It’s time for the fourth collection of nominees that you, the Stacey West readers, have put forward as the worst Lincoln City signing ever.
Before you scroll down, a repeat of the housekeeping bits that I’ll put on all the group articles.
I’m not attempting to say these footballers were bad; some of them had really good careers, appearing in the top flight, European football and even for their country. What we’re looking for is the worst signing Lincoln City made, based on their arrival and their time here. I urge you to remember that; a player we paid big money for is, by definition, a worse signing than some poor lad we grabbed from Northwich when we were skint. A player who didn’t play at all can’t possibly be a worse signing than one who shipped five goals on his only appearance, can he? I guess that’s for you to decide.
Also, for those saying we shouldn’t focus on negatives, this is actually a positive article. I want people to read some of the players’ names on here and perhaps think on when they call this summer the ‘worst window ever’. It really isn’t, and we’ve had some truly awful signings over the last forty years, which is the time period these players have been pulled from. By the way, if I missed your player, my apologies, but everyone put them on different social media channels, not in the website comments and I really haven’t had the time to scour all the different groups. Also, as much as Chris Sutton boiled my wee as well, he just doesn’t count as he was a manager, not a signing.
If you are a player featured on here, please don’t take offence. Look at it like this; I once worked for a company called Timber Stair Manufacturers. I did it during a time of immense emotional turmoil and I felt I’d given it my best shot. To be fair, I was awful, and I’m sure Dave at the company wouldn’t be as bold as to say so. However, the people I served, those whose stairs I measured, would say otherwise. They’d be right, whatever the circumstances. Nobody is saying you were a bad player, just that when you played for Lincoln, someone felt you were (not necessarily me btw).
Also, some of the nominees just don’t deserve to be on the list! Anyhow, here are the nine players in Group D. To make it fair, I’ve randomised the groups to include players from across different ages. Have a read, and pick the worst at the bottom. I’ll try to do a group per day and only tot up the results at the end of the voting. I’d say ‘enjoy’, but I doubt you will, somehow.
Ellis Remy 2 Apps, 0 Goals
I feel a bit for Remy here. He arrived at an awkward time for the Imps, when we didn’t quite have the funds to spend money but we did have expectations created by finishing in the top seven the year before. Remy and Rory May signed around the same time, but in his two appearances, it was clear the former Wimbledon youth wasn’t Football league quality. He did play international football though; he turned out six times for Montserrat, bagging two goals.
Steve Torpey 14 Apps, 0 Goals
When Steve Torpey arrived at Sincil Bank he’d got more than 170 career goals, including stints in what is now the Championship and double figures for Scunthorpe for five consecutive seasons between 2000 and 2005. He scored twice for the Iron in 2006/07 as they won League One, but came to Lincoln looking a shadow of the player we’d loved to hate. He was the wrong man at the wrong time, and it showed. He lasted 14 matches before John Schofield was sacked and Farsley Celtic came knocking.
Craig Hobson 12 Apps, 1 Goal
Hobson played 12 times for City, in what many believe was the worst Imps side of all time under David Holdsworth in 2012/13. He joined us from Stockport, having scored against us for them. He joined us in February 2013 and then blundered his way through the next 12 matches, scoring once. As with most players on this list, simple ability wasn’t the problem, he was abusive to fans on social media and reflected everything we dislike in footballers – collecting a pay packet and seemingly not giving a thought to how he was perceived on or off the field.
Jon Nolan 75 apps, 6 Goals
Nolan certainly isn’t the worst signing this club has ever made, not by a long shot. On his day, he was a slick footballer, skilful on the ball with a great range of passing. He was combative and had ability well above the level he played at. The issue for many, and the reason he was nominated many times I feel, was his attitude. He forced a loan move to be with his mate Sean Newton and never gelled with supporters. He came across as quite petulant at times, none more so than when committing the awful tackle pictured below. He might not be well-liked, but he’s a million miles from the worst on this list, let alone the worst ever.
Pat Kanyuka 6 Apps, 0 Goals
Kanyuka certainly appeared to be the answer to our defensive problems; the Imps shipped goals for fun and we needed a dominant force at the back. He had previously played for QPR and Swindon amongst others so somebody must have seen something in him. Steve Tilson certainly did and he signed on a short-term contract to help us in our relegation battle in 2011. His first game was a 2-1 win away at Bradford, but Kanyucka only lasted 45 minutes before being substituted and blamed for the first goal.
He appeared in the 5-1 home defeat against Shrewsbury as a second half substitute and was on the pitch when we drew 1-1 with Macclesfield in a match that had we won, we would have stayed up. He is perhaps best remembered for his final game; a home clash with Rotherham. He didn’t finish it though, he was sent off after 62 minutes with the Imps trailing 4-0. They scored the resulting penalty on their way to a 6-0 win. Unsurprisingly he never played for Lincoln again.
Tom Champion 5 Apps, 0 Goals
When a National League team signs a Football League midfielder, one who has previously won the National League, you expect big things. I still maintain Tom Champion was the right man at the wrong time, but as he’s on this list I guess few agree with me. He played in five games and we only own one of those; considering it was the season we won the league with 99 points, that’s some feat. He left us, went back to Barnet and played in the Football League for them, so he wasn’t a bad player, just a bad signing.
David Beavon 8 Apps, 0 Goals
The nominee who picked Beavon said he was so bad that a keeper was chosen ahead of him; that was 1982 when Colin Murphy named Stuart Naylor up front in a game against Newport County. Winger Beavon cost the Imps £25,000, which is around £100,000 in today’s money, and couldn’t get a start ahead of a reserve goalkeeper. It’s not a great look, is it?
Ian Hamilton 29 Apps, 1 Goal
Before coming to Lincoln, Hamilton had played 145 times for Scunthorpe, 240 times for West Brom and another 45 times for Sheffield United. He was West Brom‘s Player of the Season in 1997, but four years later he joined City and was really poor. His pedigree never showed through and he struggled to make any impact at all; his only goal for us came in an FA Cup defeat.
Steve Mardenborough 25 Apps, 2 Goals
If you pick Steve Mardenborough, a winger signed by Keith Alexander in 1993, over others on this list, you’re literally deluded. He made headlines in the eighties by scoring the winner against the then mighty Liverpool at Anfield whilst playing for Wolves. Mardenborough wasn’t a great signing for us, but as the first season we had names on kits he certainly earned the club shop a few quid.