We meet Fleetwood for the 11th time this weekend, having previously won three and lost three against the Cod Army.
We first crossed paths in 2011/12, when a televised game saw them beat us 3-1 despite us taking the lead through Josh O’Keefe. The return fixture brought a 2-2 draw, with Jamie Vardy netting twice for them after we went 2-0 up. We also went 2-0 up in the third game, a home fixture in the ill-fated 2019/20 season, with Tyler Walker hitting a brace in two minutes.
We won there earlier in the season, courtesy of Alex Mitchell’s goal, but the last three home fixtures have brought a win, a defeat and a draw. It’s always a mixed bag against Fleetwood.
I remember that first meeting really well. It was a televised game, so Mr and Mrs Poacher were out, and the Fleetwood coach was delayed, meaning a late kick-off. Steve Tilson had not long been sacked, and it was before David Holdsworth came in, so Grant Brown was in charge. Our lead was intact at half time, but three second-half goals took the points for the visitors.
It seems a lifetime ago now, and I guess with it being October 2011, it really is a lifetime ago for some! Looking over the team sheet, I couldn’t help but wonder what became of the Lincoln squad that day.
I’ve tried to find out for you.
All photos were taken on the night by Graham Burrell, thank you Bubs, for getting them sorted really quickly
Anyon played a bulk of his senior football for the Imps – he was farmed out on loan at the tail end of the 2010/11 season, doubtless contributing to our relegation, but then trusted to keep goal the following season.
After the Imps, he had a decent career as a backup at places like Chesterfield, Scunthorpe, and Shrewsbury before finishing his career at Chorley.
With 157 outings for Gillingham to his name, 56 in League One, the capture of Nutter was something of a coup in the summer of 2011. He was captain the night we played Fleetwood and remained ever-present that season, leaving the following campaign.
He had three and a half seasons with Woking before going into teaching. He’s now Deputy Head at Papplewick Ascot, Prep School.
Watts was a huge talent at Fulham, and when he signed for us after a loan spell, I thought we’d caught a real gem. Sadly, a serious injury suffered against Grimsby curtailed much of that promise. He started the Fleetwood game, and two more before leaving the Imps by mutual consent.
In 2015, he retired, having been at Eastbourne Borough, due to recurring injury issues.
Danny Hone is a homegrown Imps talent, once linked with big moves. The Fleetwood game was his last for the Imps before a move to Barrow.
Still only 34, Danny retired from football early and is the director of Mini Kicks and founder of the popular Active Arena in Lincoln.
You may well ask ‘who’, as Nelson was one of a long line of players who only played a handful of times for the Imps. He had a short-term contract and started just nine times, with a further appearance from the bench.
Nelson is still involved in football – he is a council member for the London Football Association, a coach at the Palace for Life Foundation, and a full-time student experience officer at Croydon College.
Like Danny Hone, Christophe’s last game for the Imps came against Fleetwood, but his was in the 2-2 draw later in the season. The French defender later appeared in the lower reaches of Belgian and French football before retiring.
He now works as an insurance agent for Allianz in Lens.
It’s fair to say most people know what Alan Power did after this. He was a mainstay of our team throughout the National League days before moving north of the border to play in Scotland’s top flight.
He’s appeared for. Kilmarnock and St Mirren, even getting in some European football, and he’s currently picking up a few yellow cards in Morton’s midfield in the Scottish Championship.
Smith was our leading scorer that season, with seven league goals, a tally that hasn’t been as low since. This season, just for reference, our leading league goalscorer has five….
Smith left at the end of the campaign to play for Cambridge and did a tour of the non-league scene with the likes of Hereford, Brackley and Woking. He was last known (by me, at least) playing for Bishop Stortford.
Nicolau had been on the books of Arsenal as a youngster, and he once turned down a move to the Cypriot top flight because he would have to have completed national service before playing. He represented Cyprus at Under 21 level and left Lincoln at the end of the 2012/13 season.
Like Smith, he was last known to be playing for Bishop Stortford.
I never really rated O’Keefe, which was perhaps harsh. He got our only goal of this game, and after leaving City, he bagged a few more, notably for Hereford. He later appeared for Kidderminster before finishing his career with Chorley.
O’Keefe went into physiotherapy once his playing career finished, and he is currently first-team physio for Championship side Blackburn Rovers.
McCallum is a rarity on the list – he had international honours for Canada before signing for us, and he had honours after, albeit for Cascadia, which doesn’t sound like a real place.
He was still playing for Bognor Regis Town last season and counts Eastbourne, Welling and Woking as former clubs.
Young keeper Nick Draper didn’t make a senior league appearance for the Imps in his five years with the club, but he did carve out a career in the game. He was on the books of Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Grimsby for a while.
He is still only 30 and was last known to be playing for Papakura City in New Zealand.
Sinclair was coming to the end of his career when he came to City and returned to the side for this game as a sub, having been sent off in the 4-0 defeat against Tamworth that got Tilson the sack.
He started 23 games but left the Imps at the end of the season and went into teaching. He’s a behaviour mentor and safeguarding lead at Newlands Academy in London.
Fuseini came to City after appearing 76 times for Millwall, and like Watts and Danny Hone, he was close to the end of his Imps career. He made one more appearance after the Fleetwood defeat before leaving the club by mutual consent. He later appeared for Bromley, Sutton and Welling.
Here’s a player and a half – Jamie Taylor spent two seasons with the Imps, scoring 17 league goals, before moving back down south to play for Sutton and then Eastbourne.
He was working as a decorator in 2021, but some of you perhaps know better than me as during my research, I noticed many Imps fans friends with him on Facebook! I’m not surprised; he was always a cracking bloke with time for supporters.
I always liked Perry, even though he wasn’t great for us. He was in a band and seemed quite cool, and he did score at Sincil Bank in the 2011/12 season while on loan at Telford. It made him quite unpopular, if I recall.
He wasn’t unpopular with other managers, though- he’s had 20 clubs since leaving City, the most recent being West Didsbury & Chorlton. That creative streak that ran through him as a musician is still there – he’s now a digital sales and marketing expert working to develop brands online.