I had a message yesterday from a fan who pointed out to me an Imp with a famous connection, and I thought I’d turn it into a feature.
The player in question was also a former manager, but more on that further into the piece. I’ve selected five Imps who had a famous connection, be it a partner, parent, or something they’d done in their life. I’ve come up with some, but are there any I’ve missed? Is there a Lincoln City player you can think of that I haven’t mentioned who has connections in a similar vein? Here’s my list, please comment if you’ve got any that could be added!
Scott Willis – Cilla Black
I loved Scott Willis. He was a real talent, capable of the sublime, but he also came across as being a bit of a mad bastard. For every wonder goal, there was a controversy, be it spitting at an opponent, nasty lunges after coming on as a sub or rumours of him smoking fags like Dot Cotton. He was an anti-hero, the sort of player you love to have, but who could be as much of a letdown as he could be brilliant.
His famous connection was his aunty, one Liverpool legend Cilla Black. Her husband was Bobby Willis, and Scott was one of his brother’s sons.
Stefan Oakes – Showaddywaddy
I find it hard to say the band name Showaddywaddy without reverting to mimicking he-who-must-not-be-named. Still, growing up I loved this band (before I could retune the radio), as Dad and Mum used to play their stuff. Pretty Little Angel eyes was great, but I loved Lookin’ Back. Tune. Oddly, growing up, I also had a soft spot for Luton Town (Dad’s fault, making me a two-team wanker for the purposes of not being bullied) and my favourite anecdote was Scott Oakes, their boy wonder England Under-21 winger who I adored until I binned off my Luton leanings.
His younger brother, Stefan, therefore now becomes my favourite son of Trevor Oakes, one of the 21 different members of Showaddywaddy (not all at the same time, obviously).
Ryan Amoo – Jade Goody
I recall when Ryan Amoo signed for us, my first thought was something like ‘he dated Jade Goody‘. The reality TV star was everywhere after her Big Brother appearance, and although I wasn’t a fan at the time, reading about her life now does make me think she was quite maligned by the public and press despite battling back from a horrible upbringing.
Anyway, Ryan Amoo dated Jade Goody, that was the one thing I knew about him before he pulled on a Lincoln shirt. Her pretty much changed that perception one afternoon in Peterborough, which I’m sure you all remember much more than a relationship he once had.
Tom Kilbey – The Only Way Is Essex
Tom Kilbey came in on loan as we sunk towards the National League in 2011, and is as memorable as what you had for dinner three weeks last Wednesday. After breaking through at Millwall he earned a move to Portsmouth for an undisclosed fee, and even scored for them in the FA Cup in January 2011. Looking back, his capture actually wasn’t that bad, but he just didn’t impress in a squad of utter misfits. He made his debut as we were thrashed 6-0 by Rotherham and played seven times for us before leaving the club, and the professional game.
His fame came from a stint in (what I consider to be) the awful reality TV show The Only Way is Essex. He appeared in series four to seven alongside his sister, Cara, and for all the good Steve Tilson’s side were, she may as well have appeared alongside him in our midfield. At least that might have been memorable.
Neil Davies – Brookside
The Lincoln City side of 1995/96 wasn’t a classic; the kit was great, but the team struggled through three managers and was completely rebuilt from the first game to the last. One player who started the season with us, but suffered injuries, was Neil Davies. He never played a game for us, but he did turn out regularly for the reserves before being released. That’s why you might not remember him,
If you were a fan of Brookside you might; he starred as Robbie Moffatt in the show, and married Alex Fletcher, his co-star.
Shane Westley – Paul Weller
This is the one I like, the new one on me that sparked this odd little article. Westley played for Charlton, Southend, Brentford and Wolves before being lured to Sincil Bank by John Beck. He scored a single goal away at Cambridge, and played nine times in total before moving into a coaching role. He was John Beck’s assistant, taking over as manager in March 1998. In a recent podcast episode, Gavin Gordon suggested Westley’s appointment was the catalyst for us going up to the third tier for the first time since 1986. The following season we struggled, and he was eventually sacked by (and replaced by) John Reames.
Shane is now a personal trainer, and the top entry on his testimonials page is from The Modfather himself, Paul Weller. “I’m in the best shape of my life,” says the star. “He’s tough but he gets results. If you’re looking to get in shape, he’s the man I reckon.”