Stacey West XI Wingers – More nominations

Darren Huckerby

I’m not sure we’ve ever had a home-grown talent who has gone on to have such a solid career in the top flight of English football. Hucks broke through under the watchful eyes of Keith Alexander’s youth set up, and even scored within six minutes of his debut away at Shrewsbury.

His Lincoln career may have looked unremarkable judging by the stats, but even as a youth player he was exciting to watch. His pace was terrifying and he played with arrogance and confidence that always suggested he would go on to greater things. He survived three managers, Keith, Sam Ellis and Steve Wicks before the infamous John Beck cashed in on his prized asset. £500,000 and a lucrative friendly later Mr Beck had the means to finance an ultimately successful promotion bid. It is widely believed the Huckerby money financed the move for Gareth Ainsworth although the two players actually played three times together for Lincoln, winning two and drawing one. Hucks scored on his last Imps outing, a 1-1 draw at home to Hartlepool. With just 31 outings, 23 starts and seven goals, he was off out into the big wide world.

That lucrative friendly turned out to be far more than we could ever have imagined thanks to the generosity of Kevin Keegan. He promised a full strength side would perform in front of a packed Sincil Bank, and when he signed Alan Shearer for a world record fee a short time before it was assumed Shearer wouldn’t play. He did and for a few days in the summer of 1996 the world’s attention turned onto Lincoln City. Shearer got his debut goal, Newcastle got a 2-0 win and within two years City had got promoted.

Huckerby went on to move around for transfer fees totalling just under £10m and featured for such giants as Leeds United and Manchester City. He is perhaps most revered by fans of Norwich City where he put in over 170 appearances in a five-year spell. Not bad for a humble boy from the Lincoln YTS set-up, not bad at all.

3 Comments

  1. What!!! Not a mention of Gordon Hughes. The wee man we bought from Derby. Now there was a winger. Ask your Dad…Or maybe someone older about him.

  2. Re Danny N’Guessan, remember a night game at the Bank, he came on as a second half sub.
    As he came on I said, which Danny is it tonight? cart horse or thoroughbred? After is first touch, cart horse it is then.
    Had the skill but so frustrating!

  3. The reason David Johnson didn’t suit John Beck was because he couldn’t head the ball despite being at least 6ft, which was also the reason he was usually played out wide. A talented player who should have done better.

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