‘Heartbroken’, ‘Difference maker’ – Lincoln City fans react as Bozzie finds a new club

Courtesy of Graham Burrell

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.

Courtesy Graham Burrell

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.

 

16 Comments

  1. Hard to take indeed. Arguably Danny’s best signing. Heard the news before I read your article. My first thought was……one year contract…..we could and should have kept him. Hope this does not come back to hurt Appleton’s youths.

  2. I think it would help supporters to have some assurance about club policy. It is beginning to look as though LCFC might become a League 1 academy for transitional young players who are with us to make money rather than a team with a character that supporters can identify with.
    We have lost pretty well all the players who we have grown to love. It’s a big test for supporters.
    Hope very much that I am wrong but can we have some explanation please?

    • That’s a very interesting comment and as someone else has said, Appleton looks to be on a mission to rid the club of any player brought in by the Cowleys. I could understand it if the club had been poor under him and failed miserably, but the fact we had three very successful seasons under the Cowleys makes it a bizarre stance from the new boss. Of course, should his choice of players thrive, make us money and get us promoted to the Championship, then it will have all been worth it. But sometimes, it doesn’t pay to cut off one’s nose to spite one’s face.

      • That was me. I can’t see any other reason for it. The club’s position is that they need to get people off the wage bill. While that might be partly true, it isn’t the whole – I very much doubt Burton have broken their wage policy to get Bostwick.

  3. Man mountain of a player, the bearded behemoth moves on & takes a little bit of Lincoln with him.
    Loved Bozzy & I knew I was spelling it correctly all along.
    All the best Bozzy, unlike most players, you’ll be truly missed!

  4. It’s a weird way to run a football team. Get rid of your best players and replace them with inexperienced youngsters who, even if they are any good, will take time to gell.

  5. So so sad to see him go, definitely would have kept him for his experience to help the young lads along , even if we got 25 to 30 games per season it would have been worth it . But lets just see how the future shapes up.
    Must have a look at the mansfield forums now, they were totally convinced he was going there. Not a chance stags.

    • His signings have been utter dross and the amount of talent he’s ignored or allowed to walk is astonishing.

  6. Not looking forward to play Burton next season…
    I know there is a certain model at the club now which requires certain type of players, I know we want to play different style of football, I know he is over 30, I know we have to move on etc. but…. it’s still very bad move from MA in my opinion. He should have kept Bossie no matter what…. He is an unique character. Priceless for younger players to have him around.. Very special player to Lincoln fans too. Big loss. Avoidable loss too…

    • Appleton had a disastrous winter transfer period, signing nobodies and watching talent walk out the door, and now he’s busy dismantling what was left after that.

      Get rid of a proven L1 goalie and sign a reserve from Colchester.
      Get rid of our talisman and last player of the season and replace with an unknown from a shit Dutch club.
      Sign an L2 midfielder and an MK Dons reject and say we’ve got a L1 midfield.

      So what do we have now? A League One squad? I don’t see it. Shall we just shrug our shoulders?

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