It’s Shrewsbury in the EFL Trophy tomorrow night, a slightly less grandiose tie than the last time we met in the competition.
Given the distance between the two clubs, it is surprising that a fair few have played for both. I thought we’d start with a bona fide legend though, to make the feature seem more attractive given the awful unmemorable match.
Played For Both
There have been plenty of players who have appeared for both the Imps and Shrewsbury, but one who is likely regarded highly by both clubs is Mark Stallard.
Wherever Mark Stallard played, fans loved him. He is revered as a hero in Bradford after just 42 games and 10 goals. He was loved at Notts County after five good years and he was loved in Wycombe for a two-year spell amongst the goals. He did struggle a little at Shrewsbury, scoring just six times in 37 games before signing for us. The scene was set for him to arrive at Lincoln and fail to produce, as a number of strikers have in the past.
He didn’t, he produced the goods from his very first kick. He was a typically robust, all-action centre forward, possessing neat flashes of skill and an uncompromising approach to winning and keeping the ball. He was ‘big and hard’ as the song went, but he made sure he brought goals to the party too.
Hereford (2-1), Accrington (3-1) and former club Wycombe (3-1) all felt the force of Mark Stallard as he collected a brace in each game. He bagged two more in the 7-1 destruction of Rochdale and ended that unsuccessful play-off season with 17 in all competitions in a terrifying strike force alongside Jamie Forrester.
In his next season, he struggled to find the same form after being kept out of the first team by Steve Torpey (see strikers who failed to produce) and at one point even Ollie Ryan. Once Schofield was sacked and Peter Jackson came in he found his chances decreasing, even more, often seeing Louis Dodds or Lenny John-Lewis preferred up top. A red card away at Rotherham signalled the end of Stallard’s Imps career and upon completion of his contract, he dropped down the Blue Square Premier with Mansfield, where it will come as no surprise to find he scored goals.