About the site
The Stacey West is a fan led blog / website dedicated to bringing you the latest news, views and opinion 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, so please be warned.
We will accept reader contributions, but they have to be of a certain standard and offer content worth reading.
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’m the guy with the ginger beard in the photo, the short bald bloke is my old man.
In 2016, suffering with 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.
Having finally realised I’d only ever be truly happy if I wrote about football, I gave up my job and focused entirely on writing. It’s been a massive struggle, financially and physically, but in March 2018 I became a full time freelancer for Football League World. I’ve maintained this site throughout as a labour of love. At times I’ve struggled to sit and write thanks to a degenerative spine thing, but hopefully upcoming surgery will have me sitting around just fine in the future.
I have a great team of people who contribute with guest articles and the like, but all content is submitted by me. Sometimes there may be a typo or two, sadly with me currently working on upwards of 20 articles per day I do occasionally miss the odd thing. I have a great proof reader who retrospectively checks my work when she can, which helps immensely.
I’ve now published two books, the Who’s who of Lincoln City 1993-2016, and A Season in Blogs. Both are available through Amazon. I co-wrote Imperfect Focus with my good friend Graham ‘Bubs’ Burrell too. I’ve got other projects, I edit the monthly Lincoln-based football magazine A City United and the website of the same name. I am currently penning my third (or fourth depending on how you look at it) book, an account of my life as a football mascot (I was Lincoln’s Poacher the Imp for 16 years). Obviously, I’m a Lincoln City season ticket holder and occasionally, I eat and sleep.
You can read about some of my other freelance work here.
Since 1986 I’ve been a Lincoln City fan, enjoying promotions, suffering relegations and always described the club as ‘we’.
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.
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 they 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 day to day, there’s much to escape from!
Malcolm Johnson – Historian
A third generation Lincoln City supporter who can (just!) remember the days of Andy Graver and Ron Harbertson. I was a regular at Sincil Bank, commuting to matches from Nottingham after being taken to live there at an early age, up until a move to South Wales for matrimonial reasons in 1997. Sorry to say I then only followed City’s fortunes at arm’s length for many years, instead supporting my new local team in the Southern League, eventually editing their programme and doing match reports.
This began to change after a friend gave me a lift to Nailsworth to see my first City game for five years. The memorable ‘turning point of the season’ game against Forest Green was followed by all the appearances of City on TV later that season which kept making me think ‘I ought to be there’. This, coupled with a growing disenchantment over the attitudes of certain factions among Merthyr Town’s supporters led me to jump on the City bandwagon as a plastic fan as some might say, or to rediscover my roots as I would prefer to put it, and I’ve now seen more games in the past year than the previous twenty.
I’ve also turned to writing about the Imps particularly in ‘A City United’, and as with Gary, like to work towards recording as much as possible about Lincoln City and its players.
Tom Williams – The Stats Guy
I got into football because I saw the older boys playing at school and waited on the side constantly until they let me join in. I enjoyed playing so much that I thought I might like watching it too. I begged my dad to take me to a game. Thankfully he chose our local side Lincoln City and my passion was born. While I might not be as seasoned as some other Imps, I’ve stuck through the rollercoaster of my life so far.
I’ve also always liked talking and writing about my passions, especially football. This has included the stats pieces I do on here, match previews and reports for local sides for A City United, and my undergraduate dissertation on the early years of football. My writing has not only proved to be entertaining but also helped me get a job in football, something I’m greatly indebted to Gary for as he’s always promoted and encouraged my work.
I’m always keen for some debate and a chat whether about Lincoln City, football history, kits, or just about anything else vaguely related to the game we love. I also love making videos, often football related, although these have been on the backburner while I settle into a new life in Manchester.
Kyle Kennealey – Rising Star
13-year old Kyle is the newest member of our team and the rising start in amongst the aging veterans. Kyle is a Lincoln City fan who has penned pieces not only for us, but for A City United and the club programme.
Kyle’s work offers the perspective of someone who might not remember Gordon Hobson, Gareth Ainsworth or even Simon Yeo, but who is already on the way to becoming a lifelong Imps fan in his own right.
His unique perspective, that of a young man just setting out in the world of writing, can be found on the site under the ‘guest bloggers’ heading. One day, you’ll be reading his pieces in national print so we’ll enjoy his development here and take pride when he flourishes into the top sports writer we think he can become.
Jake Tonge – Contributor
A football fanatic, my friends and family often tell me that there are more things to life than football, not to me. I am a recent graduate of the country’s first-ever BA (Hons) Football Journalism from the University of Derby. Derby offered me a fantastic platform and variety of opportunities which I am now looking to utilise in the professional industry. The success of our football club has coincided during my time at university with several coursemates envious of our success, particularly the Sunderland fans. To think when I started, we were an average mid table National League side and them an established Premier League outfit, to the end of third year where we are both kicking a ball around in the same division.
Back to university, I’ve enhanced my skills with the likes of Doncaster Rovers Belles. Covering their academy and senior sides across the country. This lead to opportunities at the72.co.uk and D3D4, the latter being popular amongst Imps fans. I’ve become a part of the team on the Stacey West to cover the single thing that ties us all together. A supporter since our play-off defeat to Southend in 2005 and a season ticket holder since the dismal 2010/2011 season, it’s fair to say that I’ve seen the lowest of the low in recent years of our football club.
I will be contributing articles here and there as well as allowing supporters to get their views heard on our weekly podcast. So if you see me hanging around Sincil Bank after a game, feel free to approach me. It makes my job an awful lot easier.