Looking back at: Barry Hutchinson

Doing the Stacey West XI has really opened my eyes up to a wealth of Imps talent in danger of being forgotten. Type in Dany N’Guessan on Google and you can find out all you ever need to know about him, as with 99% of players from our recent past.

If you begin to delve deeper into the past though, that stops being the case. Players who thrilled your Granddad or his Dad are slowly being forgotten, not through malice but through the erosion of time. Whilst Andy Graver and Tony Emery will live on forever, many players once cheered by hard core Imps fans will not.

I find that desperately sad, being the Lincoln City geek that I am. Therefore, between myself and a couple of more experienced fans, we’ve decided to start building up articles on the players of yesteryear. There’s a master plan of course, but for now we want to deliver some thoughts on players you might not remember, or might be too young to stand a chance of remembering. However, these guys played for Lincoln City and one way or another, the SW will end up remembering them all.

Malcolm Johnson, one of our new history experts, starts the first in our series of yesterday’s forgotten players with a look at Barry Hutchinson.

Date of birth: 27.1.36, Born: Sheffield, Height: 6ft, Position: Striker. City apps: League: 24, goals: 18, FA & League Cups: 3, goals: 2, Total: 27, goals: 20

Barry Hutchinson was one of a small number of fathers and sons to have both played for Lincoln City and was 12 years old when his dad, Jimmy Hutchinson, was contributing 32 goals to City’s 1947/48 championship winning season.

After being on the books of Bolton Wanderers Barry joined Chesterfield, making his Football League debut in 1955. After scoring 16 goals in 154 league games mainly playing in midfield he was transferred to Second Division Derby County in 1960 for a fee of £2,000 plus two players. Converted to an attacker, he went on to score 51 goals from 107 league games in four seasons with the Rams. Despite his goals having saved Derby from relegation at the end of the 1963/64 season he was allowed to join Weymouth for a fee of £6,000. His record of 46 goals in 56 matches for the Terras earned him a Southern League championship medal in the days when that competition was only one step below the Football League.

City player-coach Roy Chapman then pulled off his best bit of transfer business for the club by paying £2,000 for the 29-year-old in the summer of 1965. Mostly partnering Chapman up front, Hutchinson’s goals were just about the only thing keeping City out of the bottom four places and included a remarkable run of seven games in which he was the only scorer. It was said that if the opposition team could check the Hutchinson menace City were a team without punch, and also that if at times he left a lot of the grafting to others his contribution in the way of goals was more than adequate.

A typical game was the visit of Aldershot in snowy conditions when following a penalty save by Peter Wakeham to prevent the Shots taking a two-goal lead, ‘Hutch’ popped up with two goals to win the match. Unfortunately, there was only one more goal to come and two games later, Hutchinson was sold to promotion-chasing Darlington for the substantial fee for the time of £5,000 plus midfielder Ken Allison. Although possibly prompted by a recently announced financial loss, with his departure went any chance City had of avoiding another re-election plea, and although playing in only 27 games for City his 20 goals meant he achieved the unique record of emulating his father in finishing as top scorer in a season for the Imps.

Darlington’s promotion to Division Three was ensured, but after 30 appearances and 14 goals for them Hutchinson was back in the Fourth Division with Halifax Town spending the rest of the 1966/67 season with them and contributing 14 goals from 25 games. For the following season he joined Rochdale, but the goals dried up with just 3 in 27 games before he dropped into the non-league again with Northern Premier League sides Bangor City and Hyde United. His final Football League record was 362 (2) matches and 115 goals. He died in Rotherham in 2005 aged 69.

If you want to write for us about any players from the 1980’s backwards, please get in touch, gazhutch78@gmail.com.