Lincoln City FC
 

 

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THE MANAGERS

When Gary Simpson took charge of a Conference National fixture at Woking on March 2nd 2013 he became the 33rd person since the Second World War to occupy the managerial hot seat either permanently or as a caretaker, and the fifth to have commenced a second stint in charge of the Club.

Pre-WW2 the role of the manager was vastly different to the job of today's boss and the actual selection of the team was decided upon by the Club's board of directors, a situation that continued until Joe McClelland was appointed in 1936 when he submitted his team to the board for their approval!

Prior to the appointment of McClelland eight people had borne the title of Secretary-Manager.

John Henry Strawson, who played for City in the very first season of 1884/85, was involved from the early days until just after WW1. He was secretary between 1884 and 1896 and returned as secretary-manager between 1907 and 1919. Most of our many re-election pleas in the early days were successful because of Strawson's work behind the scenes in appealing to the other clubs so it is perhaps fair to say he can be credited with us still having a Football League club to support today. He was also a Football League referee between 1888 and 1905 and auditor between 1895 and 1919. He was given a long service award by the League in 1919.

Alf Martin spent a year as secretary-manager between February 1896 and March 1897 but will be remembered best for the team of 1896/97 being probably the worst in the Club's history. He left after the Club's accounts were said to be inaccurate.

James West (March 1897-September 1900) was also a Football League referee and later moved to Newton Heath where he received a Football League ban for making illegal payments to players and David Calderhead Snr, a former player (September 1900 to May 1907), who left to spend 26 years at Chelsea were the other pre-WW1 secretary-managers.

Another former player, George Fraser (September 1919 to April 1921), David Calderhead Jnr (April 1921 to May 1924) and Horace Henshall (May 1924 to June 1927) guided the Club through the financial crisis of the immediate post WW1 seasons before Harry Parkes (June 1927 to May 1936) became the first man to help bring a League title to Sincil Bank when we won the Third Division North title in 1931/32. Joe McClelland arrived in June 1936 and was in charge through out WW2 before handing over to his assistant Bill Anderson in July 1947.

Bill Anderson, appointed in July 1947, was the first person to be given the right to select the team without interference from the board and he went on to be in charge until 1964, easily our longest serving manager and he still remains in the Top 20 longest stints at any Football League club.

Con Moulson was a surprise choice as coach in January 1965 as he was 58 years old and employed at Rustons! Another former player, Moulson lasted just eight games, all defeats, before Roy Chapman became player-coach in March 1965. His spell ended in October 1966 when Ron Gray began a near four-year stint, which at least saw an end to the near yearly relegation or re-election pleas the Club had suffered during the 1960's. The current nickname of "The Red Imps" began during Gray's spell.

Coach Bert Loxley was a reluctant replacement for Gray in 1970 with his spell in charge lasting less than a year before being replaced by David Herd. Loxley stayed on as physio until 1986.

Herd himself lasted less than two years in his only managerial role before the Club appointed 28-year-old player Graham Taylor as the new boss. It took 12 games before he gained his first win but gradually he rebuilt the team culminating in the near miss of 1974/75 and the record breaking 1975/76 season. He stayed until June 1977 before joining Watford and eventually becoming England manager.

George Kerr, Taylor's assistant, was given the unenvious task of following in his footsteps but he was dismissed after half a season as ex-Birmingham City boss Willie Bell arrived. Again the manager lasted less than a year and with City in all sorts of trouble at the bottom of Division Three he resigned to join a religious group in America. Jim McCalliog took over temporarily until Colin Murphy arrived in November 1978.

Murphy's spell lasted until May 1985 and included promotion in 1980/81 and the near misses of 1981/82 and 1982/83. He left after the Bradford match in 1985 and, as when Taylor left, the Club again appointed from within with assistant John Pickering taking over. Again the move didn't pay off as Pickering was sacked in December 1985 and George Kerr returned. He couldn't prevent relegation and despite being seventh at Christmas the following season he was sacked in March 1987 as we plummeted down the table.

Peter Daniel was appointed caretaker-manager for the final two months but was unable to inspire the side and we were relegated from the Football League. Colin Murphy was reappointed and took us straight back up but the momentum couldn't be maintained and he left after two seasons back.

Allan Clarke was the big name to replace him but again it was a short-lived appointment as he lasted just 179 days before being sacked with the Imps second bottom of Division Four. Again the Club appointed from within with Steve Thompson taking over. He saved us from relegation with an inspired run in the second half of the season but when it was clear we would miss out on the play-offs in May 1993 he left before the final match of the season and Keith Alexander took over. He blooded youngsters and generally played an attractive passing game the following season but results went against us, particularly after Christmas, and was sacked after just one season.

Another ex-Imp was the new boss as Sam Ellis returned. Coincidentally he had been assisting Alexander during the latter months of his tenure but things didn't improve under Ellis and a disappointing start to 1995/96 saw him sacked. Chairman John Reames promised a new era and an end to all the chopping and changing and Steve Wicks was appointed as head coach. Forty-two days and no wins later Wicks was gone and John Beck arrived.

Beck's appointment was not universally welcomed but he managed to steady the ship and avoid relegation to the Conference in his first season. He rebuilt the side and although not always pleasing to watch he laid the foundations for promotion in 1997/98. Beck though wasn't at the Club as Chairman John Reames had sacked him in March for taking unauthorised time off. Shane Westley was the new man in charge but a disappointing start to 1998/99 saw him dismissed in November and Reames himself took over the manager's role, assisted by Phil Stant! The Club were relegated and after a season in the basement Reames hands over to Stant for 2000/01.

The Club's financial problems become apparent during the season and Stant had little chance to succeed eventually being sacked after a home defeat to Leyton Orient left us once again in danger of relegation to the Conference. Former Grimsby boss Alan Buckley is appointed and manages to avoid relegation.

The financial position becomes even worse in 2001/02, not helped by a poor season on the pitch. Buckley leaves at the end and Keith Alexander is promoted to manager for his second spell. We survive administration and, despite being relegation favourites, reach the play-offs for the first time. Although a great day we lose to Bournemouth, a feeling we get to know only too well!

Keith's spell in charge was anything but uneventful with his illness (when Gary Simpson took over) and gardening leave (leaving John Schofield in charge for a game) and the four play-off appearances but he departed in the summer of 2006 leading to the appointment of Schofield, who departed two months into his second season following a run of just seven wins in 32 League games. Youth team coach and record appearance holder Grant Brown took over in a caretaker capacity before former Huddersfield Town boss Peter Jackson took over the managerial reins.

Four months into his tenure, Jackson revealed that he would be absent for the final two months of the season having been diagnosed with throat cancer, so in stepped his newly appointed assistant Iffy Onuora to take over first team affairs. Jackson returned to the helm in the summer of 2008 but, following a run of poor form, which saw the Imps score just three goals in 11 competitive matches, he parted company with the Club along with Onuora. First Team Coach Simon Clark was duly put in temporary charge before former England international Chris Sutton was appointed as the new boss.

Sutton was manager for exactly 12 months before handing in his resignation, with coach Scott Lindsey placed in charge in a caretaker capacity before Steve Tilson joined the Club in October 2010.

MANAGER RECORDS (Football League stats only):-

Name

Tenure

P

W

D

L

%W

%D

%L

John Strawson

Sep 1892-Feb 1896

97

31

11

55

31.96

11.34

56.70

Alf Martin

Feb 1896-Mar 1897

35

9

2

24

25.71

5.71

68.57

James West

Mar 1897-Sep 1900

106

34

22

50

32.08

20.75

47.17

David Calderhead Snr

Sep 1900-May 1907

246

86

51

109

34.96

20.73

44.31

Jack Strawson

Aug 1907-May 1919

228

62

49

117

27.19

21.49

51.32

George Fraser

Sep 1919-Apr 1921

42

9

9

24

21.43

21.43

57.14

David Calderhead Jnr

Apr 1921-May 1924

118

37

28

53

31.36

23.73

44.92

Horace Henshall

May 1924-Jun 1927

126

50

25

51

39.68

19.84

40.48

Harry Parkes

Jun 1927-May 1936

376

178

76

122

47.34

20.21

32.45

Joe McClelland

Jun 1936-Jul 1947

168

73

29

66

43.45

17.26

39.29

Bill Anderson

Jul 1947-Jan 1965

762

276

168

318

36.22

22.05

41.73

Con Moulson

Jan 1965-Mar 1965

8

0

0

8

0.00

0.00

100.00

Roy Chapman

Mar 1965-Oct 1966

68

16

17

35

23.53

25.00

51.47

Ron Gray

Oct 1966-May 1970

172

59

51

62

34.30

29.65

36.05

Bert Loxley

Jul 1970-Mar 1971

31

11

4

16

35.48

12.90

51.61

David Herd

Mar 1971-Dec 1972

82

30

30

22

36.59

36.59

26.83

Graham Taylor

Dec 1972-Jun 1977

209

97

60

52

46.41

28.71

24.88

George Kerr

Jun 1977-Dec 1977

20

5

5

10

25.00

25.00

50.00

Willie Bell

Dec 1977-Oct 1978

40

11

13

16

27.50

32.50

40.00

Jim McCalliog*

Oct 1978-Nov 1978

2

0

0

2

0.00

0.00

100.00

Colin Murphy

Nov 1978-May 1985

306

121

89

96

39.54

29.08

31.37

John Pickering

Jul 1985-Dec 1985

21

4

6

11

19.05

28.57

52.38

George Kerr

Dec 1985-Mar 1987

57

16

17

24

28.07

29.82

42.11

Peter Daniel*

Mar 1987-May 1987

14

2

5

7

14.29

35.71

50.00

Colin Murphy

May 1987-May 1990

92

36

24

32

39.13

26.09

34.78

Allan Clarke

Jun 1990-Nov 1990

15

2

6

7

13.33

40.00

46.67

Steve Thompson

Nov 1990-May 1993

114

46

31

37

40.35

27.19

32.46

Keith Alexander*

May 1993

1

1

0

0

100.00

0.00

0.00

Keith Alexander

May 1993-May 1994

42

12

11

19

28.57

26.19

45.24

Sam Ellis

May 1994-Sep 1995

47

16

12

19

34.04

25.53

40.43

Steve Wicks

Sep 1995-Oct 1995

7

0

2

5

0.00

28.57

71.43

John Beck

Oct 1995-Mar 1998

115

44

36

35

38.26

31.30

30.43

Shane Westley

Mar 1998-Nov 1998

28

9

4

15

32.14

14.29

53.57

John Reames

Nov 1998-May 2000

75

25

19

31

33.33

25.33

41.33

Phil Stant

May 2000-Feb 2001

30

6

10

14

20.00

33.33

46.67

Alan Buckley

Mar 2001-Apr 2002

62

16

21

25

25.81

33.87

40.32

Keith Alexander

May 2002-May 2006

173

67

62

44

38.73

35.84

25.43

Gary Simpson*

Nov 2003-Mar 2004

11

5

4

2

45.45

36.36

18.18

John Schofield

Jun 2006-Oct 2007

57

23

13

21

40.35

22.81

36.84

Grant Brown*

Oct 2007

2

0

1

1

0.00

50.00

50.00

Peter Jackson

Nov 2007-Sep 2009

73

27

18

28

36.99

24.66

38.36

Iffy Onuora*

Mar 2008-May 2008

11

5

0

6

45.45

0.00

54.55

Simon Clark*

Sep 2009

5

1

0

4

20.00

0.00

80.00

Chris Sutton

Sep 2009-Sep 2010

45

12

13

20

26.67

28.89

44.44

Scott Lindsey*

Sep 2010-Oct 2010

3

1

0

2

33.33

0.00

66.67

Steve Tilson

Oct 2010-Oct 2011

34

10

6

18

29.41

17.65

52.94

Grant Brown*

Oct 2011

0

0

0

0

0.00

0.00

0.00

David Holdsworth

Oct 2011-Feb 2013

0

0

0

0

0.00

0.00

0.00

Grant Brown*

Feb 2013

0

0

0

0

0.00

0.00

0.00

Gary Simpson

Feb 2013-

0

0

0

0

0.00

0.00

0.00

Records prior to Bill Anderson are just a guide to how the team performed as team selection was down to the Directors’ final say.

* indicates Caretaker Manager capacity 

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