“Above The Manager’s Pay Grade” – Former Imp Opens Up On Exit in SW Exclusive

Credit Graham Burrell

Former Lincoln City defender Frank Sinclair has opened up on his departure from the club in an exclusive interview with Kyle Kennealey.

To call Sinclair a former Lincoln defender almost does him a disservice – The now 52-year-old played 157 times for Chelsea in the Premier League and 131 times for Leicester at the same level. He went to the World Cup with Jamaica in 1998, playing in all three group matches, including their first-ever win at the finals against Japan.

During his illustrious career, he won a Cup Winner’s Cup, a League Cup and an FA Cup, and his stint at Sincil Bank came at the end of that success. He signed in July 2008, part of the Magnificent Seven that Peter Jackson overhyped, leading to a season many felt was a failiure (compared to the two that followed, it was anything but).

He started 21 games for the Imps, appearing 24 times in total, before a surprise loan move to Wycombe, our League Two rivals. That angered me – I always felt it was the player at fault, but in his chat with Kyle, Frank revealed it was anything but.

“I loved the time there,” he said, speaking to the Stacey West courtesy of Stocklytics

“I went with Peter Jackson, who was my manager at Huddersfield Town a couple of seasons before that. I got on really well with him, went to Lincoln, and moved to the area. So I committed to the club.”

In March 2009, just days after playing as City lost 3-2 at Barnet due to a late John O’Flynn goal (a team including Yannick Bolasie and Albert Adomah), Sinclair made the move to Wycombe.

The Chairboys were fourth and gunning for promotion, 15 points ahead of City. The following Saturday, he started in the same Wycombe team as John Akinde as they got a point against Shrewsbury. On the same day, City also got a point against Notts County, courtesy of Sam Mullarkey’s wonder strike.

“Then a little bit of politics was the reason behind me going, and I won’t go too much into it, but it was something that was above the manager’s pay grade,” he said.

“You could say it came due to me being very close to playing enough games to offer me a new contract, and they decided that they didn’t want to do that.”

Credit Graham Burrell

“Off the back of that, I had an opportunity to play for one of my other old managers when I went to Wycombe with Peter Taylor.”

“We ended up getting promoted that season to League One, and I played the last 13 games of the season for him.  I thoroughly enjoyed that as well.”

As Wycombe went up, Sinclair went down – he was released by the Imps and signed for Wrexham in the Conference following their relegation. He spent two years in Wales before winding his playing career down with Brackley.

However, the defender, who was once picked by Terry Venables for England without getting a game, still looks back fondly on his time as an Imp.

“I loved my time at Lincoln; it’s a beautiful place and area. I used to live along the river, and it was a sight to wake up to every morning that I really enjoyed.”


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