Today is a massive for Lincoln Gladiators FC.

Even bigger than the time when Arthur Ragglestone of the 1953 all-conquering Wrigby FC side which swept all before them, including the changing rooms, cut the ribbon to open our new shower and toilet.

For today we are in the FA Cup preliminary round and our thoughts are firmly set on walking out on that famous Wembley turf.

Ten wins and we’ve cracked it.

Actually it doesn’t do the club’s coffers any harm either although I have to say any financial rewards from the FA go straight in our Saturday celebration pot and believe me there’s very little change when it’s next emptied in the morning!

Anyway, I digress. Back to the match and we are up against an outfit three divisions higher than us who have actually got a sponsor. They must be posh.

One good thing about playing at their ground though is they do have warm showers and steak pie and chips to die for. And that’s before kick-off!

We don’t get nervous. The only nerves any of the lads show is when they are chatting up the birds in ‘Spoons on a Saturday night.

However after 10 pints of pale ale their confidence is restored quite quickly.

We have a rule at our club. No booze two hours before a game.

This causes a few problems when we kick-off at 5.30 and Larry Lindum not only reeks of last night’s vindaloo but also the four pints of Boddingtons Best from lunchtime.

Still we are all set. No one gives us a chance. We have some canny set-pieces up our sleeves and if they start getting cocky the lads will bellow:

‘Cry Havoc.Unleash the Dogs of War!’

That’s enough to make your shin pads turn pale!

I’ll let you know tomorrow if we make it to round two.


Tommy Hykeham




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