Memorabilia Corner Pt 3 – Imps Match Badges

As you may know, I’ve started going through my memorabilia and cataloguing it here.

I appreciate it won’t get thousands of views; I’ve no interest in chasing views, though. I have an extensive collection of shirts, badges and all sorts, and I’d love to have a lasting record of that here on the site. I’ve been inspired by the RICT Museum, which collates a far wider collection of items and which I am contributing to.

Today, as I’ve found half an hour I didn’t expect, I thought I’d add a few more badges on here. These might be controversial to some stoic collectors, as they are dedicated match badges, which are rarely official club releases. Often, they’re ‘hookey’, produced using the club badge without permission for single games, then flogged on eBay for a couple of quid. They present a proper collector with a dilemma, do they buy, or do they skip? If they’re a dedicated badge collector like my friend Clive, then they likely buy. Me? I pick them up for special games but usually nothing more.

I actually have a fundamental problem with people using the club badge on their own badges, especially when they do it en masse. Go search ‘Lincoln City’ badges on eBay, and you’ll be given a chance to buy one for almost every home game last season. I wouldn’t mind if the money went to the club, but it doesn’t. It might just be my desire to collect stuff battling affordability and ending in me resenting the players, not the game!

Note: As part of my research for this article, I checked out eBay and found a badge for Oxford v lincoln in 2010/11 for £1. Which I bought. Principles, what good are they really?

I’m not actually sure if these are club issue or not. They’re not a great badge, they have that rubbery clear front on them, but the similarities lead me to believe they might have been club issue. I felt a real sense of pride in those two play-off appearances, and I invested in everything – commemorative shorts, programmes, badges. Oddly, I was bloody skint and probably missed a payment on a credit card to do so, but that’s what it meant to me back then.

These two were club issue – I think they were part of a set Helgy did for the Fan’s Player Scheme. I seem to recall him designing them with the help of Chris at Running Imp, and if the club does it, I’m in. I usually buy whatever the club has on offer in terms of badges over a season, and these would have been an obvious purchase. I’m also fairly sure they came out after the game, or at least I bought them after the game. It also meant I could skip the dodgy sellers on the High Street as if I needed an excuse.

This is one of just two of the non-official ones I own, and there’s a story behind it. I was late buying my ticket for the game, and I arranged to meet someone from the club at the ground to get it from them – I think it was Roger Bates. That meant that I couldn’t join my Dad, Shane and the rest of the gang on their trip to the nearest pub (I think the Red Imps Brigade were in the van that day too). Once I’d met Roger, I was told the pub was too far to walk for the remaining thirty minutes or so and to alleviate my boredom; I spent the money I would have splashed on a pint on a dodgy badge. Why not?

For a short while, my dad and I had a thing about buying badges from the away grounds we went to. I think it lasted about two games (Southport being the last one I got). I don’t keep my badges together; my other club ones are scattered all over the place, but anything featuring Lincoln I keep. This was our last away game of the 2017/18 season, the day they were crowned champions. My honest shout is this: I bought it because I was having a back operation a week later, and I genuinely felt that I might not walk again (irrationally), and if I didn’t, I wanted this to remind me of my last proper away day.

Note 2: These articles are not good for me; in checking to see if any of these badges were on eBay, after buying the Oxford one, I stumbled upon one commemorating our first game at the KCom. I bought that too, and I wasn’t even there.