Lasse Sorensen – Community Champions 2022/23

Credit Graham Burrell

Lasse Sorensen has been named as The Imps’ 22/23 PFA Community Champion, and it couldn’t be more deserved.

The award, chosen by the Lincoln City Foundation, acknowledges the contribution a player makes to the community and projects off the field. It’s a bit like the old Clubman of the Year 9I won that twice with Wragby Boys, by the way), but in this instance, it isn’t just given to the guy that always turns up, but can never get a game.

Instead, it recognises truly outstanding dedication to helping the community, and I can’t imagine it is an easy one to win. Imps players always seem to be out doing something – I noted Danny Mandroiu and Ted Bishop in Poacher’s Club before the game on Tuesday, visible and accessible. Stuff like that matters – there’s that awful video of Arsenal players coldly signing a young mascot’s shirt, not even saying hello, and that’s the image of how community and fan engagement should not look. Lincoln City, with players in schools and mixing with fans on matchday, is a blueprint.

So, for one player to stand out from the others is an achievement, because they all do it. There are no Chris Maguire figures in this dressing room, for whom saying hello was a chore. Instead, there’s a dedicated collection of players to choose from, and Lasse is the one who was picked.

Credit Graham Burrell

“Lasse has been an absolute star for us this season, being a regular at our events and really building a connection with participants and members of our team,” said Martin Hickerton, CEO of the Foundation. “Nothing has been too much trouble for him, and he has done absolutely everything we’ve asked from him, and always with a smile. He’s a credit to himself and he’s helping us make a real impact in our communities.”

Martin’s not wrong. When I went to the training ground at the end of last season, Lasse was the player who came in on his day off to speak to the kids. He gave an engaging interview to the pupils, as well as chatted in the changing rooms about the club as well. Whenever I’ve spoken to him for the program interview I used to do, he’s not just been engaging, but completely down to earth. Nothing is too much trouble, and he’s just an unassuming character who seems very humble, willing to engage and most of all, enjoys the experience.

The club does well with community and fan engagement, and Lasse is one of the very best. I don’t usually cover these sorts of awards, but off the field, Lasse is one of my favourite characters. It’s great to see his effort recognised off the field, especially at a time when he’s growing so rapidly on the pitch.

Long may both continue.