If you’re a Lincoln City fan of a certain vintage, you’ll recall the 2002/03 season as nothing short of miraculous.
The last three years have been trophy-laden and full of success, but that was built on a bedrock of stability. Clive Nates arrival put us on a firmer footing and gave the management the tools to build. It’s been hard work, of course it has, but we were on the right course off the field.
That wasn’t the case in the summer of 2002. The club had been on its arse, begging for a chance at redemption in the High Court and fighting the spectre of extinction. It seems a long while ago now, but it was a long, cold summer of genuine fear.
The opening day of the 2002/03 season saw us travel to Kidderminster with the only thing on our minds being survival. Nine months later we travelled en masse to the Millennium Stadium as Lincoln City took part in a domestic final for the first time in our history. It was a season of incredible highs, a season when the workhorses got their dues. We didn’t have a team of gifted players (Peter Gain aside) but we had a team who fought, battled and cared for the shirt.
A team that was ‘greater than the sum of its parts’ according to Ben Sedgemore.
What is often forgotten about that wonderful season is Keith’s search for a clinical striker. Simon yeo’s heroics at the end of the season are always mentioned, but for seven barren months, he didn’t score, Dene Cropper struggled and we relied on Ben Futcher and an assortment of others. In the process of finishing seventh, Keith played seven strikers that you may not remember appearing in an Imps shirt at all.
We do, so this evening we’d like you to cast your eye over the seven forgotten strikers of the 2002/03 campaign. Like any good film, we’re going to show them in order of appearance.