O’Donnell made a scoring debut for Sunderland, in a 3-0 win over Blackburn at Roker Park on 28 October 1905 in front of 12,000.
Time for the answers – 10/10 this week, so they will need to be harder next week…
1. Which 17-year old future captain of Scotland scored twice against City in 1960-61?
Billy Bremner, who scored for Leeds in their 3-2 win at Sincil Bank on 3 December 1960, and again in Leeds’ 7-0 win on 22 April 1961 as City sank towards the Third Division. At the time of the latter game, Leeds had just appointed a new manager – a certain Don Revie; the win over Lincoln meant they were safe from relegation, and the rest is history. A certain Willie Bell also scored in the 7-0 win.
2. When striker Dennis O’Donnell was sold to Sunderland for £370 during the 1905 close season, what was significant about the transfer?
It was City’s record transfer fee received at the time.
O’Donnell made a scoring debut for Sunderland, in a 3-0 win over Blackburn at Roker Park on 28 October 1905 in front of 12,000. Sunderland had made a poor start to the season, collecting just 3 points from their opening 9 games, and made several changes for the Blackburn game including giving debuts to O’Donnell and the wonderfully-named Irishman English McConnell. Although featuring regularly, he did not score again until the 7-2 win over bottom side Wolves on 10 March 1906 and finished his only season with 5 goals from 21 appearances. He was released at the end of the season and added very few appearances or goals to his record for QPR, Notts County and Bradford Park Avenue before a career that had promised so much spluttered to a complete halt in 1909.
3. Who holds Lincoln’s appearance record outside the Football League?
Alan Power, who has appeared for City in each of the five Conference/National League seasons since relegation. As at the end of the 2015-16 season, he has made a total of 216 appearances (192 Conference, 17 FA Cup, and 7 FA Trophy), scoring 32 goals. He is currently 46th in the all-time appearances table.
4. What strange quirk connects Lincoln’s first ever away game in the Football League with their first ever home game in the Football League?
The opponents were the same – Sheffield United. City lost 2-4 at Bramall Lane on the opening day (3 September 1892), their goals coming from Scottish strike-force Robert Cameron and John Irving in front of 4,000. Due to the vagaries of some very strange fixture lists of the day, the same two sides met at John O’Gaunts four weeks later where City ran out 1-0 winners, the goal coming from Cameron in front of 2,000. It was to be one of only three defeats suffered by United as they won election to the First Division at the end of the season.
5. City’s average gate in season 1991-92 was just 2,874, so why did 7,884 turn up to see the last game of the season against Blackpool?
Blackpool were chasing promotion from the Fourth Division, and had a very large following. Blackpool came into the game in third place (three went up automatically) two points ahead of fourth-placed Mansfield, and needing just a point to guarantee promotion. Two goals from Matt Carmichael gave in-form City a 2-0 win whilst Mansfield took the final promotion place with a 2-1 home win over Rochdale. Blackpool eventually won promotion, though, beating Scunthorpe on penalties in the play-off final on 23 May.
6. What is Jamie Forrester the only Lincoln City player to have done?
Score two hat-tricks away from home in the same season. He scored all 4 City goals at Mansfield on 26 August 2006 and followed that up with 3 more at Barnet on 14 October. He made it a hat-trick of hat-tricks the following Saturday with 3 more against Rochdale, this time at Sincil Bank. He was the first player to score 3 hat-tricks in a season since Derek Bell in 1982-83, and the first since Bell to score hat-tricks in successive games.
7. The son of which former City captain was killed in a car crash on 31 October 2001?
28-year old Timothy Ellis, son of former City skipper and manager Sam. Sam was a coach at Burnley at the time.
8. Which international striker joined the Imps in 1969-70 but failed to impress?
Northern Ireland’s Ray Gaston, who joined City on loan from Oxford at the end of February 1970 following a serious injury to Trevor Meath and the sale of Jack Lewis to Grimsby. Despite scoring on his debut, a 2-1 defeat at Scunthorpe , he was substituted during a 2-0 home defeat to Chesterfield three weeks later and never appeared again. His solitary full cap had come as a substitute for Derek Dougan in the 70th minute of a 3-2 win over Israel in Jaffa on 10 September 1968; although he was called up to both the full and U23 squads on several more occasions, he never played for Northern Ireland again. He was released by Oxford at the end of that season and returned to Northern Ireland to rejoin his former club Coleraine before becoming disenchanted with the game and retiring at the age of just 26. He became a plasterer and still lives in Coleraine.
9. When City leapfrogged Rotherham with a 2-0 win at Millmoor in the penultimate game of the 1947-48 season, what was notable about the scorers?
The scorers – Willie Windle and Jimmy McCormick – were both born in Rotherham. City beat Hartlepools United 5-0 at Sincil Bank the following Saturday to pip the Millers to the Division Three North title by a single point. The attendance at the Hartlepools game? 20,024. Hard to believe in these days of Boreham Wood and Guiseley…
10. In which season did Adewunmi Olarewaju score his only goal for the Imps?
1974-75, against Hartlepool in a 2-0 win at Sincil Bank on 17 January 1975. Adewunmi Olarewaju is better known as Nigerian striker Ade Coker, who had a month at Lincoln on loan from West Ham over Christmas/New Year 1974-75. Unfortunately his loan spell coincided with a run of 4 away games in which City failed to score, possibly costing them promotion at the end of the season – no prizes for remembering what happened at Southport.
Coker made a great start to his West Ham career at the age of 17, scoring as a late substitute for Geoff Hurst in the Hammers’ 3-0 win at Crystal Palace on 30 October 1971. He also made history on 1 April 1972 when, along with Clyde Best and Clive Charles, he was one of the first three black players ever to appear in the same team in English football; Coker marked the occasion with a goal in a 2-0 win over Spurs. Despite scoring 3 times in his 11 appearances, he failed to nail down a place at Upton Park and was released shortly after his loan spell at Lincoln.
Ade immediately emigrated to the USA, figuring prominently in the growth of soccer as a professional sport; having qualified for US citizenship, he made 5 international appearances for the USA in 1984, scoring 3 goals. When he retired from playing in 1988, he had amassed 349 US appearances, scoring an excellent 162 goals.
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