As you may recall, we recently put out a call for people to write our match previews.
We’re delighted to announce that after a really challenging process of whittling down the candidates, Tom Morton has joined the Stacey West team. Tom is a Lincoln fan (obviously), with experience of writing for other outlets. In his proper job, he is an IT professional. It’s great to have Tom on board, and very soon we’ll be adding him to our About Us page.
We could only bring Tom in, and pay a small amount, thanks to the generosity of our patrons. The revenue stream Patreon provides covers a monthly charitable donation, paying a writer and subscriptions to Wyscout, Stats FC and Streamyard. Then there are the hosting costs, and believe me, it all adds up. Without that revenue stream, the site probably couldn’t be maintained as it is, and it’s because of you we’ll now have a regular written match preview ahead of every fixture.
Might I just add, there were a phenomenal number of applicants wishing to write for the site. Massive kudos to the other standout applicants; Kyle Kennealy, Callum Davis, Ben Carr, Samuel Rowson, Matt Gardner, Charlie Beeston, David Agnew, Nigel West, Paul Halfyard and Leo Patchett. Some of those names you’ll see a bit more on the site as they wish to write on a voluntary basis. David Agnew will be providing a regular column, Agnew’s Angle, with a more irreverent look at all things Imps.
If you wish to become a patron, and perhaps even allow me to open a second paid place on the site, then you can do so here for as little as £2 per month. It really does help.
In the meantime, here’s a bit more from Tom about why he is a Lincoln City fan. Welcome aboard!
I am a Lincoln City supporter, writes Tom Morton.
Football is, of course, an important social topic at my work. And as you would imagine it is the Premier League that dominates the conversation. I know lots of people have two clubs, Premier and local, but I’ve never understood it. Yes, the banter is pretty solid (we have lots of Everton and Liverpool fans at my workplace, which makes for some epic roasts) but when you are an EFL-only fan you are only ever on the receiving end.
But who cares. When I was younger I was a Man United fan, for no other reason than they had a red kit and I liked red. One of my earliest footballing memories is staying up late to watch that Champions League final. I watched the last moments of injury time from the stairs of my parent’s house, peeking around the door, torn between storming off in fury and the hope, the sweet hope. You don’t get many better football moments than that. My interest, though, in Man U – and the Premier League in general – ebbed pretty quickly.
Compared to watching Lincoln play the PL is so remote, distant, fake even. Don’t get me wrong I am not dumping on the supporters, it’s a personal choice and feeling. I recognise the same passion in those work conversations, it’s real.
However, nothing beats the “small club” feel that Lincoln has. That’s no slur. Small as in “it’s a small world”. Man United’s CEO isn’t on Twitter engaging directly with fans over issues (or just as often engaging in banter). Supporting a local EFL team lives and dies on that level of engagement.
Of course, I have childhood memories of Lincoln. Most of my formative years are framed around the glory Keith Alexander brought us. Certain players stick in memory Gary Taylor-Fletcher, Paul Morgan, countless others I would recognise but whose name elude. Simon Yeo is the clearest memory for me – the style, the goals, the temper. His 2005 hat-trick against Grimsby, various play-off glories the highlights to go with the low-light of his red card for smashing a ball at a ball boy in frustration. Yeo was a real player.
Are Premier League players real players? I suppose so, but they never feel real. How can you relate to a seriously talented, nineteen-year-old multi-millionaire? It doesn’t compute. In League One the players are real, relatable, they care. They earn, well, decent money but there are probably better off people in the crowd. They soak up the atmosphere as much as we do (and boy, do we have an atmosphere at times). They give the impression of appreciating the privilege they have of playing for us, just as we appreciate the privilege of watching them.
Supporting your local team is as much about the experience and the company as it is about the team and the results. My story is no different to many others, it’s about spending time with my Dad. Dad’s story is all about local teams. He grew up near Stoke and shares wonderful memories of walking to the ground and running into players on their way to the match. The atmosphere then resonates with how I feel visiting Sincil Bank. Dad was in the RAF and moved around a lot in his early years, until eventually, Lincolnshire was his settled home. Of course, he adopted the local team. That is what football is about.
At the right age, both me and my brother were introduced to Lincoln. We sat in the St Andrews stand, nicknamed by our family “the old boy” stand. We were no Co-op “yobs”, although secretly we all liked watching the singing and shouting. Crowd watching is a theme. Both my Dad and I recall one of my brother’s first games – he spent most of it facing the wrong way watching those “old boys” shouting insults at the referee. Our boyhood haunt was the lower right of the St Andrews, near the tunnel. In adulthood we are with the yobs in the Co-Op upper, gazing wistfully at our childhood.
There are great memories; great games; great experiences. Our trip to Wembley, tough play-off games in the early noughties, tensely waiting (in the era before smartphones) for the other results then watching fans stream onto the pitch in delight at promotion. There are funny moments. I distinctly remember excitedly returning Poachers’ wave before realising, in embarrassment, I was being told off for perching on a seat edge (yes probably you Gary, looking out for the furniture). There is sadness. Relegation, losses, tough play-off games. There are always play-off games.
But there is one important thing – all of these things happened to me, directly, not via a screen. The 20/21 season was depressing for this reason. I watched every game, religiously, but for the first time the club felt distant, unclear, disconnected. This season as we walk to the ground, hopeful or resigned to disappointment, I remember how lucky I am regardless.
And that is why I am a Lincoln City fan.