Suddenly, articles about Lincoln City are everywhere.
The Times published one on our barber-jobbing forward;
the Telegraph on Rheady and his JCB past
And the Echo on a City diehard following the Imps from New Zealand.
I fall into a similar category, but not in Anglo-American nor European terrain.
I have lived in Tokyo for too long to tell.
But City's recent exploits have excited me probably more than when I was resident at LN6 0EA. More than when Derek Bell, John Fashanu, Trevor Peake, and Colin Murphy pulled the fans into Sincil Bank. But that was a long time ago. Still, me and my mixed race brood, we love Lincoln.
I scored a first half hat trick in front of Murphy, but in a development only too typical of my footballing “career”, an asthma attack struck me in the second half. Colin said no more to me. IT was clear I was no Paul Scholes; I was a skinny-whippet like player - the Kanchelskis of the team.
And Lincoln City youth team were hardly the best in the county. Hykeham Dons (Wimbledon youth outreach) and Wyberton always beat us.
The biggest difficulty I had in the years after playing was coming to terms with Class and Privilege. I yearned to look overseas and see whether the British system really was so unfair. And then in Japan, I saw the British class system realign through accents, habit, and impulses. But ways to success can transcend all barriers; planning and work which Danny Cowley reflects.
Timeworn principles which he uses
Enjoy it while it lasts
It is the place I love.
And my family does too
We all love the Imps.
We all love the cathedral;
we all appreciate the welcoming view of her spires
Fate had it that I left her fair land. She made me find love overseas. I have no regrets but Lincoln is my home. Tokyo is my working city; Lincoln has taken on mystical and romantic airs
The bright lights of Tokyo; the temples of Old Kyoto;
the World Cup stadia I did sing in:
They are nothing compared to Lincoln
And nothing changes my feeling:
as far as land goes - Lincoln is forever in my heart.
My early years were spent in Arthur Street, a stones throw from Sincil Bank.
Before Thatcher set in, my family defaulted on payment for our house
And we ended up in St Giles.
Soon after Westwick Drive.
I was fortunate enough to attend Lincoln Christ’s Hospital School and in doing so I had a unique viewpoint of Class. Lincoln had it all but nobody wanted to talk about it: upper, middle, and working
, all wanted to just get on with it...
Council-estated, I worked and was surrounded by trinkets of working class culture. The people of St Giles, their friendliness could not be surpassed, but theirs was to be mocked and laughed at. Theirs was an attitude that was unsophisticated yet free of the falsity and fakery of my “friends” on the Bail.
My father took a grenade in the service of the queen. Left his blood on a Syrian battlefield. But when he left, jobs they were menial. They were underpaid. He grew disillusioned but matches at Sincil Bank brought us together. We stood on the terraces; we saw Steve Perryman fall over the ball in a victory over Spurs. We saw Harry Redknapps Bournemouth humbled in a 9-0 slaughter - his first match as manager. We did see the trails and tribulations as the entered mid 80s meltdown and brief conference glory.
Unlike many of my peers, I did A levels; I performed well. Enough to be accepted by my first choice of study, SOAS in London. Passed the interview and they accepted me, but it was not to be. No money from the family meant a gap year. A year which I “wasted” and "was wasted" as was the way of my culture of the time.
I took up a course at The University of Hull, and did live overseas. In Malaysia; in Thailand. And became a teacher. Today I remain in this profession; and happy I am too.
But Lincoln stirs my heart. When we last came back, we met season-ticket holder Uncle Terry (AKA: TIT - True Imp Terry) and saw the loss against Sutton. We met Danny Cowley, bought the new shirt, and heard the gushings of the staff about DC: (”He’s so friendly. Not like the last one. Talks to everyone…”).
Despite the loss, I know we were in good hands. I looked at the pitch.
My mind went back to playing for the youth team versus Sheffield Wednesday...