I’m not a football fan. Lets make that clear from the start.

I don’t have a bloody clue about the offside rule, the difference between a forward and centre half. I only really know the goal keepers job.

When I first moved to Lincoln and saw everyone posting the slightly dodgy acronym ‘uti’ I was concerned to say the least. I knew from the context that it related to football somehow but that was the extent of my knowledge.

This past football season has seen Lincoln City get to the FA Cup Quarter Final, FA Trophy Semi Final, win the National League and get promoted to League Two in the English Football League.  The whole city has celebrated their success and as a result an extra Knights Statue was commissioned in their honour for the Lincoln Knights Trail.

Lincoln City Knight
The Lincoln City Knight outside the Cathedral

It was seeing this statue when I went on the trail that reminded me of the feeling in the city during the height of the season.

Lincoln City’s dream run in the FA Cup was enough to make even me watch 70 minutes of a football match. (My laptop ran out of battery when we were 4 nil down so I didn’t catch the last 20 minutes.) That game was the historic Lincoln vs Arsenal match.

The mighty Imps. The pride of Lincoln. I might have only moved to Lincoln 9 months ago, however I’ll support the Imps with as much enthusiasm as the truest ‘Yellowbelly.’ I even went to watch the victory parade when they won the league.

In the FA Cup Arsenal may have beaten them, but the Imps weren’t defeated. You couldn’t defeat the spirit of the city. You couldn’t defeat the pride they created. The friendships they started. The #impvasion they caused.

The little non league side from the East Midlands. They slayed Brighton. Tore apart Burnley. City created history. It was the first time for 103 years that a non league team had got into the quarter finals of the FA cup. The week that they played Arsenal marked 102 years since they last played the premier league side – we did beat them last time.

9,000 fans and a pub went to the Emirates. The impvasion reached new heights. If you managed to trek up Steep Hill over the Quarter Final weekend you would have seen red and white bunting, City scarves and shirts and ‘impvasion’ signs covering each shop window. Everyone was behind the Imps. Football fans or not. They managed to convert me (slightly) at any rate.

The Imps did what everyone needed. They bought an entire city together. And for that, they can never be defeated.

And as for ‘uti’? Well of course it means “Up the Imps.”



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