Continuing on from yesterday’s countdown, here are the players who feature at 51 through to number 75.
It’s the Top 100 of a Generation and this is the second of three articles leading up to the live show. On Thursday, at 7pm, we’re going live on Facebook and YouTube in a special podcast. We’ve got fans as guests, we’ve got soundbites from at least five of the top 25 players (more in the pipeline) and we’ve got me and Ben too, perhaps the least thrilling aspect of the evening. Also, we’ll have you, watching at home, commenting on the players and maybe even getting an impromptu invite to come on and chat, who knows?
So, on with the show, right? Here are the Top 100 Lincoln City Players of a Generation, as voted for by you, Be prepared to reminisce, react and (in some cases) get a bit angry! Please, before going through the list, take the time to watch this short video explaining what the vote is and what it does (and does not) represent.
75 Jamie Taylor
Like the inclusion of Andrew Boyce on the last list, Jamie Taylor’s appearance may split opinion given the time he played for the club. However, Taylor was a slick centre forward, omitted by Steve Tilson in the disaster of a season that was 2011/12, but back with a vengeance the following campaign. He bagged 15 times in 45 outings during the 2012/13 season and was sorely missed when he decided to head back down south.
74 Phil Stant
For me, poor Phil Stant will always been linked with his terrible spell as manager, and the unfortunate picture that appeared in the Echo as he was packing his stuff in the car the day he was fired. He had two spells as a player with the Imps, one under Allan Clarke which he recalls in his excellent book, Ooh Ah Stantona, which I reviewed here. His best season came in 1996/97, scoring regularly in a potent forward line with Gareth Ainsworth. He even got DF’s ‘Goal of the Season’ for a sumptuous flick against Swansea at the Bank,
73 Tony James
James was a wonderful defender who turned in a handful of performances for City at the end of the eighties. He made his Imps debut in a 1-1 draw with Crewe Alexandra on August 30th of 1988, and his final Imps appearance in a 1-0 home win over county rivals Scunthorpe almost a year later. He made just 29 outings for City, but his slick style alerted the attentions of Leicester City, and a deal was swiftly done to take the defender to Filbert Street.
72 Jeff Hughes
Hughes’ first season at Sincil Bank saw him adapting to the rigours of the English game, having arrived from Larne as a 19-year-old. However, in the epic half-season 2006/07, he was sensational, starring in arguably the most promising squad for a generation. He moved to cement a first-team spot under John Schofield and began to find his eye for goal. A brace in the 7-1 win over Rochdale caught the eye, and winners in successive games against Boston (2-1) and Wycombe (1-0). He left for Crystal Palace, but three goals in two matches against Bristol Rovers in the play-0ffs saw the Gas move for him in 2008.
71 Alan Harding
Left-sided midfielder Alan Harding is another whose talent endures the test of time, playing in the successful side of the seventies and still highly-rated enough to feature on our list today. He bagged 38 goals in 203 appearances for the Imps, helping the club to the 1976 Division Four title in the process.
70 Dean Walling
St Kitts and Nevis international Dean Walling is still the club’s ‘official’ record signing at £75,000, although that figure has likely been topped by undisclosed fees. A robust central defender, Walling made his name at Carlisle United but chipped in with vital goals during our 1997/98 promotion season, including three across two FA Cup games with Peterborough, and single strikes against Scunthorpe, Hull and Leyton Orient earning us vital 1-0 wins.
69 Jason Shackell
Doubtless, another to get older fans frothing at the mouth, but Jason Shackell’s impact on our 2018/19 title-winning season should not be forgotten. The veteran defender was immense for us as we strode towards the title, grabbing vital goals (Macclesfield, Morecambe and MK Dons) as well as turning in assured and calming defensive performances too. A younger generation of fans will remember him for what he was in 2018/19, not what happened a year after.
68 John Kennedy
It was a genuine delight to see John make the list, a player from a bygone era who is still as revered today as he was back then. He was 29 in the 2007 vote and the fact he has held firm in the middle of the pack today is a testament to his success with the club. John was a keeper of old, pictured here in action against Newport in the early-seventies, without gloves and fearless as ever. Rightly takes a place in the top 100, almost 50 years after his last Imps outing.