Three, in his second and third seasons we finished fourth and six respectively in the hunt for a place in the Second Division. Sadly, City went into sharp decline in the mid 1980’s and Felgate left in early 1985 for Grimsby Town. He returned to Bolton and racked up over 220 appearances for them through the late 80s and early 90s.
He earned the honour of being the first full international on City’s books when he came on for Wales in a game against Romania in 1983. He would have earned a second cap, but the Wales and Ireland match he had been called up for was cancelled thanks to Bobby Sand’s hunger strike.
— Lincolnchimp (@Hogan_imp) March 12, 2018
Batch only had one full season at City, but what a season it was. He joined in 1987 after eleven years at Grimsby and played almost every game of our GMVC winning season. Batch was eccentric, happy dribbling the ball out to his own half way line, often playing as a sweeper rather than a keeper.
Batch was a good keeper, but he didn’t feature in the Football league for City. He dropped back into the Conference in September 1988, winning it a second time with Darlington in 1989/90.
— Colin Green (@colingreen81) March 13, 2018
Barry is a surprise addition to the list, his arrival wasn’t entirely popular in the mid 90s as he kept John Vaughan out of the side. However, his ‘robust’ approach to the game earned him the respect of the fans. Bazza was never afraid to get involved in the darker side of the game, he’ll be forever remembered for his part in the infamous Battle of Moss Rose, in which he was sent off for repeatedly kicking a stricken Macclesfield player.
He wasn’t a bad keeper though and he epitomised the spirit of the era, whether it was his never say die attitude or his willingness to indulge in a spot of mild banter with opposition fans, Manchester City being a case point.
Mazza. Should have had a testimonial
— Gavin Andrews (@GavinAndrews83) March 13, 2018
Many supporters feel Alan Marriott (featured image) was hard done to, after nine seasons at the club he was released by Peter Jackson without so much as a thank you. He’d been a mainstay of Keith Alexander’s side, flirting with promotion on five occasions. Mazza was small for a keeper, but he never let the side down and often deserved to be named in the team of the year. As a shot stopper, there has been no better in my tenure as an Imps fan and even today his name brings back memories of a classic time in the Imps recent history.
After his unceremonious dumping by Jackson he went on to play for Mansfield, gaining the last laugh as his Stags side knocked out David Holdsworth’s City. With Lee Beevers, Matt Green and Matt Rhead playing for them at the time, I feel I identify more with them than I do the Imps side of the time. Mazza is an Imps legend, make no mistake about that.
As much as John Kennedy was my first hero I’m going with a Peter Grotier
— Mick Leake (@CrankyankerRVA) March 12, 2018
Fans of a certain era will be in turmoil, deciding whether to choose the future school teacher John Kennedy, or the player the fans bought, Peter Grotier. Grotier gets the nod here, the former West Ham keeper that fans scraped together to help purchase in the mid 1970s. He went on to make over 220 appearances for City after his £16,666 purchase from East London.
Grotier cemented his place in Imps folklore by remaining ever-present in the record-breaking 1975/76 Fourth Division side, missing just a solitary FA Cup game against Mansfield Town.
This is going to be almost entirely down to the age of those casting their votes. If you 60+ I can see you voting for Grotier, if you’re 40-50 and joined the Lincoln Loco in the early 1980s, you’re going to go with Felgate. If, like me, youre knocking on 40 I can see Mazza getting your vote. I’m not sure where you millennials will vote though, maybe an outsider like Rob Burch or current number two, Paul Farman.
Before your time
One name that won’t make the list, but should, is Dan McPhail. Very few Imps alive today will be able to tell you about McPhail and if they could, something tells me they might not be able to use Twitter. He was Imps keeper from 1931-1939, making 309 appearances for the Imps. For almost 70 years he held the appearance record for an Imps keeper as well as the clean sheet record, both later beaten by Alan Marriott. At five foot eleven he was no giant, but he won Division Three North with City in 1932. McPhail passed away in October 1987.