Harry Anderson is leaving the Imps after five years, one of just two players not being retained by the club for the upcoming season.
The other leaving is Ethan Ross and obviously, we wish Ethan well, but his departure will now always be a footnote to the headline of our longest-serving player leaving. It’s been hinted at a bit over the last few weeks and there’s plenty of speculation as to where he might end up, but he won’t be playing for us. It’s a massive shame, I think he had loads to offer, but Michael doesn’t agree. It is hard to disagree with the manager when he took us all the way to the League One Play-Off Final, much harder than it was to question a little over a year ago when he released Michael Bostwick.
Last year’s retained list was very much like having a plaster ripped off – it hurt, but it felt necessary and eventually, the wound healed. This one is like having antiseptic dabbed on a cut. We’ve already been hurt by the Wembley defeat but here comes more pain, and it doesn’t feel entirely necessary. However, whilst there is room for sentiment amongst football fans, there is no room for it with managers and playing squads.
I think we can console ourselves with a few comforts. Harry is 24 and unless I’m mistaken, he’ll be playing for a League One side next season. He’s got a decent career ahead of him, it certainly isn’t a sad end or anything like that. He came to us as a young player wanting to establish himself with his League One employers, and he leaves an established League One player with more silverware in his cabinet than any other Lincoln City player in history if you include play-off final runner-up medals. If there is such a thing. If you don’t, only H and the Big Man have three trophies from their time in red and white, and for that, I think he deserves to be called a legend. Argue all you want, I don’t care. 200 appearances, two promotions, two play-off appearances, two Wembley appearances and an EFL Trophy to make him a legend, whether he’s 24, 44 or 104.
On a personal note, I find it a little sad he’s gone. I’ve enjoyed chatting to Harry over the years, starting back in the 2017/18 season when I first began interviewing players for the club, right up to this season. It might sound twee, but I’ve enjoyed seeing him grow from a boy into a man, becoming the player his talent dictated he should. Many fall by the wayside, dropping two divisions on loan, but Harry has a certain way about him, a determination born out of a love for life. He works hard, he does the right things but it feels to me he enjoy it. He always seemed to enjoy our interviews, laughing a joking about. I’ve said it before, but he told me he was dining with Ben Coker before he told the world and I still chuckle at him realising on the phone and backtracking. He’s just a nice lad, and I say that about a few of the players, but he is. I dare say there isn’t a bad bone in the lad’s body, he’s a genuine and honest person who I have no doubt will be missed around the group.
To mark his departure from the club, I’ve collected five matches together from his time here that really stand out for me as highlights. Enjoy.