The phone lines are closed, the votes have been counted and verified and I can now reveal the first right back going home this week…
Okay, so this isn’t a TV talent show, but the voting is now finished for our Stacey West right back. So, who will be joining Alan Marriott in our Hall of Fame, nominated by readers of the Stacey west as the best player they’ve seen not the best of all time. Just to be clear, again.
Honourable mentions must go to Bradley Wood with 23 votes, reflecting perhaps the age of some of the voters and Dean West who came in on 20. We also had Tom Miller on 18, all three of which were solid and capable right backs in their day.
For younger viewers, Dean West is perhaps a player worth highlighting again. West came through the youth ranks at City and scored on his Imps’ debut against Carlisle as we romped to a 6-2 victory. He went on to establish himself as one of the better attacking full-backs we’ve seen at the club, showing bags of promise and attracting attention from bigger clubs.
He managed to score 20 times in 93 games for us before he was controversially (scandalously) swapped by Steve Wicks for a journeyman midfielder called Kevin Hulme. Hulme faded into obscurity, booted out by Beck for an apparent lack of desire, but West went on to fulfil his potential. He played over 100 games for Bury before earning a move to Burnley. Another 150 appearances there demonstrated not only what a good player he was, but what an awful bit of business his swap had been for our football club.
He returned to Lincoln at the tail end of his career in 2004 but played just four times in defence before being replaced by Gareth McAuley. It was clear by that stage he’d lost the pace and direct attacking instinct that had made him so successful in his youth. He now fills his time as part of the Youth Team management at City, a vastly experienced professional who understands what it is like to come through the ranks at Lincoln and make a solid living from football.
Anyway, Dean just missed out on the top four, but here they are. In a design feature I’ve put the winners in a four picture gallery. Yes, I admit it is to ensure better revenue from the site, I’ll be honest, but it is also for cleanliness on the screen and so that each player has their own page.