The 2016/17 season will live long in the memory of those associated with Lincoln City Football Club, with a first step back up the ladder taken after six long years spent outside of the Football League.
Promotion was secured in style, as National League title winners with 99 points, with rapid progress made from there as a League Two crown was captured two years later.
Those who helped The Imps to establish forward momentum once more will always be remembered fondly at Sincil Bank, with some going on to play top-tier football while others are now direct rivals.
Four familiar faces
Raggett has returned to Lincolnshire this season as part of a Portsmouth squad that are 11/2 in online football betting to land a play-off spot in League One. Pompey are not highly fancied to go on and secure promotion within football tips for today, but anything is possible.
Lincoln proved as much when Raggett was on their books, with his first spell at the club coming after being snapped up from Dover Athletic. The towering centre-half made over 50 appearances in a promotion-winning campaign for The Imps – scoring eight goals – and returned on loan from Norwich City in January 2018 to take in 25 more.
#OnThisDay in 2017 💫
Champions 🏆 pic.twitter.com/Wf1mKm9xWJ
— Lincoln City FC 🇺🇦 (@LincolnCity_FC) April 22, 2021
This is another player who has returned to Sincil Bank in 2021/22, with Bonne netting a match-winning effort for Ipswich Town back in September. He did not get much of a chance to show what he is capable of during a short loan switch from Colchester in 2016/17.
The target was found on his first start for Lincoln against Tranmere, but that was his only goal through seven outings. He earned a move to Charlton after proving his worth in the National League at Leyton Orient and he is contracted to Championship side Queens Park Rangers while being allowed to find his shooting boots again during a loan spell at Portman Road.
One familiar face to Lincoln supporters who is currently plying his trade on a Championship stage is tricky winger Ward. He was another member of The Imps loan army when clambering out of non-league, having joined from Brighton.
He registered three goals in eight appearances and has proved what he is capable of across six seasons at Peterborough United. Over 170 appearances have been taken in for The Posh, with promotion into the second tier enjoyed in the 2020/21 campaign – a season that saw him come up against The Imps.
This is a man who has gone even better than Bonne and Ward by reaching the top flight in his present surroundings. Ginnelly spent the second half of 2016/17 with Lincoln and did enough to seal a season-long loan from Burnley for the following season.
The promising winger managed three goals in 36 appearances and has since gone on to represent Tranmere Rovers, Walsall, Preston North End and Bristol Rovers. Hearts took him on loan when they were a Championship outfit in Scotland, but they now sit among the Premiership elite with Ginnelly holding his own in distinguished company.
— The National League (@TheVanaramaNL) May 3, 2017
Lincoln followers everywhere will wish their title-winning class of 2016/17 well wherever they end up – just as long as no more match-winning displays are put in when certain paths cross again!