About Us

About the site

The Stacey West is a fan-led website dedicated to bringing you the latest news, views and opinions of all things Lincoln City. We cover some of the latest news in League One as well and often look at stories from a Lincoln bias.

We have a thriving YouTube channel with video content, and a podcast which delivers weekly news and reviews, as well as the odd special.

In order for you to meet the team properly, we’ve all filled out a few bits for you to enjoy.

Gary Hutchinson – Editor

I’m Gary Hutchinson, a freelance writer and blogger, and for over thirty years now, I’ve been supporting Lincoln City. I’ve written about the Imps for as long as I can remember, with letters to the Sports Echo, a gig blogging for Sky Sports and my own attempts at an early blog, ‘The Mascot Diaries‘.

In 2016, suffering from anxiety and stress brought about by a job in management, I decided to start writing a football blog as a release and to give me some focus. At the end of 2016, I found myself nominated for ‘Best New Blog’ at the Football Blogging Awards, reaching the final ten and the awards ceremony at Old Trafford. From that moment on, I’ve known what I want to do with my life. I’ve been a finalist there twice more, in 2018 and 2019, but stopped pushing entry after that. I was also a finalist at the FSA Awards in 2019, a really proud moment for me.

I’ve now published several books, most of which are collections of match reports etc from each season we’ve covered on the site. I did write up my ‘memoirs’, detailing my 16 years as Imps mascot Poacher The Imp. That’s available here.

What Do You Do For The SW?

I am the editor and creator. I co-host the Stacey West Podcast, upload some of the video content to YouTube and generally keep the site up and running. I pay the bills and make the big decisions in terms of content.

What Was Your First Game?

Hartlepool at home on October 5th, 1986. We lost 4-1 after going 1-0 up at half time.

Best Moment As An Imps Fan & Why?

It’s hard to pick a single moment, but few can really live up to the game against Macclesfield which secured our Football League status after six years in the wilderness. Relegation to the National League in 2011 was tough, and it felt like my club was dying year after year. That moment when Terry Hawkridge bagged the winner against Macclesfield in April 2017 was just such a huge relief, and it is hard to envisage a moment ever feeling quite so important again.

Worst Moment As An Imps Fan & Why?

My worst moment as an Imps fan wasn’t an obvious one. It was at half time of a game against Hereford in 2010. The World Cup was on display at the ground that evening and we held a memorial service for Keith Alexander, who’d recently passed away, on the pitch at half time. I was the Imps mascot Poacher the Imp and I recall feeling at my lowest point sitting on the field at half time. I felt unappreciated by the club, heartbroken at losing Keith and I couldn’t see a way back, personally or for the club. It got worse on the field (much worse) before it got better, and it was the beginning of the end for me as Poacher.

Favourite City Player Of All Time & Why?

Peter Gain, because he was brilliant. I love a flair player, one with good feet and a penchant for the spectacular. Peter Gain was far better than the level he played at.

Your Cult Hero For City & Why?

It’s hard to pick Matt Rhead, the ‘big lump up top’ with some Matt Le Tissier-style skills. However, one of my real favourites was a midfielder called Scott Willis. One moment he was brilliant, pulling a mad goal out of the bag, the next he was getting sent off for a kung-fu kick. He could have been a big player if he’d been focused.

Why Do You Do What You Do For the SW?

Because I love this site, I love the community we’ve built up, and I love writing about Lincoln City. When I was growing up, all I wanted to be was a football journalist, and whilst print media is all-but dead, the written word is not, and never will be. I’m living the dream I had as a child, albeit a very 21st century version of it.


Malcolm Johnson – Historian

What Do You Do For The SW? 
Write historical articles
What Was Your First Game?
Don’t know for sure, so will have to say home v Liverpool 14.11.59 although it probably wasn’t.
Best Moment As An Imps Fan & Why?
The final whistle of the home win against Wycombe Wanderers 2.5.88 – the realisation that we’d done it and got back into the league.
Worst Moment As An Imps Fan & Why? 
The score coming up on 9.5.87 that Torquay had drawn their match and City were out of the league, with the expectation that we would disappear into the non-league wilderness like Barrow, Workington and Southport had done.
Favourite City Player Of All Time & Why?
Dave Smith – sheer entertainment value for so many years.
Your Cult Hero For City & Why?
Percy Freeman – big in every way, would run through defenders but also not without some skill on the ball.
Why Do You Do What You Do For the SW?
I like to try and keep alive aspects of City’s history – players, matches, etc, – to bring back memories for those who were around at the time of the things I write about or inform those who weren’t.

Ben Ward – Podcast Co-Host

What Do You Do For The SW?

Podcast Host/abuse magnet

What Was Your First Game? I

I actually don’t know which game specifically. It would have been in the 91/92 season as part of the Junior Reds. From there, I sat in the Stacey West, then the St Andrews, and finally the Linpave/Co-Op/GMB. Was part of Ringo’s Band for a number of years before I went to Uni and couldn’t commit to every home game!

Best Moment As An Imps Fan & Why?

Nathan Arnold rounding the keeper and putting it home against Ipswich in the FA Cup third-round replay. After a period of self-imposed exile from the club, it reinvigorated my passion for the club, and football in general. A moment I’ll never forget.

Worst Moment As An Imps Fan & Why? 

Either dropping out of the league in 2011, or Emley away in the cup in 97. The pain of 2011 has mostly been erased now, but that bitter cold of the McAlpine, coupled with the prospect of missing a plum tie against West Ham still hurts.

Favourite City Player Of All Time & Why?

Gareth Ainsworth. I was finding myself as a young lad, and Gareth was just the “cool” player on the team. Effortlessly brilliant, talented beyond the scope of the team, he was the first footballer to make me cry when he left.

Your Cult Hero For City & Why?

Nathan Arnold. The reason I found that spark for Lincoln City again, and ultimately the reason I’m part of the SW team, Nathan will always be my cult hero at the club, both on and off the field.

Why Do You Do What You Do For the SW?

– I approached Gaz to start the podcast because I thought it would be fun, and I was right. I love this club, and I love talking about everything going on with it. And I hope people love what we do with it as well!

Chris Laming – Podcast Co-Host

What do you do for the SW?
Podcast co-host and general football nerd.

What was your first game?
My uncle used to own the Ivy Club in Wragby and got some complimentary tickets in an executive box for the Mansfield fixture early in the 97/98 season. Although The Imps lost 2-0, I got to stay up past my bedtime and I loved the experience. I couldn’t wait to get to come and watch another match, this time in the stands. After pestering my parents relentlessly for a couple of weeks, my first “proper” match was the home 1-1 home draw vs Torquay in October 1997. I quite simply fell in love and the rest is history.

Best moment as an Imps fan and why?
This is a tough one. There have obviously been quite a few highs in recent years but I have to pick beating Macclesfield to secure the National League title and our place back in the EFL. There were so many magical moments that season culminating in lifting the trophy and one of the few times I’ve cried at football.

Worst moment as an Imps fan and why?
The obvious answer for this 2011 and being relegated but the pain of relegation eases over time; without it we wouldn’t have experienced the highs of promotion. My worst moment was losing the play-off final to Southend. Our first visit to the Millennium Stadium wasn’t really about the result. It was a celebration of an against-all-odds promotion push after almost losing the club a year earlier. But, our next visit was all about the result and losing that match marked the beginning of the end of Keith’s reign and the breaking up of the squad of heroes we all came to love. I still wonder, “what could have been?” to this day.

Favourite City player of all time & why?
In my humble opinion, Alan Marriott is still the best goalkeeper I’ve ever seen at Lincoln. I was fortunate enough to be brought up in the Imps Academy as a youngster and as a less-than-towering goalkeeper myself; Mazza was everything I wanted to be. He was reliable, an outstanding shot-stopper, good with his feet in an era where it wasn’t appreciated and dominant in his box despite not being the tallest. Alan Marriott was my hero and always will be. It’s still a travesty he missed out on a testimonial, as he was easily good enough to step up a division (or maybe two) earlier in his Imps career.

Your cult hero for City and why?
Michael Bostwick. A warrior on the pitch and a gentleman off it. His ferocious competitiveness and thunderous tackles endeared him to Imps fans but how this compared to his conduct away from the pitch is what really makes him stand out from the crowd. He had no desire for the limelight, glitz and glamour associated with being a professional footballer. He was all about the football and I love that.

Why do you do what you do for the SW?
I was an avid consumer of The Stacey West’s written content and a weekly listener on the podcast pretty much since its inception, so when Gary asked me to join him as a guest presenter it felt like a dream come true. Unbeknownst to me, that guest appearance was a trial, and I was fortunate enough to secure a permanent deal shortly after. I thoroughly enjoy discussing all things Lincoln City every week or so, and I hope you all enjoy listening.

Graham Burrell – Photographer

Graham ‘Bubs’ Burrell has been taking photos on a match day at Sincil Bank for 20 years now. It’s a hobby for him to get up and down the country snapping away and he very generously offers The Stacey west match pictures from every game he goes to.

His pictures chart our successes and failures and his input in the site and also the magazine is invaluable. One day, when these ventures are the cornerstone of a proper publishing business, Bubs will be officially titled. Until then he has my deepest thanks for his unwavering support.

Recently we worked together on a book, Imperfect Focus, which we still have available through ourselves. We’re currently looking at doing a second one from his extensive back catalogue because, after all is said and done, all Bubs wants is for people to see his pictures. Top photographer and top guy all round.


Charlie Beeston – Digital Content

What do you do for the Stacey West: Each week I get the chance to sit down with opposition fans and preview the upcoming game.
First Imps game: August 26th (Friday Night), 1-1 draw at home against Stockport.
Best moment as an Imps fan and why? Tom Hoppers Goal away at Sunderland in the playoff semi-final. I’ve never celebrated a goal in front of the TV as much as that.
Worst moment as an Imps Fan? I’ve really not had too many bad ones but if I were to pick one then I think the game away at Chippenham 22/23 is without a doubt up there.
Favourite City player of all time: Matt Rhead is obviously near if not the very top. A great persona on the pitch, and a great player.
Cult Hero for City: For this, I’m going with my pick for our most underrated player of recent years. Tayo Edun. I genuinely think he was one of the most pivotal players in that playoff run. Some great runs and ran that side of the pitch when he played. He’s one of the very few players I’d actively want us to bring back.
Why do you what you do for the SW? For the same reason as everyone else on this page; I love football. I love talking to people about football and the Imps specifically. I always want to learn more about football, so my role in doing the previews is the perfect opportunity for me to do this. I hope that comes across!

Tom Morton – Previews

What Do You Do For The SW? 
I write the weekly Scout File match preview articles.
What Was Your First Game?
Hard to say, but it will have been some time in the mid-90s when my dad started to take my brother and me. I have sort of two chunks of time as a committed fan, from the mid-90s to around 2006, before I went to university. Then from probably 2015 onwards.
Best Moment As An Imps Fan & Why?
Obviously, our visit to Wembley capped off with a win. A privilege to see your team achieve in that venue – and being able to take 25,000 fans made it very loud and very special.
Worst Moment As An Imps Fan & Why? 
I think, personally, a soulless 4-0 loss at the Stadium of Light a few years ago. There wasn’t even an atmosphere from Sunderland fans because it was their low point, and they barely scraped 10,000, I think. Horrible stadium, horrid result – never again!
Favourite City Player Of All Time & Why?
I will always have a soft spot for Matt Rhead; was he our best-ever player? No, of course not, but he was so committed on the pitch & led us out of the National League.
Your Cult Hero For City & Why?
Simon Yeo; Lots of great players from this era, but Yeo was the playoff specialist and helped take us to the Millenium Stadium (which actually was a great day out, despite the losses). Very chalk and cheese, though – I remember his key goals but also the time he was sent off for blasting a ball at Ball Boy out of frustration.
Why Do You Do What You Do For the SW?
I enjoy writing, and it’s just a privilege to have my work out there for people to read.

Henry Elwell

What Do You Do For The SW?
I Edit down podcast episodes and create short-form clips for TikTok & YouTube Shorts.

What Was Your First Game
In Year 2, me and a friend were given free tickets to Lincoln vs Dartford (Feb 9 2013) after winning some form of school competition. My family aren’t massively into football, with only my dad liking it and being a Sheffield Wednesday supporter, but luckily, I never became a fan of that team.

Best Moment As An Imps Fan & Why?
The FA Cup run of 2016-17 season stands out heavily. Need I say more? Breaking history and putting an imprint on the competition for years to come.

Worst Moment As An Imps Fan & Why?
Since my time of being a Lincoln supporter, I can’t say I’ve seen some “terrible” moments. Mostly, the club has been on the up. I’d probably have to say that loss in the EFL League One Playoffs against Blackpool. Or really losing against Chippenham in the FA Cup, which was quite embarrassing.

Favourite City Player Of All Time & Why?
It has to be Matt Rhead. I love big strikers, and Rhead fits that profile. He also got under Joey Barton’s skin, which is always a plus.

Your Cult Hero For City & Why?
Brooke Norton-Cuffy. Some may view this as a peculiar choice, but for me, has was brilliant. He played excellently for the most part, and I loved seeing him dart across the pitch.

Why Do You Do What You Do For the SW?
I love sports, I love football, and I love Lincoln City. By the end of this academic year, I hope to be studying Sports Journalism at the University of Lincoln. I felt like it would be a great opportunity to gain some valuable experience in the world of Sports Journalism.

Chris Wray – Cartoonist

I first met Gary after picking up a copy of the revived Deranged Ferret fanzine in 2016. “It’s really good, but it needs a cartoon”, I said. “Can you draw?” Gary replied. I gave it a go, and The Cowley Method cartoon strip was born.

Gary’s been kind enough to publish my scribblings in fanzines, books, magazines and blogs, and I’m honoured that they’re deemed good enough for The Stacey West. My initial submission to the Deranged Ferret – poking fun at Tom Champion, an easy source of humour – has spiralled into over fifty editions of The Cowley Method, and hopefully, they have amused along the way. I draw for the same reasons that Gary writes: as an escape from my demons and a way to de-stress. As a maths and physics teacher, there’s much to escape from daily!





  1. Enjoying your blog Gary. Do you take requests like a DJ? If I had your creative writing ability (and access to social media beyond an old LinkedIn account) then I would do a piece on how we are in danger of getting like Man City a few years back. No – keep with me on this – I know we don’t have loads of cash. But, do you recall how years of disappointment and near misses corrupted the minds of the (other) City fans? They were used to the routine of conceding last minute goals and suffering indignities (a famous one delivered by you know who!) They always feared the worst. When winning the Premiership they never really believed it would happen. Their points gap started to narrow. Then on the last game of the season against QPR they were throwing it away. Fans nodded in the crowd as if to say “I told you so”; “this is our destiny – to lose”. And then something amazing happened – cue Martin Tyler… Anyway, can’t you feel it happening? When I get my BBC app winking at me telling me that there has been a goal in a Lincoln match, you know what I assume don’t you? When we are losing 2-1 at FGR and I am freezing and depressed, you know my thought process – City don’t get last minute goals.. Well, just like those Man City fans, I am wrong. This just doesn’t “feel” like a normal Imps side. We might just have to get used to the “new normal”.

    There – take this as my starter for 10 and run with it.


  2. Gary. Time to do more investigating. Who won manager of the month for November? DC won it for October, but the November winner just hasn’t been announced as far as I can see. Did the league just forget? Our form in November was even better. Should have been between DC and Cox of Barrow. Or have I missed something?

  3. Hi Gary. Could you help publicise this event pls? You can delete this msg. Sorry I couldn’t find direct contact link, I have tweeted you. Thanks:
    * #ImpvasionCarnivalHour: Carnival Hour of Lincoln City songs by 1,000+ Imps fans, 3.30-4.30pm Sat March 11 (2hrs to 1hr before kick-off of Arsenal v Lincoln FA Cup quarter-final)
    * By Thierry Henry statue, the main meeting place at Emirates Stadium, at south-west corner of stadium near away fans entrance, off Benwell Road.
    * Arsenal FA Cup quarter-final is biggest Lincoln game in our history & probably the rest of our lives. We’re doing something massive, showing the world how awesome & fun our fans are.
    * Share Twitter hashtag #ImpvasionCarnivalHour & invite anyone on facebook public event page https://goo.gl/hlDe65 https://www.facebook.com/events/259408084514548/
    * Carnival, fun atmosphere, Arsenal fans very welcome for a singalong.
    * How could we improve/alter idea? Add comment and be honest! I’ll edit page as needed. Any other ideas to mark the game?
    Meeting point:

  4. Having just your report I 100% agree with your running up of the clowns you have managing your team “thugs”
    I an a Rotherham United fan and my seat is behind the home dugout. Like you week in week out I had to endure their antics and foul mouth rants. They are an embarrassment to any club they belong to.
    But grit your teeth. I don’t think they’ll be there very long.
    Craig the miller

  5. Hi,
    I am hearing that Kev Austin is not well at the moment” I remember a great pic of him in the next home programme tackling Alan Shearer when Shearer made his debut. Sorry I can’t remember which match it was! If possible could you post the pic on your blog?

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  7. Your synopsis of Rochdale is limited, misplaced and heavy handed like most media outlets.

    I’ll leave it to them to make you see the new path they will take.

    Up the Dale!

  8. Gary
    I am surprised you have not flagged up the fact that Darren Ferguson has made Alex Woodward available.
    I noticed that Alex lost the captaincy this season and has not been in the Posh squad for the last two games.
    Surely a return to Sincil Bank is on the cards.

    Kind regards
    Simon Sandland-Taylor


    Dear Gary

    First a tribute to Danny and Nic. This has been the most eliciting an run off prologues optimism in my 70 years of being an Imps supporter.

    The club ethos has changed, the generosity and kindness in the community is refreshed. I have achieved unbelievable ambitions like. Wembley success with Imps, championships galore, FA game at Emirates (I flew back from Sydney and went straight to the match)

    The capital of the club has increased to give us a base for future success. Training ground, pool of players and staff. We are in a good place.

    Thank you Crowley’s and best of luck for your futures. We wish you well but know that other good men exist to take over your role.

    Now consider what else has happened in the last 3 years. Just how much of the overall success and stability is down to the good work of Clive Nate’s, Roger Bates, Liam Scully and many more. I think a good slice of the success lies in these hands. Staff selection, raising funds, managing issues, keeping calm and only saying in public what is constructive.this is business management and it has been at the highest level.

    I am confident as we go forward of more success. A new manager will be chosen and he will be given the same support from Directors and the club.

    All we need to do as supporters is to continue our unbending support to players and Directors. Let’s have a 10.000 gate against Bristol Rovers and endorse our support for the next stage of this exciting time. We’re a League 2 club now with aspirations fur Championship status in good time. That’s where we were in 1952 when I first came.



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  12. Listened to your dog walk podcast and your comments about Max Melbourne and left back or centre back options. No mention whatsoever about Ben Coker, what’s your opinion of his suitability for centre back

  13. My father was an apprentice in the early 1950 , his name was James Joseph, (joe) smith , he was signed with another young Irish player named McCamley, We have his player re card and letters from the manager / scout who sighed him but are looking to hopefully turn up further information..ie local newspaper match reports .