After a month of voting, we finally have a pair of winners for the Stacey west XI wingers. There’s few surprises if I’m honest, two candidates stood head and shoulders above the rest.
Alan Marriott, Neal Eardley, Phil Neale, Gareth McAuley, Trevor Peake, Glenn Cockerill and Peter Gain. That was the side before this round of voting, with the reserve side consisting of Felgate, Bailey, Mayo, Morgan, Raggett, Bressington and Bostwick. Shall we start by getting the reserve players in place?
4th placed: David Puttnam 7% of the vote
I’m delighted personally that Puttnam got voted in, in my mind he was a legend. Maybe I am of a certain age, but when Putts turned it on he had style and panache to match anyone. In 185 outings he certainly served the club well, scoring 22 times in the process.
Dave had started his professional career with home town team Leicester City after he was spotted playing for Leicester United but had been unable to break into the first team. After a successful loan period with the Imps he signed a permanent deal a fee of £35,000. He scored away at Scunthorpe in only his second game for City and went on to play in every remaining league game of the 1989/90 season.
Due to his trickery and ability to beat players he was always favourite amongst the fans, and was named “Player of the Season” in 1992/93. However, the next two seasons were disrupted by a succession of injuries and he wasn’t able to achieve his full potential. In his last full season (1994-95) he made just 11 league and cup starts, but still managed to score four goals.
He scored on the opening day of the turbulent 1995/96 season as City ran out 2-1 winners at Preston North End, but by the end of September he had been allowed to leave by Steve Wicks, moving to Gillingham. Many claim Wicks didn’t get a decent chance at Lincoln, but if his transfer dealings are anything to go by, he didn’t deserve one.
Welcome to the reserve side David Puttnam, the fourth best winger you’ve seen play for Lincoln City.
3rd: Darren Huckerby 13%
Joining him in the reserve side and maybe offering a versatility too is Darren Huckerby, a youth product who certainly played his best football away from Sincil Bank.
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.
With transfers totalling around £10m he must be the greatest player to come from our youth academny and he becomes the third best winger you’ve seen play for City.