A former Imp and something of a legend has today secured a move to the Northern Premier League side, Frickley Atheltic.
Firstly, What constitutes a legend?Coming out of the youth setup to make close to 200 appearances? That’s got to put you close.
Playing in the Championship one season, then dropping into League Two, coming off the bench in a cup semi-final to score the winning penalty in a shoot out, the penalty that sends your club to Wembley for the first time ever? I’d say so.
Being club captain during a title-winning season? You’ve just about checked everything off the list.
That makes Lee Frecklington a legend, and ‘one of our own’ has found himself a new club to continue his career. He’s moved to Frickley Atheltic today, hooking up with his Uncle Dave, himself a former Imps’ trainee and ex-manager of Gainsborough Trinity.
I know sometimes news about former Imps is sneered at a bit, and yet I can’t help but mention this. Lee is a legend, he burst out of the youth team under John Schofield and fired us towards promotion, only for that to tail off. He was one of the only real shining lights under Peter Jackson, and after leaving the club he had a fine career with Rotherham and Peterborough, as well as earning an Ireland B cap.
His return was much-heralded at the time, he dropped some great soundbites about picking Lincoln over Mansfield and held an engaging press conference alongside the great hope, Ellis Chapman. It seems an age ago now, but I was utterly convinced Freck would fire us to League One. I was right, he was club captain when we ascended to League One, although his season in 2018/19 was blighted by injury. I remember the sinking feeling I got as he was helped off the field during the 6-2 win at Port Vale, the injustice at him being clattered needlessly in a challenge that went unpunished.
He dipped in and out of the team after that, playing a role off the field as well as on it. The way he left the club was an anti-climax, with no chance to say goodbye to the fans. In an odd twist of fate, his final outing came against Rotherham in a game we won 3-0.
Assuming they keep the squad together, he will join an impressive collection of former Imps at Westfield Lane, including Todd Jordan, Jonny Margetts, Kern Miller and Kegan Everington. I’m delighted he is back playing and wish him all the best with Frickley, with whom I hope he eventually starts a blossoming and exciting career in coaching.