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Is Lee Frecklington Lincoln City’s Finest Ever Export?

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Over the years, some top-class players have made their way through the academy setup at Lincoln City. One-time England squad member Scott Loach is the player that immediately springs to mind. However, historically, perhaps the finest player to have ever been given their first chance at Sincil Bank is Lee Frecklington.

The Irish-born midfielder made his name with the Imps and then went on to star at Peterborough United. From there, he became a Rotherham United icon and then finally returned home to lift some silverware before drifting off into retirement.

The Breakthrough

Frecklington’s journey to success was marked by a series of commendable displays in non-league football – he showcased his abilities during various loan spells. In December 2005, his talent was duly recognised, and he was promptly included on the Imps’ substitute bench.

As the 2005/2006 season unfolded, City became an outsider for promotion from League Two, just as the bookies have made them this term albeit in the division above. Frecklington seized every opportunity presented to him and featured in 20 matches for the club – all in all, he found the back of the net on two occasions.

In the subsequent campaign, he emerged as a crucial individual in the push for promotion under the guidance of John Schofield. Nonetheless, the surge eventually stumbled as the Imps fell short in the play-offs against Bristol Rovers. The Gasheads, in turn, clinched promotion by defeating Shrewsbury Town at the newly restored Wembley Stadium. Throughout the entirety of the year, Frecklington delivered sensational performances, which secured him a well-deserved place in the League Two Team of the Season.

In the forthcoming years, Frecklington continued to impress and made a name for himself among avid followers of the Football League. His remarkable feats earned him a transfer to Peterborough United on the last day of the transfer window in 2009. It was with the Posh that he played a vital role in securing promotion to the Championship not once, but twice.

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In the winter of 2013, Rotherham United were settling into their brand-new home, the impressive New York Stadium. The polarising figure, Steve Evans, was chosen amidst a myriad of rival applicants to lead the charge. However, despite high expectations, the team’s performance fell short, which forced them to fend off competition and secure the acquisition of Frecklington. This purchase proved to be an absolute game-changer for the club.

Initially arriving on loan, Frecklington proved to be an innovator on the field and netted a series of pivotal goals. Among his notable achievements was a memorable strike against local rivals Bradford City, which propelled the club into the coveted automatic promotion spots with a mere two matches remaining. Not content with this triumph, he rose to the occasion once again on the last day of the season and bagged the decisive goal at home against Aldershot Town to secure promotion.

During that eventful summer, the club finalised the permanent signing of Frecklington, and his remarkable goal-scoring ability continued to leave spectators in awe. In a truly breathtaking start to the League One campaign, Frecklington delivered a thunderous last-minute strike, which ensured that the team secured a crucial point away against Crewe Alexandra.

He displayed his talent by going on to score an impressive total of nine goals, including a memorable goal in the League One playoffs against Preston North End. This goal propelled the Millers towards a decisive encounter with Leyton Orient at Wembley, where they clinched a thrilling victory in a heart-stopping penalty shootout, ultimately earning themselves a well-deserved promotion to the Championship.

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