The history and diversity of Lincoln City will be celebrated in a unique fan-designed shirt being launched with an event at the club’s Waterside store next week.
I confess I’m delighted to be writing this article, because I’ve been involved in the project from the beginning, and it’s been a nightmare not being able to talk about it. I even had the shirt on ahead of a home game recently, being part of the photoshoot and then having to keep it covered up all game!
The shirt, created not only by myself but also Mandi Slater and Danny Nesbitt, pays tribute to the area’s proud RAF history, the iconic cathedral and features the colours of the Lincolnshire flag.
Anwar Uddin from Kick It Out and the Football Supporter Association’s Fans For Diversity campaign came up with the #MyCityMyShirt idea and, as a supporter of the campaign, Maria Ryder from the Lady Imps Supporters Association approached the club with the idea of doing it in Lincoln. Maria has overseen the project with the backing of the club. She said: “The club have been hugely supportive and it’s great that fans will be able to buy the shirts in the Waterside store. This is the first time a club shirt has featured the Fans For Diversity logo, and it’s fitting that supporters have been key in the design of the project.”
Anwar Uddin, Fans for Diversity campaign manager at the FSF, said “What’s brilliant about what the fans and Lincoln City FC have done with their #MyCityMyShirt project is the superb extra layer of detail with an official shirt which reflects the club’s links to the area and it’s history, along with the message welcoming everyone. Seeing the shirt next to the iconic locations is first-class!’
An initial run of 100 shirts have been produced for this limited-edition project. The design incorporates the roundel motif as a nod to links with the RAF, with the Bishop’s Eye window of the cathedral an inspiration behind the pattern on the shirt. The stained glass Bishop’s Eye window dates back to medieval times and is designed to welcome visitors to the building – reflecting the message that the Lincoln City message welcomes everyone whatever their background.
Supporters can view and buy the shirt at an in-store event from 2.30-4.30pm on Thursday 21 April, with a number of players attending for a meet and greet session with fans.
A series of photos celebrating the diverse nature of the Imps fanbase will also be showcased on the Waterside shopping centre’s digital screens, while the fans behind the project will be on hand to discuss their involvement.
Mandi Slater, one of the shirt designers, said: “I’ve grown up watching Lincoln City. Sincil Bank is like a second home to me and it’s a place that always gives me a true sense of belonging. It’s the one place I can go and forget about everything else and get completely absorbed in the game”
As one of the other designers, I concur with Mandi’s comments and must confess being involved in a kit design is a huge task. However, with Danny Nesbitt bringing so much solid input to the table, I think we’ve created a really special shirt. There’s always a fear when the drawing goes off and the real thing is being made that it will look great on paper, but not in the flesh; that’s not the case here. I think it looks ace, and I’m not just saying that. In fact, it could easily pass as an away kit, and for me, that means we’ve done a decent job.
I had a photoshoot with Dave, my mate who owns the A Box of Frogs curio shop in Wragby, using the beer garden of the Treaty of Commerce as a backdrop. t was cold, the landlord laughed when he saw Dave and I were ‘modelling’, and we have great fun. I made sure I breathed right in for the photos, as you can see!
The shirt has been launched with a series of photos taken by Imps fans Graham Burrell and Stuart Wilde which will be showcased on the big screen at the Waterside shopping centre from Thursday 21 April.