The Greatest Managers We Never Had

City v Barnsley. 27/12/75

There’s always talk about the players we almost signed, the ones we let go who went on to do better, and the Lincoln youths who made it at other clubs.

I recently did an article on the transfers that almost happened, and there are the likes of Wayne Biggins, a former City youth who played top-flight football often cited as the one that got away.

However, there is another group of people, Lincoln City nearly men, who rarely get mentioned – the managers we might have had. Over the years a number of big names have been linked with the club, had interviews or even outright admitted they were in the running for the job, only to lose out. Some of those managers went on to much bigger success – in fact, I’ve selected a list of nine who were once either linked with, or interviewed by the Imps, but have never taken their place in the home dugout as the boss.

Between them, they’ve won major trophies, managed in Europe, been promoted from the lower divisions, and even been in the England dugout. Who are they?

Read on to find out.

Alex Stepney

Alex Stepney is a Manchester United legend, a European Cup winner in 1968, an FA Cup winner in 1977, and a man with 433 appearances for the Red Devils. He never managed a club, but in May 1987, he wanted the Lincoln City job.

It was a big call – we’d just been relegated out of the Football League, but Stepney just wanted an opportunity, confirming to the Echo he’d be applying. He wasn’t successful, and he later became the goalkeeping coach at Manchester City.

By Bert Verhoeff for Anefo – GaHetNa (Nationaal Archief NL) 928-7827, CC BY 4.0,