The ‘one appearance wonders’ Ben Coker looks set to join in Imps history

Courtesy Lincoln City

Ben Coker’s move to Cambridge seems to indicate the end of his Imps’ career, after his solitary outing in the 3-0 victory against tomorrow night’s opponents Rotherham United.

Coker will join a unique list of players who have played just once for City. History is littered with them, as far back as the turn on the 20th Century, we were giving players like John and Thomas Asnip single outings in Imps’ colours.

We’re not counting players still with the club, such as Jordan Adebayo-Smith who has one senior appearance to his name. A staff member does make the list though as he’s unlikely to feature for the first team again.

Tom Shaw brings the list up to 26 since the early eighties, unless I’ve missed one which is entirely possible.

Nicky Andersen

Andersen was one of our summer captures in August 1989, featuring as we beat Scunthorpe 1-0 at the Bank. It was his only appearance though, he later played for Grantham, Bedworth and Leek.

Jean Arnaud

French defender Arnaud was signed by beleaguered manager Steve Tilson to try and stop the flow of goals that was to ultimately cost him his job. He made his only appearance as a 63rd-minute substitute in a 4-0 defeat away at Tamworth that signalled the end of Tilson, and ultimately the end of Arnaud. Later linked up with former Imps teammates Jean-Francois Christophe and Francis Laurent in Belgium.

Jason Beardsley

Jason Beardsley played just 30 minutes of football for Lincoln coming on in the 60th minute of a National League Boxing Day clash with Grimsby Town. Within just a minute of coming on Liam Hearn scored the winner for Grimsby. Like most of Holdsworth’s loan signings, Beardsley wasn’t seen at Sincil Bank again and drifted into non-league football.

Lee Bennett

Barnsley-born Bennett joined the Imps on a 2-year scholarship after starting out with Ossett Albion. After impressing with the youths and the reserves he was awarded a squad number, making his debut against Bradford City as a 90th-minute substitute for Stefan Oakes. He made the bench just once more before moving to the Swedish third division with FriskaViljor.

Simon Brown

Simon Brown is the Alan Judge of the 1990s. In the ’80s Alan Judge played two games for Lincoln, one of them a 7-0 defeat by Derby. His Imps career never recovered but he had a few good years playing in goal for Oxford and Hereford.

Poor old Simon arrived just in time for our 5-1 festive hammering at Peterborough in 1997. He never pulled an Imps shirt on again and was sent packing back to Spurs. After us, he had a decent career as a reliable keeper for Colchester and Scottish Premier League Hibernian.

Darren Chapman

His son, Ellis, is well-known now, but Darren joins the list of one-appearance wonders by virtue of his late cameo against Chesterfield, a game we won 5-1 away from home. Jason Kabia, Matt Carmichael, David Puttnam, Tony Lormor and Sean Dunphy all scored, with Darren replacing Dean West in the dying embers of the game.

Next Page – The £6m one that got away and our youngest ever league player


  1. Kern Miller was one that Sutton got labelled with as a mistake as well for letting go and went to Barnsley. He later went on to show why Sutton was right to get rid of him.

    Good to see Tom Wilkinson in the list. Someone I grew up with in Welton alongside Andy Toyne who the main memory I have of him playing for City was nutmegging Salif Daio in a friendly against Liverpool, courtesy of the one match man, Jack Hobbs.

    Was surprised not to see Martin Pembleton on here but then was shocked to find he played 6 times

  2. I thought Scott Eustace was an excellent signing back in the day, but obviously it never happened for him. He has been a good lower league defender before he came to us.

    I never realised Rick Ranshaw played for us – he went on to score shedloads of goals for Lincoln United. he and Tony Simmons (another ex-Imp) were quite a deadly partnership up front for them.

    Remember most of those names, and I can’t believe most of them only played once for us, especially Dave Regis. Feels like he played a few more. That could be another feature, Gary. How many players have played for us who had a much more famous sibling?

    • Great idea, Nathan Blisset and Tyler Walker jump out at me straight away.

      Remeber the Ranshaw and Simmo days. Was a crazy day when I played against Simmo in Sunday league

  3. A bit harsh on Fraser Cobb. It was our last home game of the season against Hayes and Yeading when he played and we were already safe from relegation (The Days!). Holdsworth played a few youngsters, it was also the game Connor Robinson made his debut and although Connor was awarded Man of the Match, Fraser was not far behind. He was injured for the start of, and pretty much the whole of the following season and dropped out of the Imps plans. Without that injury he may have played more.

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