Best of Loans Part 2 – ‘They ended up signing: the Legends Edition’

Jamie Forrester


Courtesy Graham Burrell

Forrester is the only player on the list who did not make it into the top 100 players back in 2007, by virtue of signing around the time the book was written, but if we were to start talking great loans he would have to be included, surely?

Jamie Forrester was a ‘proper footballer’. Sometimes you’ll talk to fans and they’ll describe a player as just that, a proper footballer. My Dad does, all the time. They’re a player who can dictate a game, a player who can adjust their game to suit the opposition and adjust their game to suit their own physical decline. Jamie Forrester had lost pace by the time he came to Lincoln, but rather than fade into the obscurity of the non-league his footballing brain adjusted his game so he was always one step ahead. Jamie Forrester understood the game of football and what was needed to do well in it.

He was a shock loan signing from Bristol Rovers at a time when we desperately needed a shot in the arm. It was Keith’s final season, the slightly limp finish to his three play off successes. The 2003-2005 team had broken up and Keith had patched it as best he could, but when this man arrived it took our breath away. It took him just 16 minutes of his Imps debut to score a goal, and it was the second goal of a 5-0 win over Grimsby Town, our local rivals and his former club. Right then he wrote himself onto the loan list, even without later signing.

He ended the season on five goals having signed in March, and despite our failure to negotiate the play offs, he made his move permanent. The following year with Keith gone it was up to John Schofield to reap the rewards of some smart business. Forrester hit four against Mansfield as we won 4-2. He hit a hat trick against Barnet in a 5-0 win, and then again against Rochdale as we won 7-1. He scored against Grimsby again as we beat them at Sincil Bank (2-0) again. He blotted his copybook slightly with a red card away at Notts County, but it was easily forgiven. Alongside Mark Stallard, he looked as dangerous and as lethal as at any time throughout his career. I maintain they are the best centre forward pairing I have been lucky enough to see at the Bank, even to this day.

The following season he still managed to hit 14 goals as Schofield left and Jackson came in. He weighed in with his obligatory strike at Sincil Bank against the Cod heads (that’s three in three) and won us points singlehandedly first gaining revenge for his sending off at Meadow Lane with a goal against Notts County (1-0) and then a brace as we beat Chester (2-1). Even as Stallard faded away, Jamie Forrester was still on fire.

The following season there was no room at the Inn for Forrester, he was cast aside at the same time as Alan Marriott by Peter Jackson. Whilst two of the ‘Magnificent Seven’ weren’t scoring for us (Graham and Gall), Forrester netted eight for Notts County. Bravo Jacko, bravo.

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  1. Finns will always be my favourite of the lot. I know you say Gain should not be remembered for his celebration, but I have to make no such adjustment for Finns as he didn’t do the same.

    Interesting that with all the loans though, none are as young as our current crop and feels different these days where players are not coming to get some game time and try and force their way back into the parent club having drifted out the side.

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