The Stacey West XI – Midfielders (Pt1)

 

Scott Kerr

If Dean Keates was the sort of entry that might not pick up votes, but will get people fondly thinking back to his Imps spell, Scott Kerr’s name will cause a huge split down the middle. On one side (me included here) is the group who rated him, saw his tough tackling and passing as vital to a mediocre Lincoln City side over achieving. On the other side of the divide, fans who simply saw a pointy, shouty man.

He started out at Bradford but after making just one appearance he wound up at Scarborough via a couple of clubs. His performances there, particularly in their 2005 cup run, brought him to the attention of scouts across the country. He expressed his desire to leave Scarborough in June 2005 to return to the Football League and held talks with Barnet, managed by his England C manager Paul Fairclough and Lincoln managed by the late, great Keith Alexander. He opted to sign for us on a two-year deal and was one of several arrivals that summer.

He enjoyed an impressive debut season with the Imps as we made the play-offs for a fourth and final time under Big Keith. In the 2006–07 season, under new head coach John Schofield, now-captain Kerr was able to flourish as the ball spent much more time on the deck in the middle of the park. He formed a solid partnership with Lee Frecklington and helped us push into the end of season lottery for a fifth (and final) successive season.

Thanks to Graham burrell for this photo and most of the others

In the next season Kerr continued to captain the side and be a dominant and battling presence in the centre of the park. He had to win over the affections of new manager Peter Jackson, something that came to be a running theme in his time at Lincoln. Following the sale of Frecklington to Peterborough in January 2009, Kerr found himself playing with many midfield partners as Peter Jackson experimented to find the best combination, after trying to play alongside Shane Clarke, the ‘magnificent’ Stefan Oakes and eventually Michael O’Connor on loan from Crewe Alexandra.

Kerr started to flourish due to the freedom O’Connor gave him and he scored his first two goals of the season in Lincoln’s 2–0 win at Accrington Stanley in April. He was unsurprisingly named as Lincoln’s Player of the Year for the 2008–09 season.

The following season it started all over again as Jackson left and Chris Sutton came in. Once again Scott found himself having to prove his worth all over again, but an impressive outing in the cup against Northwich Victoria helped convince Sutton that he was of value to the squad. He had been set to join York City on loan in November 2010 after being out of the team at Lincoln, but after re-establishing himself the move no longer appealed to him. Within 12 months it was Steve Tilson he had to win over, and that battle was far more difficult.

Kerr was released from his Lincoln contract to sign for Conference Premier club York City on a one-and-a-half-year contract on 31 January 2011, somewhat ironically around the time of a complete collapse on the field, a lack of direction and organisation from the players and ultimately relegation.

Lincoln legend or symbolic of our demise over that period? The voting probably won’t see him in the top two, but I’d wager he collects more votes than Dean Keates.