Lincoln City Bygones: Images of the late eighties

I think by now everyone knows I’m a Lincoln City collector. If it’s part of our club’s history, then I want to own it.

I have some quirky items, I have some valuable ones and I’ve got programmes filling up two filing cabinets. I’ll scour eBay, not looking for the usual things, but items that I feel help bring keep the history of my club alive.

One thing I really like stumbling across is old photographs. Ebay is awash with people trying to get as much money as they can for such items; this one is £3 for a single photo. I’ve even been known to buy stuff like this, £10 for a letter from the club giving a player a free transfer. I won’t buy things for silly money, but for £3 the other week I got a referee’s report from a game we played in the 70s. 

In recent weeks I’ve been lucky to pick up two or three collections of pictures from our favourite auction site. I’m not an eBay fan when it comes to programmes, they inflate prices and people think theirs are worth £5 each because some muppet expect sets that as a buying price. However, for odd items such as photographs, the beauty is in the eye of the beholder and often a bargain can be had.

I got a nice set of full-colour pictures from our game with Halifax in 1987, as well as a couple of shots of the dugouts around the same period, daffodils planted at the side of them. My favourite purchase recently has been a mixed pack of black and white shots from a similar period. The anticipation of them arriving and me seeing what part of our history is being brought to life is exciting.

Last week I got one of the orders through and I feel I have to share some of them. They’re 1986-88 and although the games aren’t specified, they show a unique period in the club’s history; the building of the Selenity Stand and what appears to be the renovation of the Railway End roof.


This is Phil Brown in the 1987/88 season, 100%. In the background is the Railway End without a roof. I don’t remember it being like that, but I attended most home games that season as a kid and in all but two we were in that end. 

Not sure of the opponents, but as it’s dark it’s either a midweek match or one deep in winter.



This isn’t a renovation one, but still a picture I liked. The keeper’s top suggests perhaps Grimbsy, meaning it might be the County Cup tie of early 1987/88, although my records show that was away. 

The interesting view here is the disabled supporters in their position along the touchline. It was a key feature for me as a kid, they often lined up almost from the dugouts to the corner flag.


Definitely the season we came down, Gary Lund is in the background and I think that’s Tony Simmons up for the aerial duel. 

Again, noting the disabled supporters I think that’s the Railway End at the back, suggesting that I might have never been in the old Clanford End with the old roof on.


GMVC season judging by the numbers on the shirts and the progress of the Selenity Stand. It feels a bit like the bit at Port Vale away to the right hand side of the travelling supporters, doesn’t it?


Early 87/88. The St Andrews Stand as it was then opened against Crewe in the FA Cup, so this has to be a league tie before then. I think it’s Runcorn, a game we won 1-0.


Runcorn again. One can only guess where the dugouts were at the time!


Finally, big Mick Waitt from the Dagenham game. we’d lost two in two at this point, but ran out 3-0 winners.

This looks to answer the dugout question!!

I might get a chance to put the Halifax ones up, they’re in colour but show very little in terms of the ground.I just thought these were an interesting look at the ground and it’s development as the eighties turned into the nineties. At the time, development of Sincil Bank was thought to have cost us dearly, but it became our focus after the tragic events of Valley Parade in ’85.

The real benefit wasn’t to be felt until much later, with some areas of our ground now 30-years-old and still just about fit for purpose.


Not sure of the opponents for the final one in the set; possibly Crewe (2-2 draw September 10th). Not only does it show the completed stand as we know it today, but the guy challenging for the header is Tony ‘Lionel’ James. I did an article with him featured the other day and didn’t have a picture.


  1. I love the Dagenham one – my first ever game featuring my favourite ever player. Still my best ever time to be an Imp.

  2. I don’t think the photos show the renovation of the Railway End roof, just the remains of that part of it. It was still roofed for just over half its length during that season. If you have the souvenir booklet covering the 1987/88 season there are two or three photos in that which show it – I’ve put one on the Facebook post.
    Could be wrong, but I think the opposition in the Phil Brown photo are Sutton United. I agree about Runcorn.

  3. I’ve done some digging on the shirt sponsor Bass which is more associated with Derby. It looks like it’s Crewe that City are playing as the badge shape matches the red kit that also carried the Bass decal.

  4. I think the game showing the GK with Clee Sport Centre might be the FAC 4Q tie against Brigg Town which we won 4-1 in Oct 87. This was an away fixture but was palyed at SB.

  5. Great photos! Remember the Dagenham and Runcorn games, August BH Saturday and Monday so could get to both, stood as usual on the West Bank terrace but can’t remember the rest of the ground as building and demolition sites, clearly too focussed on the matches!

    As you say, 2 GMVC games played and lost, great relief to win the Dagenham game comfortably against one of the worst sides seen at Sincil Bank, and hope for our competitiveness in these uncharted waters. First home airing of the ‘no offside from a throw-in’ rule experiment which led to piling players into the goalmouth for long throws, the experiment remained just that. Runcorn proved a much tougher proposition with a dangerous striker in Mark Carter and a fortunate 1-0 win which suggested we could out-fight the part time opposition in the league.

    A nightmare season in those pre-internet days for us exiles who could get to very few games, with no results either on national TV sports results services or Ceefax. I can still recite the whole intro (and hear the voice) of the literal (life) line ‘welcome to non-league club call’ results service.

    • Spot on Chester Imp difficult getting scores in that first conference season forgot about having to ring for the results a different world now!!!

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