Football. Arguably the most popular sport in the world. Today’s modern game brings in more fans and viewers than rugby, cricket and tennis combined, with over 4 billion fans tuning in to watch their favourite team play whether they win or lose.
Fan culture in the sport may be more prevalent in bigger cities such as London or Manchester, but smaller cities have also embraced football in a positive way. Lincoln is just one example of this, with their local team, Lincoln City Football Club.
Currently, The Imps sit at the top of League Two, two points clear of second place Mansfield and with a game in hand. The popularity and success of the club has come on in leaps and bounds over the past couple of years with their 2017 FA Cup run, promotion to the football league and first trip to Wembley resulting in victory in the Checkatrade Trophy in 2018.
Having been plagued by financial difficulties and relegation throughout the early to mid 2000s. The resurgence comes as both a surprise and elation. Lifelong city fan and media representative Chris Ashton is astounded by the Imps’ recent run of success.
“The big change in football nowadays is that it’s become a business. Even at our level because you have to pay your way. The reality is any team can go up and down at any point so its really become quite intriguing.
“I was 23 years old when I first saw Lincoln getting promoted and it was when a whole generation of people had never seen a promotion, so it was really special. But, I must say the 2016/17 season with the FA Cup was the most memorable season. It was truly, truly surreal.
“You’ve got to enjoy every moment and that’s what we as fans do for this club.”