I don’t always write about former Imps finding new clubs, it doesn’t do to dwell on the past, but this morning’s news that Michael Bostwick has signed for Burton couldn’t go unmentioned.
I know Eards signed there yesterday and I know he was a great servant to the club, but Bozzie finally emerging somewhere is hard to take. It’s very much like hearing your ex has got together with someone else; you knew it was going to happen but to actually see it was a kick in the guts. I’m not sure which I’ve felt worse about, Danny going to Huddersfield or this.
I think it is this because we have chosen not to keep Bozzie. We dumped him and now he’s moving on. Still stings though.
I thought when he first left we’d go back in for him, but as the weeks drew on it became clear that wouldn’t be the case. At least it means I won’t get asked whether he might come back or not on every podcast and video I do. However, the fact I have been asked every time shows how highly this man was held by Imps fans. He was almost certainly my favourite player of the last couple of years, he was also my dad’s and that is saying something.
What did we like about him? His tenacity, his aggression, his strength and perhaps most of all, his complete lack of regard for the other side of football. Interviews? No thanks. Contract signing? I won’t turn up to my own. That was Bozzie, he had the air of an old fashioned footballer, you could imagine him with socks rolled down, blood pouring from an open wound, sat in the dressing room smoking a fat cigar. He harked back to a different era in his style and attitude and we all bloody loved it. That tackle against Peterborough sticks out from last season, raising the crowd as Marcus Maddison clattered fairly to the ground. Some believe that won us the game.
Others believed that Bozzie coming back in when he did helped keep us out of the bottom three and away from danger when PPG kicked in. I saw his arm around the shoulder to Conor Coventry against MK Dons and instantly recognised what it was I loved about him. He was a big scary bugger for opponents, but on the field he led, he coached and he encouraged. I can stomach all of the other players leaving over the summer, or at least justify it, but my honest shout is I think a mistake has been made here. Put aside the wages issues for a moment as he only got a one-year deal at Burton, surely we could have found the money needed to keep an iconic character like him around? Surely?
Ok, so he doesn’t play out from the back and sometimes his passing was a little awry, but that was the reason he plied much of his trade in League One and not higher. The only reason we didn’t keep him that I can see is he doesn’t fit the new style and direction we are taking, but that is playing devil’s advocate. Ultimately, I think there is room for a Michael Bostwick style player in every team, from Lincoln to Liverpool, Burton to Barcelona. Seriously, a player of his type can lift 10 men who are beaten off the floor. They can lead, they can fight and they can inspire. Burton have got themselves a diamond.
Of course, we heard the same when we signed Alan Sheehan, but he will have to go there and stay free of injury, as well as proving himself all over again. He’ll do it, of course he will, and we will be a poorer squad without him. Whether we’ll be a poorer team will become apparent once the season kicks off.
I’ll wind up with a few comments from Imps’ fans on the news, just to squeeze out a ‘news now’ worthy headline and to demonstrate the high regards our bearded Bozzie was held in.
Congratulations to Burton – massive signing. As a Lincoln fan this is hard to take.. Appleton didn't want to lose him but couldn't offer him a new contract when it expired. My favourite player for the last 3 seasons… ☹️
— Ed Little (@edlittle) August 5, 2020
That’s a brillant signing , he’s a fantastic player and as a Lincoln fan I’d have moved heaven and earth to keep him . Good luck Bozzy it’s been an absolute pleasure ! Love from the imps
— Ash Boothright (@kicker150400) August 5, 2020
Please look after him lads, great bloke and a great footballer who will put his body on the line, literally! Gutted!
— Rob Beezley (@Robbeezley) August 5, 2020
— louie evans (@louiefeb7) August 5, 2020
You’ve got one hell of a player on your hands.
— Max Eshelby (@MaxLCFC_) August 5, 2020
That's ten extra points for you right there. He doesn't score often, but you won't get a more committed and no-nonsense player playing for you this year. He was a true difference-maker and our form when he was injured took a massive nose-dive.
— K Jackson (@kjackson1984) August 5, 2020
You lucky lucky lucky lucky people…two of our best players of recent times.
Enjoy Bozzie and Eards….we did 👍
— Dan Norton (@Dlnorton150879) August 5, 2020
Sad to see you go Michael. Look after him Burton. Good luck with the new season
— Tracey Fleming (@TraceyF75969811) August 5, 2020
Heart broken 😭🔴⚪
— Thomas (@ThomasFits) August 5, 2020