It’s been four years, to the day, since a game that perhaps gave me my most memorable moment as an Imps supporter.
For years, my happiest ever day was May 1988, when we went up out of the GMVC, but April 22nd 2017 surely topped that. It was the culmination of a five-year-long nightmare, followed by a season of unbridled and utter joy. Look, when I say nightmare, there were good elements of those years we spent in the National League, I’m not dismissing the work of Chris Moyses, nor even David Holdsworth, but they were challenging times. The club floundered outside of what we regard as our natural level and on one warm afternoon at Sincil Bank, all of that was undone.
What an afternoon it was too. Mitch Hancox threatened to ruin the party with his early goal, which I missed due to storing too much of the amber stuff pre-game. Terry Hawkridge equalised, and the game ebbed and flowed until the 76th minute, when Hawkridge bagged a second. We rode our luck a bit in those last few minutes, I had to climb over a steward to get pitchside too, but eventually, the whistle blew and we were back.
Note – I’ve just watched the video back after completing the article and I feel a little emotional. Be warned!
It seems like a lifetime ago right now, even though it is just four years. It feels like history, not recent history, but pivotal history. Where we are no all came about because of that day, it was the platform upon which we have continued to build, develop and evolve. The players and the staff from that season are all ingrained in Imps history, forever, even though many are currently elsewhere.
I think they’ll be more fondly remembered, by some, once they’re out of the game. I don’t know if Dennis Booth got cheered on his return here with Hull, I wouldn’t expect Alex Woodyard to be given a hero’s welcome one the final day of the season, should fans be in the ground, but in 20 years that will change, and every member of that final day squad, maybe bar one, will be immortalised as the 1976 team were before them, and the 2019 team should be after.
What are they up to now? Well, some of you may well know, but here is the squad from that final day, and a taster of what they’re doing now.