Lincoln City’s First £1m Player – Previous Candidates

Tony Battersby


Credit Graham Burrell

Back when I was a little more naive, I saw the signing of Tony Battersby and got majorly excited. Why? Championship Manager, later to become the Football Manager game that cost many students their degree (and continues to do so).

On the computer game, he had been valued a £2.2m when at Notts County, and when the Imps paid out a record fee for him I expected big things. I heard we had splashed out £75,000 and it seemed to me to be utter genius. Football Manager was never wrong (see Nii Lampety as another example of my naivety), and I confess at first he seemed an inspired signing. Tony Battersby definitely had the ability and was prone to the odd moment of absolute genius, which only made me think we’d be reaping the rewards of a huge income boost soon. We needed it by the way, he signed at the start of the 1998/99 season when we desperately needed to find a gem.

Sadly, those magic moments were rare, and the longer he stayed, the rarer they became. His contract was eventually terminated in October 2002 and instead of heading to the bright lights of the Premier League with us banking a million, he headed to Boston with us writing him off as a bad job.

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