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’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. 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!


Jake Tonge – Podcast Co-Host

What do you do for the SW?

I mainly focus on the YouTube channel for the blog, creating video content. This mainly consists of a Preview Show, in which I speak to an opposing fan each week to preview the game, as well as give my own little take on the game prior. Myself and Chris Konrath have also started a new series called ‘The West End Imps Show’ in which we sit down on a Sunday morning and review the game of the day before. That way there’s some immediate reaction for you around 24 hours after the game has finished.

I’m also the third/fourth/fifth wheel for the main podcast in which I make appearances when required to step in and help out.

What was your first game?

From what I can remember, the first Lincoln game that I ever attended was a friendly match against Liverpool, I believe it was the year we sold Jack Hobbs to them in our record sale. I sat in what is now the South Stand and ever since then I’d become hooked on all things Imps

Best moment as an Imps fan?

I have to say I think the best moment that I’ve experienced as a supporter of Lincoln City would have to be the moment the final whistle blew against Macclesfield back in 2017. We had been on a bit of a rollercoaster ride that season with the cup runs and the league title swinging between us, Forest Green and Tranmere. It hurt me inside every week I would go and watch us play in the National League but that season made all that suffering and pain worth it. To secure promotion in the manner that we did that season, has to be up there on any Imps favourite moment.

Worst moment?

There’s been a few results that we’ve had whilst down in the National League that come to mind. There’s also the date in which we were condemned to fifth tier football the day Aldershot sent us down. I think the moment that stands out for me during the National League years would be a defeat to Grimsby. I know we had plenty of them whilst we were down there. The Boxing Day/New Years Day double header used to fill me with dread when we played them, given that they were always flying towards the top of the league whilst we were pretty average at best most the seasons down there. The 4-1 home defeat in 2012/2013 was extremely damning and was definitely a low point of our time down in the depths of non-league.

Favourite City Player?

I think my favourite City player of all time has got to be Matt Rhead. For someone of my age, I don’t think there’s anybody else that has won the hero status since he came to the football club. I can remember that first season that we signed him, he scored 15/20 goals in an average Lincoln side, including a few screamers aka the overhead against Barrow. As Lincoln stepped up through the leagues, he was a constant. During the title winning year of 16/17, he was sensational. He scored a few and kept us all entertained with his antics. Even stepping up into L2 he was sensational, playing a huge part in our Checkatrade trophy win.

Cult Hero?

Sierra-Leone international Albert Jarrett is my Lincoln City cult hero. In a system which was a real hit long and hope it lands at the feet of Ashley Grimes, the way that Albert tried to play football the right way won me over. He was the first player in which I got his name on my home shirt and a player that I felt wasn’t used optimally during his time with the Imps.

A tidy player who maybe if he arrived 10 years later than he did, might’ve been seen in a different light by City supporters.

Why do I do the SW?

I have always enjoyed creating content for various platforms following my decision to become a ‘football journalist’. I put that in brackets due to the fact that it often gets brought up amongst my friendship ground and the team here at the Stacey West. During my time at university, I really enjoyed the broadcasting element and felt that was where I felt most comfortable, rather than producing written copy. I noticed the YouTube platform for the SW could do with some regular video content for the fanbase and decided to plug a gap.

I produce the content ultimately for you guys so that you have the access to the views of different people to spark debate, as I believe that’s what being a fanbase is all about. I meet some great people through doing the content and have made some very good friends during the short period. Knappers (Cods Vlogs) and Tom (FourNilWrittenAllOverIt) are now very good friends of mine having met and collaborated with them on a few projects.

I sincerely hope that you all enjoy the content that we produce. Both the Preview Show and West End Imps show have been well received since starting up and I can’t thank you all enough. Every time I get stopped at a game, or out on the streets in town, it makes all the effort worth the while.


Samuel Rowson – Contributor

What Do You Do For The SW?
I am one the newest writers and I write League One updates and post match fan/team reaction.
What Was Your First Game?
I’ve asked my Dad on this one as I would have been too young to remember but it would be during the 00/01 season. He thinks potentially the home game vs Chesterfield which was a 1-1 draw. We would have sat in what is now the Uni of Lincoln stand and I thought half time was full time and was ready to leave. My first full season was the 01/02 season and have been hooked ever since.
Best Moment As An Imps Fan & Why?
In recent Lincoln history there have been many highs, the one that sticks out for me was the Wembley final in 2018. I never thought we’d be in the position to see Lincoln play at the home of football let alone win. Unbelievable day, great memories. Only thing that would have made it better would have been a Rheady goal!
Worst Moment As An Imps Fan & Why?
The 2011 relegation to the National League is definitely up there. It was probably one of the only home games I missed that season. However that moment doesn’t stick in my mind as much, it is more the next couple of seasons in which we really languished and struggled. And regularly getting beat by teams such as Bath and Carshalton just made it even worse.
Favourite City Player Of All Time & Why?
One of my favourite players would have to be Simon Yeo. In my first few seasons players like him cemented my love for Lincoln and ultimately made me want to go back and watch. Also for the role he played in that Alexander team of 2002-2005 and getting us to those finals in Cardiff. If only his goal against Southend had counted, and our later noughties seasons could have been a whole lot different.
Your Cult Hero For City & Why?
Who else but Matt Rhead. A player who was heavily involved in a turning point in our clubs’ history during a 4 year spell. He was a main cog who contributed to our most successful period in history with three trophies in three years. His antics in front of goalkeepers before a freekick was taken, his battle with Joey Barton in the FA Cup, the aerial dominance and for that bicycle kick in his first season. I could write a list as long as my arm for this man. LEGEND.
Why Do You Do What You Do For the SW?
I write for the Stacey West because I love to get involved with anything football related. I have a passion for Lincoln City and a new found one for writing articles so its a perfect mix. Plus doing the weekly research on League One as a whole keeps me more connected to the League and to Lincoln.

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 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!

 

 

 

27 Comments

  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.

    UTI

  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:
    https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Thierry+Henry+Statue/@51.5548885,-0.108438,15z/data=!4m12!1m6!3m5!1s0x0:0x3600713c8382cf90!2sEmirates+Stadium!8m2!3d51.5548885!4d-0.108438!3m4!1s0x0:0x998f16a5d9983b55!8m2!3d51.5539522!4d-0.1096299

  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

  9. LIFE AFTER DANNY

    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.

    UTMI

    Richard

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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 .