No Bowling and Dickins? Keeper debate throw up new names

Already our Stacey West all-time Lincoln XI is causing some controversy, with the omission of two keepers from our voting list.

To clarify, we’ve started a quest to find the SW all-time Imps XI. We know it won’t be an actual greatest Imps side, the age demographic of our users will ensure that, but it is intended to create debate that doesn’t include Wembley, January’s transfer policy or whether we’re good enough for promotion. It’s a bit of fun, something to get us talking about old players and reminiscing about times gone by.

It works like this: we put out a tweet asking for your nominations in a certain position. You lot have 24 hours to respond before we compile a nominations list. Of course, being the witty lot that your are we’ll get some nominations that are amusing but obviously not serious, they won’t go forward for the vote.

The next stage is 48 hours of voting on here. After that, we have a winner and one position is filled. Currently, long-serving keeper Alan Marriott looks set to pip David Felgate and Peter Grotier to the number one spot, but you can still vote here if you haven’t already done so.

Predictably, there will always be some that are missed off the list, but quite rightly it has been pointed out that two sterling Imps performers weren’t included in the vote. I’m not sure they would have won, but here are the two keepers who deserve honourable mentions but missed the cut.

Ian Bowling

I’m actually mortified I didn’t nominate Bowling (pictured top) myself. As a child, I cut pictures of keepers out of magazines and stuck them on an A4 piece of paper, before sticking Ian Bowling on top of them all, before writing the slogan ‘Bowling was top of the heap’ on it. The intention was to take it to a game, but in the end I put it up on my wall to remind myself of the injustice of his transfer.

Bowling only played 59 times for City between 1988 and 1993, having initially joined from Gainsborough Trinity. He was a giant of a man, six-foot three but a player badly affected by injuries. Eventually, he moved to Bradford City for a tribunal decided fee of £25,000. After just a handful of outings at Valley Parade he joined Mansfield Town, where he became something of a legend, making almost 200 league and cup appearances. Later in his career he managed Worksop Town for a season.

Matt Dickins

Matt Dickins does split the fans somewhat, on one hadn’t his huge transfer fee and move to the Premier League has some believing he was a great keeper. Others, such as myself, didn’t really see what all the fuss was about. He came from Sheffield United in 1991 and made just 29 Imps appearances before Blackburn Rovers decided to stick in a ridiculously big offer of £250,000. We wouldn’t turn that sort of money down now and we didn’t back then, cashing in reinstating Bowling to the first team.

He never made the grade at Blackburn, in fact he never really made it anywhere. He only made another 37 Football League outings in his entire career, although he was ever-present for Altrincham in 1996/97.





  1. No jack (John) Kennedy either one if the best keepers Imps have had broke is arm and elbow I think in a cup tie but came back and played over 200 games

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